Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: Russo Music
Sound — 9
I work in a blues-rock band and use a Fender Tele Custom Plus, a Fender Strat, kind of "custom" style considering that almost everything in has now been replaced at least once; I've owned it since 1969, first guitar I bought after being released from the military, another Fender custom made guitar and now this Epi LP Custom PRO. The coil tapping gives some slight tonal variations that I've been looking for. I use a Mesa Boogie Mark V with two matching speaker cablinets along with an Artec Compression pedal, an Artec Blues Box and a Big Muff. It is a little noisy when the coil tapping is engaged but I think that is to be expected. I've done quite a lot of experimenting with the volume knobs and there is a lot of variation of tone available when using one pickup tapped with differing tone settings. I don't usually consider an LP as a blues guitar but this gives me a nice alternative on certain blues songs that are "more rock than blues".
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing a long time, first professional gig was in 1956 at age 14. I've played surf rock, rock n roll, jazz, pop, country, country rock, folk, some bluegrass and blues, which is my favorite. I own other guitars that don't fit with the blues or which I don't want to take on traveling gigs including a G&L Will Ray Z3, a couple of custom made guitars that I purchased from the original buyers when they needed money, a customized Squire and a couple of Takamine acoustic/electric guitars, both EG523's. I have the Mesa Boogie Mark V mentioned as well as a GBX Canadian made amp, a Crate US made GX112 and a Fender DeVille plus a Vox AC130 an Orange 10watt practice amp and a Peavey Bass amp. I own a dozen foot pedals but primarily use the Artec compression and blues pedals, a ModTone Chorus and a Big Muff. I adjusted the action and reintonated, which I do with every guitar I every pick up. I love the way it plays; there's nothing I "hate" about it at all. Really like that both pickups are tappable. I didn't compare it to anything. I just happened to be in the store, say the knob tabs saying coil tapped and decided to give it a try. I wasn't looking for a guitar but decided that would offer something all my current guitars didn't have.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It has done well under live playing so far and has endured a couple of incidents where I couldn't get it on the plane and had to give it to a guy at the gate. I use a Stone double guitar bag and it works in getting it on a plane most of the time. Hardware is fine so far but I will change the strap buttons to strap locks in the near future, only because I prefer them. As stated before, I take 3-4 guitars on a gig so there's always a backup, although not a duplicate. As far as the finish wearing off, I really could care less. That's not my requirement.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Factory set-up means nothing to me as the factories are generally only given about 60 seconds to do set-up and besides, we all have our own preferences anyway. If you expect a guitar to be set up just right for you right out of the box, well, it's just sideways thinking. I changed pickup height just slightly on the neck pickup, not because it was badly done, it was personal preference. Everything was properly done and I made no corrections and fixed nothing other that the pickup height already mentioned. I'm very pleased.
Features — 10
Mine is made in Korea with a Mahogany body and Maple veneer top. The neck is a slim-taper d-profile and is satin finished. It's a glued-in neck joint with usual truss rod and with pearloid block markers. The pickups are Pro-Bucker 4 wires and both volume knobs are push-pull style for coil tapping. The scale length is 24 3/4" and the fretboard radius is 12". It has Grover 14:1 tuning machines and it stays in tune as well as any other guitar I own. I got it on sale because it has a mark in the surface lacquer in between the bridge and the tailpiece. I'm a guy who only cares how a guitar plays/sounds, not how it looks and I'm sure I'll scratch it soon anyhow. Mine is the silverburst color which, like I said, I got more reasonably due to the mark between bridge and tailpiece.