Les Paul Special II review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8 (937 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Special II

Price paid: $ 250

Sound — 10
I learned guitar back in the late '60s. We play Beatles, Stones, Cream, The Who, Steppenwolf, Hendrix, etc., it's in-your-face rock with NO lounge music. We don't do wedding receptions if you know what I mean. I'm playing through a Fender Stage 112. It's a 2-channel amp so the drive/reverb/etc is provided. I've got a chorus and volume pedal on my board. We hire a sound guy when we play out so that stuff's taken care of by a pro. The guitar fits this music perfectly. It is not noisey. The tonal options that you can dial in are amazing. It can sound like a Fender Telecaster, a Strat, or any of the meaty Gibson tones.

Overall Impression — 10
Again, I bought this only because of the Rolling Rock insignia on it. I didn't expect what I got in the deal. This is no BS. The guitar rocks. Taylor Swift plays one...and she certainly can afford any guitar out there. My guitar tech went out and bought one after seeing and playing mine...for $169 it's just not right! He's worked on hundreds of guitars and called mine "the family bully."

Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is a workhorse. That's because it is so simple. It DEFINITELY will (and does) stand Live playing. The hardware will last, it's a tightly-built guitar...just amazing at its price. I've got a Strat, which is my back-up guitar to my main axe. That's '68 Moserite Mark V equipped with duncan hot-rail pups. That thing Burns grass and takes everything I do to it wanting more. At our last gig I started with this Epiphone not expecting it to last. After 4 hours of play, the Moserite was still back on its stand (and it was probably pissed off!).

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set up perfectly at the factory. The pups needed no adjustment. I had my guitar tech go through it, not trusting it to be as good as it appeared. Aside from replacing the bridge/saddle setup, he found nothing wrong with it. HE rates it a 10.

Features — 10
Bought this guitar 10/2009 on a whim....it's a "Rolling Rock Beer guitar" in that its top look like the label on one of their beers. It's made in Indonesia, has 22 frets, and a fast Les Paul Jr-style neck. The rest of the guitar is nicely finished in black. My drummer got it at a golf outing as a door prize & didn't want it. Because of the beer insignia I jumped on it. Solid-body, lightweight guitar with Tune-O-Matic bridge. I like the single volume & tone controls handling both pickups...easy useage during Live performances. GREAT high-end Alnico V pickups...a 650Y on the neck and a hotter 700T at the bridge. What a surpise....huge tonal variations and lots of balls. These are the same pups used on higher-end guitars. Tied to this lightweight resonant body they jump. The only accessory/change I made was to replace the bridge/saddle with a Graph-Tech unit. I play hard and hit the crap out of a guitar. I bought, and returned, a Gibson Les Paul Jr because I broke too many strings playing it. Thought I'd "fix" the problem since the guitar costs so little ahead of time.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    guy across the hall has this guitar. I effing hate it. It sounds like crap and the intonation and hardware are horrible. I would heavily advise getting A used low end Schecter/Ibanez over this. Or a douglas LP or something. Im jut saying there are better options.
    Yeah i've had this guitar for 2 years and it's been awesome but if you are seriously looking to play guitar and want to actually get up on stage or record then i would definitly suggest getting a higher quality guitar than just a $200 Epiphone. I've played on stage and it gets the job done but if you want really nice quality then seriously consider getting the Les Paul Standard. It's a great beginning guitar though, no doubt.
    DAVA pick
    Got this guitar for Christmas last year and didn't think much of it, but i had to send back to the shop because it was giving of a crap feed. they have still got it and i have to say i am missing that guitar they gave me a temp replacement this replacement has really shown me how amazing my guitar actually is can't wait ill i get it back =)
    if you run it into a decent amp, you'll get some beautiful sounds, from blues to metal to slide-y craziness (what i play, lol) it'll do you wonders.
    Hello all the special 2 is the first guitar i actually bought i paid 100 bucks for it at a small music store. My first was an old Harmony that was given to me after sitting in someones yard so the difference is got me loving the guitar. As far as comparing it to others i like it but know its just a beginner/practice piece. I will say the clear tones come thru my raven RG20 sparkling beautiful