Les Paul Plustop Pro FX Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 04/27/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Les Paul Plustop Pro FX
The Les Paul Plus Top Pro/FX is a special edition LP, made in Indonesia, that was released March of 2010.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (3) 22 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Les Paul Plustop Pro FX Reviewed by: L2112Lif, on august 30, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 399

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Les Paul Plustop Pro FX Reviewed by: LedRevolver, on october 20, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features: HOT damn. User rating is mediocre, have you people even tried this guitar? It's an Epi, made in 2010 in a third world country. It has a great satin neck with a D profile. Here's the main attraction, the Floyd ROSE! Then it has your regular grover tuners, mine came with strap locks and an allen wrench. The bridge features the Epiphone Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker whereas the neck just as your regular alnico. Another hook is coil splitting. For 400 this guitar is hard to pass up. And a little side note, if you get it set up properly (which isn't supposed to happen straight from the factory) this thing is up there with Ibanez Floyd's. // 10

Sound: I play mostly classic rock (GNR, Zeppelin, Hendrix), blues, and Gospel. Plugging it into a Mustang 3 by Fender. The bridge sounds crunchy and a tad bassy. The sound isn't bad by any means, it's just not as bright as my other Epi with P-90's. The neck sounds like a neck should, crunchy and providing that beautiful Vintage Les Paul charm. The Floyd surprisingly stays in tune no matter the daily abuse it receives. Dive bombing on a LP=Winning. Splitting the humbuckers is really fun but will not replicate the Strat. (It is a LP after all) What it will give you though is a very light and happy tone. I feel that the sound is a bit lacking especially when you want to get that high output, hard hitting distortion. But all in all it gets the job done and in the end sounds like what a Les Paul should sound like. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Well... It's what you would expect from the factory. Not in horrible condition but not exactly set up and ready to go either. Took it to my town's tech, got it set up and now it plays like a charm. It arrived in pristine condition and couldn't find any flaws. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The pickup selector switch is a bit loose but this thing looks like it built to last. We'll see, Epiphone hasn't failed me yet and I hope it never does. // 8

Overall Impression: $400 well spent. Floyd Rose, a Les Paul, and coil splits all in one guitar by Epiphone?= Great sound, Les Paul Playability, and a fantastic guitar. Just wished the stock pups were better. // 9

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overall: 8.2
Les Paul Plustop Pro FX Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 16, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Les Paul with Floyd Rose "Special" trem, coil tap, Epi Strap Locks, Alnico Plus and Std Alnico pickups, Honeyburst Finish, Allen keys mounted under headstock, Std Les Paul Tone/volume tophats, Grover Tuners, strings are 10's. - Finish = 10, gorgeous at this price, satin neck is ok. - Trem = 9, Works great, stays in tune, but gets loose over time. - Pickups = 8, Average sounding, muddy neck, although you can tweak your pedals and get some decet classic rock tone... Raise bridge pu. - Coil Tap = 9, Not bad actually, although tophats are hard to pull, replaced with standard Gibson knobs - much better. - Strap Locks = 3, Cheap and they bind, tossed them - Pickup Selector = 5, over 4-5 months it start getting sloppy, neck side wouldn't select well without wiggle. - Body Wood = 7, This is obviously some cheaper mahogany, weighs a ton, headstock has two part seem showing. // 8

Sound: I use this mainly with a Fender HRD, a Fender 75, a 69 Champ with pedals and modeling software (Guitar Rig 5 etc... ). I play Blues, Classic Rock and Hard Rock in a cover band. Most people will be happy with the sound out of the box. It sounds like a Paul, but the pickups just don't hit that sweet spot for nice crunch and smooth highs on the bridge. With some tweaking on your preamp chain, you can get it much better though. Neck pickup is muddy, I dropped the neck spacing quite a bit and raised the bridge, a little better sounding. I compare this to my Strat with SD 59's and it is probably 75% close, but the 59's are more open, defined and better crunch. Clean this guitar sounds pretty nice, especially with the coil tap, it doesn't go as thin as most I have heard. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Again finish was impeccable at this price... Wife took notice how pretty it was. It wasn't horrible out of the box, I mean you could play it, but I drastically had to modify the string height, spring tension on the trem and polish a few frets that were funky. Intonation was good, and it is almost impossible to get out of tune once your bridge is flat. This guitar weighs a ton!, which most Pauls do... But this one seems like a pound heavier. I always end up going back to my strats as primary and use this as backup... Being a Strat guy I must admit its fun to play a paul once and awhile, the trem and price was always the limiting factor until now. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have used this on 4 gigs and played it regularly for 5 months, having owned several other Epiphones (and Gibsons) this guitar feels very solid all around. I agree the electronics were skimped, but that's not a big deal, I usually swap out most stuff on my expensive guitars also. I suspect the PU selector will need to go within a year. I think the Gotoh tuners and trem will last a lifetime, although looking at the pots... They are smooth, but are the mini cheapo's that start scratching in about a year... $15 part(s). As mentioned I swapped the tophat knobs out, my fingers would slip after getting hands wet on a heineken... Coil tap select easy now. // 8

