Les Paul Plustop Pro FX review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.4 (35 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Plustop Pro FX
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Price paid: $ 399

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 7
For an Epiphone, its bridge pickup has a very well-defined character, especially if you wiggle the bar around a bit while playing. The neck suffers from the same problems as every Epi neck pickup in that it is often times muddy. I'm running it through Guitar Rig 4 here at home, and at the store I ran it through a Fender Mustang amp and an Egnater combo (I got chased off the Egnater by a store employee who wanted to play it. I really, REALLY hate GC, but more on that in the coming sections) The coil taps are a welcome addition, actually bringing some definition to the neck pickup... And oddly, they're not noisy at all. I have another guitar with coil splits, and it spits noise out the wazoo whenever I have the splits enabled, but the PRO/FX's splits are surprisingly quiet. The neck pickup always brings this score down on any Epi I review, but that coil split makes me think otherwise on this particular guitar; it sounds beautiful... But it doesn't quite seem that way right out of the gate.

Overall Impression — 9
Lets start this off with a gear roll-call, to make sure Irene didn't steal anything. Pro/FX - Check LP Ultra II - Check Michael Kelly Valor X - Check Epi Custom LP Silverburst... Silvia... SILVIA?! Oh, right. She's in the shop. - Check I have an LP problem, yes... And as a result of that, I would absolutely re-purchase this guitar if it was stolen. It has a floyd rose, man, and its just a beautiful guitar with this new blue strap I got for it. I compared it to Ibanez guitars (Mostly because of the tremolo unit) and this one came out on top for looks and playability; it really fits my hands. I have yet to name this one... It could be squishy. I could name it squishy, and it would be my squishy.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Now, there are some guitars that are made to look good and not made to play (Gibson, I'm staring in your direction, with the Zoot Suit SG and the Raw Power SG)... But we're here as musicians, and not ART collectors. This guitar is built like a tank, I say as I'm writing this in a hurricane. Everything seems pretty sturdy, the exception being the floyd arm which enjoys whipping me every now and again. The strap buttons... Ugh, were supposed to be straplocks according to the Epi press release, and finding out that that was false bought me down a little. The only problem is your satin finish, because body oil will seep into it and make it a slow gloss. I'd likely gig with this without a backup, but I've always got another LP on hand... Just not one with a Floyd. I think I have a problem.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Okay, now we get to the part where I bash GC "If you want to skip this part, I'll tell you where it's safe". I played this guitar in the store on two different occasions. The first all was fine, the strings were old as all hell but still playable, and they didn't take the whammy bar off the guitar so I could fiddle around with that a bit. Played a few of my songs through the Egnater combo... Where I was kicked off rather abruptly by a GC employee on break. I left the store, vowing to try the guitar out again. The second time I came in, I plugged into a Fender Mustang... And found strings broken. Unperturbed, I purchased the guitar and had the restring done for free. Pack it up, get home, find the guitar so far out of tune, the locking nut down, and the 3mm allen wrench gone... There's nothing worse than buying a guitar you can't play immediately because the guitar tech can't deal with a floyd, and some kid lifted parts. "Okay, its safe to look back" All in all, the floyd was actually set up well, save for an employee-error tuning problem, which was a pleasant surprise. The floyd has full range of motion on this guitar, the bookmatching and finish are rather stunning for an Epi (This is the first non-B stock guitar I've bought). The controls are all pretty fluid, and the action is perfect for my style of play.

