Price paid: $ 99.95
Purchased from: 2kool4skool.com
Sound — 9
This is great for almost all the music I play (punk, indie/alternative, rock, grunge). I use this with my Zoom G1X and Marshall MG15 CDR. It gives you both warm and bright sounds, all you have to do is turn the tone knob (0=warmest, 10=brightest). When you have the guitar on its brightest setting, there is a bit of noise when you're not playing, but that doesn't really matter for me because I usually have the tone knob at 0. Because of the variations of the soung you can get out of this one pickup, I don't really seem to feel the need to buy a guitar with a neck pickup. The only reason I would buy one with a neck pickup is to get the sound of both pickups together. The clean sound isn't that bad for a humbucker either.
Overall Impression — 9
As I said before it's a great match for what I play. I've been playing for 5 years and I own a Zoom G1X and a Marshall MG15CDR. I also had a crappy Encore Strat copy which had stopped working (which is why I got this guitar). If it were stolen/lost I would probably get it again if it was availible where I Live, however Epiphone have stopped importing here and getting one shipped here is such a hassle so I would buy something that I could get here. The things I love about this guitar are the looks, the simplicity, the price and the general straight-on rock sound. The thing I don't like is the action, which I can't lower cos there will be too much fret buzz. I compared this to a few Squier Telecasters, some other Epi LPs and a few low-end Ibanez's. I chose this one because of its looks, its price, its simple tone and because I hate Ibanez's.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar would stand being gigged for me. The strap buttons are really solid and my strap has never fallen off me when I've been playing, the only time it has fallen off me is when I have been sitting down and the hole on my strap twists round causing it to fall off when I stand up. There's no reason why I wouldn't play this without a backup right now, but maybe in about 5 years time when it has been played for a while I might start thinking about it. The finish is pretty good, but I did scratch a bit off when I was adjusting the action and my screwdriver slipped.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Unfortunately, the factory set-up was terrible because the action was too low and there was a terrible amount of fret-buzz when you played anything on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd fret. So I rasied the action just enough to stop it. The action now is very high, which is kind of irritating for playing fast stuff on higher frets. Apart from that, everything else was fine.
Features — 8
This guitar has a single cutaway Les Paul style body, 21 frets, a wrap-around bridge, one open-coil humbucker in the bridge position, and one volume and one tone knob. The headstock is in the Standard Epiphone style and there is a black pickguard. Not many features, but just adjusting the tone knob can make the humbucker sound like it's in the neck postion and anywhere in the middle.