Overall Impression: I wanted a different backup guitar for my Strats with Trem's that fit classic rock sounds better. At the price ($400) you can't go wrong with this, however after purchase I didn't realize how damn heavy these things are, so I modded my Strats with PAF's and use the Paul as backup. Having owned Vintage and modern Gibsons, this guitar is on par in many ways, although the wood quality and electronics are probably the bigggest limiting factors. The mahogany weighs a ton... Electronics are average sound/quality. Excellent student/starter guitar, with a few mods it can be heaven for a low budget weekend warrior (with a strong back). // 8

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overall: 9
Les Paul Plustop Pro FX Reviewed by: ne14t, on april 27, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 680

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Features: - Serial # 1009122887 - Production Date: September 2010 - Factory: DaeWon or Unsung apparently this has not been clarified - Production # 2887 - Body Style: Les Paul (duh!) Standard 22 fret set Mahogany neck with a Rosewood fretboard. Not sure on the exact size of the frets but they are a bit thinner, I am used to pretty large frets on my Gibson Explorer, but these feel smaller for sure. This neck has a satin finish and has since changed my outlook on finished necks, the neck on my Explorer has a nitro finish on it, if you hand gets a bit clammy it sticks to the nitro finish, this doesn't happen at all on a satin finish feels a lot faster. The body appears to be a solid one piece Mahogany body, I can't see any joint lines through the clear on the back. The claim it is a Flame Maple top, but we all know one of the ways for Epiphone to keep costs down is using a veneer top, I am not about to cut apart my guitar to find out. I did have a pickup out the other day and it didn't look like there was a veneer but there was a lot of staining from the burst it made it hard to tell in such a small area. Comes with a factory installed Floyd Rose Special, this is your standard double locking Floyd Rose Original but made in China so its labeled as a special and costs a bit less, I have put this thing through the whammy bar torture test and worst I could due was get it a 1/4 step out of tune. The body is routed out allowing something like a 2.5 step increase, I know from experience you will break strings before bottoming out the Floyd and if you do there is a piece of foam in there to protect the wood. Passive Epiphone 57 Classic and 57 Classic Plus Humbuckers which are Epiphone's offshore take on the Gibson pickup of the exact same name. Loaded with Alnico II magnets they are certainly not a screaming Hot pickup look towards a ceramic magnet for that. Otherwise these things produce a tone that's like having extra crunchy peanut butter crammed in your ears! Standard Les Paul controls, independent master volume and tone for each pickup and your standard three way toggle selector. The fun stuff comes in with the coil splits via the push/pull volume pots. Both the neck and bridge pickup can function as a humbucker or single coil at the push or pull of a switch. Being a four wire pickup I am planning on wiring the guitar up for Phase and Parallel/Series as well. Non locking Grover tuners, the ones with the huge kidney bean tuner, nothing fancy and with a double locking bridge setup there is no need for locking tuners. Comes with a hard shell case, and the proper keys attached to the back of the headstock for the Floyd Rose. 9/10: Why? Well for a sub $1000 Les Paul you really can't ask for more this thing is loaded with quality Epiphone parts out the wazoo and it ooozes class. If it had the Gibson Axcess cut on the back this could easily be an Epiphone version of Gibson's Alex Lifeson Custom Shop Axcess. // 9