Features — 8
The Les Paul Plus Top Pro/FX (It doesn't slide off the tongue well at all) is a special edition LP, made in Indonesia, that was released March of 2010. I got the guitar for my birthday this year, after having waited for... Lets just say it felt like a long time. Lets dive in, shall we? - 22 frets, rosewood board, slim-taper D profile with satin finish (More on the satin later) - Set neck of mahogany - flame maple top on mahogany body, this particular guitar is a honey burst - quilted top, satin neck - four-lead Epi-designed pickups, allowing for coil taps (Which come standard), and the ability to re-wire for phasing and series/parallel options - three way switch, two tone, two volume - standard grover tuners - and the biggest draw for this particular guiar; it has a Floyd Rose Special. with locking nut. more on this later - in the press release, Epi said that the guitar comes with straplocks. This is not the case when buying from GC. A floyd isn't something you see on an LP everyday (There are, I think, four LP's that offer this feature. Gibson Axcess, Gibson's Alex Lifeson model, the PRO/FX, and an EMG-equipped LP from Epi that isn't to my taste) If you're looking to get an LP with a floyd, and don't want to break the bank, this is your best bet coming in at the usual price of 499.00... Mine was 399 with a coupon. I'm knocking this down from a 9 to an 8 for the straplocks which were not included.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Tiago Sa
    dc13 wrote: I've had this guitar for about a year or so now, and it will NOT stay in tune. The tuners don't even work, it's all done on the Tune-O-Matic bridge that can't even go to standard tuning. The B string can't go higher than a low B-flat pitch, same with BOTH E strings. It sounds good if I tune to drop-D and play only the bottom 4 strings, but otherwise it sounds completely out of tune.
    What in god's name are you going on about?
    conroy91
    Guitar's arent supposed to come tuned. Especially with brand new strings. This review is full of awkward bias instead of an information. And Raw Power SG's are solid guitars? Mine plays incredibly.
    Trauma138
    I have one of these squishy's too ... I agree with you on the pick-ups, and especially the coil taps. I bought mine from GAK, came with the straplocks and a free hard case, only problem was it was factory set up. Basically put together, but not adjusted for playing by any stretch of the imagination. Took me a good few days to get the trem stable, the truss rod adjusted and the action perfect without fret buzz. I'd rather spend a few days doing it myself, than pay someone in a store to do, at least I know it's done how I like it. If you like LP's, you should go give one of these a try
    dc13
    I've had this guitar for about a year or so now, and it will NOT stay in tune. The tuners don't even work, it's all done on the Tune-O-Matic bridge that can't even go to standard tuning. The B string can't go higher than a low B-flat pitch, same with BOTH E strings. It sounds good if I tune to drop-D and play only the bottom 4 strings, but otherwise it sounds completely out of tune.
    L2112Lif
    conroy91 wrote: Guitar's arent supposed to come tuned. Especially with brand new strings. This review is full of awkward bias instead of an information. And Raw Power SG's are solid guitars? Mine plays incredibly.
    It got a re-string in the store, I watched the tech fail at tuning it. And I played a Raw Power SG, there was a knot in the neck and it had the worst neck sound I've ever heard on a guitar, let alone a Gibson.
    L2112Lif
    And what awkward bias? Its my review, my interpretation, and my opinion on the guitar, as well as others that I have played and decided to compare them to. Its a review, by definition it has bias.
    rstark56
    I played this guitar (I have a Gibson Les Paul standard and a SG standard)at Guitar Center through a Fender Twin reverb. It played like my Les Paul but the sound didn't come close to the burst buckers. The sound was very thin in bass from the lower strings and very sharp to annoying at the higher end. I do think that if you wanted to change out the pickup it would be a good guitar. Personally, the skimped on the electronics.
    krvolok
    dc13 wrote: I've had this guitar for about a year or so now, and it will NOT stay in tune. The tuners don't even work, it's all done on the Tune-O-Matic bridge that can't even go to standard tuning. The B string can't go higher than a low B-flat pitch, same with BOTH E strings. It sounds good if I tune to drop-D and play only the bottom 4 strings, but otherwise it sounds completely out of tune.
    It's probably not the guitar.No offense but it sounds like you dont really know to setup that guitar.Depending on gauge and tuning the springs that float the floyd rose bridge need to be either loosened or tightened to make the bridge stable and keep it in tune. It sounds like have it set up for one gauge/tuning and are trying to play it in a different one.That simply will not work. The golden rule of the floating bridge is: The pull of the strings = the pull of the springs. The alternative is The pull of the strings < / > of the springs = out of tune.
    L2112Lif
    And you typically get that measurement when you have the strings in. You can see if the bridge is parallel to the body of the guitar, that you have a guitar that is going to stay in tune. If it dips in either direction, then your tuning will either fall or rise every time you use the whammy bar, as the tensions between the strings and the springs tries to reach equilibrium. I seriously think you're thinking of another guitar though, DC13, simply because this is a floyd-equipped guitar. Why would you detune any of the strings, you'd need to then re-tune the entire guitar because the overall tension has changed? That and you stating that its done on the Tune-O-Matic (Which is a fixed bridge) get me wondering that you've simply taken a look, posted an inflammatory comment, given it a bad rating... All without actually checking to see if this is the guitar you're looking for.