Sound: I purchased this guitar mainly as my E-standard guitar and even more so for playing classic rock, mostly Zeppelin and luckily enough I can come even closer to authentic tones on songs where page used guitars like his Strat or Tele, which is great cause I have yet to own either model of those guitars. I play into a Marshall Haze 15 on the clean channel with a pretty flat EQ, a mild touch of reverb and a light dusting of delay. For a mild distorted tone I kick in a Visual Sound TS808 clone with the Drive maxed and its pretty much spewing classic British rock tone like projectile vomit. With the pickups being a Vintage output they are pretty quiet until you really start stacking the gain but then any passive pickup starts getting nosier. When you split the coil you can instantly hear the single coil hum come in but its not loud enough to Drive you bonkers. The treble pickup is a little dark its still sounds great but I am guessing this is probably due to the lower output of the pickup, I am on the debate of removing the cover off the bridge pickup to see if it brightens it up a bit. With the coil splits, Vintage pickups, the Floyd Rose and a good OD pedal you really can hit home all over the place with this thing. Since its a four wire pickup as I mentioned you can increase you tonal options even further by adding in phase and/or series/parallel wiring. 9/10: Why? It has all the Classic Les Paul tones and more but I can't help but say some people will feel left out that the pickups are pretty low output, not depressingly low but without a good Drive channel on your amp or a good pedal the more modern heavier music will certainly be a trick to nail. A pickup swap could change this but for me the tone of the Vintage output pickups is exactly what I wanted and I certainly got it. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: New guitars never come tuned, anyone that owns a Floyd Rose knows how much of a pain this can be. It took me two hours to get the string and spring tension equal, but that two hours spent will make your playing life so much better. The intonation was good and so was the action, it could do with a little lowering but I am still getting used to the fact it will be higher with a Floyd then a fixed bridge. The bridge pickup needed to be raised a little. The bookmatched top is deadly, as I mentioned above we all know Epiphone is notorious for using veneers which could explain how awesome this top looks, otherwise good care and detail was put into making it. The bridge routing for the Floyd is perfect the Floyd tucks in neatly without having huge routing gaps around it and has a rubber protector on the wood to keep the Floyd from damaging it. The only flaws it had from the factory was too many damn finger prints on it, then again I can't blame this on the factory as much as the store selling it, same with the issue of the Floyd spring tension. 8/10: Why? For a high dollar Epiphone guitar you would think the store would take the time to at least tune it up, if I wasn't an amateur luthier it probably would have been a negative selling feature. I mean they only had it for a couple years. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I'll get back to you on the live playing, from what I can tell yeah no problem at all its a solid build guitar with a set neck and double locking bridge its ready to hit the road with ya. Hardware is great, the one thing you really have to be cautious about with guitars like this is the Floyd, a cheap crappy knock off will be a nightmare even if its on a $3000 guitar. If the locking mechanisms don't work properly as soon as you touch that bar or even look at it funny your guitar will be out of tune. If your not one of the moderately cool kids with a locking guitar strap I would highly suggest investing in a pair of strap locks, mine weighed in at 8.7lbs and I would certainly not trust the strap buttons on it they are kinda small, they wont fall off the guitar but your strap might fall off them! This guitar is currently my main guitar for E-standard tuning and is currently the only guitar I have setup for E-standard and I don't worry about it at all. Worst I can do is break a string on the Floyd but now that it is setup properly that's a cinch to fix. The finish on the guitar is great, I haven't researched it but I am guessing its probably standard polyurethane paint and not nitro but that doesn't matter its got excellent color and a mirror like Shine when polished up. 9/10: Why? I always knocked Epiphone for being cheap crappy guitars, but boy was I ever wrong. Yes it was a cheap guitar but it isn't cheaply made or crappy at all. I would put the build quality right up there with my Gibson Explorer. // 9

Overall Impression: Not sure if there is other levels of this guitar out there as I see people mentioning there's being made in Indonesia. As seen by the serial number of mine it came from China, and also has a Limited Edition Epiphone Custom Shop decal on the back of the headstock. From what I can dig up the Custom Shop decal is just for models that are not normal production probably cause this one comes with a Factory Floyd and Coil Splits, and with mine being #2887 I wonder just how limited edition it was. I purchased this guitar for the sole purpose of playing music like Zeppelin, Cream, Clapton, Sabbath and it certainly fits that bill straight from the factory with no mods. Crank up the gain on your amp and start letting some dimebombs fly off the Floyd (yes I know I called it a Dimebomb because Dimebag had some of the nastiest most violent divebombs ever!) If I lost this guitar I would cry a little then try and buy a new one but its limited edition and been out for two years so that could be hard. If someone stole it well they better hope I never find them cause I got a rusty old subway knife from like 10 years ago I will castrate them with then proceed to trying to replace the guitar. Love everything about it, been more giddy after picking this one up then I was when I got my first guitar. Always been a sucker for a Les Paul never owned one cause I couldn't find something that suited my needs, well it took 12 years but it finally happened. Best part is the Floyd, I mean not only is it nice to have but it looks cool you don't see a Floyd equipped Paul too often. Compared it to a bunch of Epiphone Les Paul variants all in the $600-700 CAD range and this one was in a deadlock with another Paul they had for $50 more that had series/parallel wiring as well but then I saw the tag on this one that said buy this guitar and get a $100 gift card. My exact reaction was "holy shit $100 off a $600 guitar SOLD" 10/10: Why? I am a pretty big guitar snob douche, I like my expensive guitars and boutique pedals. But after my buddy grabbed a Epiphone Les Paul I was pretty amazed by the quality for the price point. Then I came across this beast and was literally blown out of the water, I mean if this guitar said Gibson on the headstock it would have a $3000 price tag. It sustains for days like its nobodies business and certainly has that Les Paul sound everyone is after. Have not been let down by my purchase yet and I don't think I will be. Certainly will not dismiss Epiphone guitars in the future anymore either. // 10

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