Price paid: C$ 80
Sound — 8
The guy I bought it off of was running it through a tube amp of some sort and it sounded good. Even running it though my solid state practice amp was good. It sounded as good as you'd expect a budget guitar to sound. No better, no worse. I guess you could play pretty much anything with it. How well is another story.
Overall Impression — 3
I haven't forgotten that this is a budget guitar, BUT, I'd expect this level of garbage by a Made in China, no name Company. Not Epiphone. This has a brand new $185 cad price tag and it's worth half that. My advice is that if you want one, by used and don't pay more than $90-100. If you want new, Squier (Affinity Series) builds superior guitars for that price range. If you absolutely want a Les Paul style guitar, get the Xaviere XV-440. It's styled like the old Gibson Specials with P90s for $209. You can get them even cheaper if you get a blemish model. I have a blem XV-550 and it's beautiful. The blemish was the rear strap button was half an inch off.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Despite the poor parts and craftsmanship, it's solid and will put up with a beating. Like I said, the poly finish is great and will put up with a beating, but who cares. It's not worth babying this guitar (the rest is just filler now) You could gig with it if you had to, but why would you want to. So many superior guitars for the price.
Action, Fit & Finish — 2
This is where the Special II fails. The poly finish on it is tough as nails, but that's it. I recently stripped the whole guitar down to use for a project and this is what I found. -Advertised as Mahogany, but they fail to mention it's ply wood. -Pickup cavities are poorly cut and slightly off center. -The neck was too sticky for my liking (thick poly). -The hardware feels cheap.
Features — 8
I'm not sure what year it was made. Same features as every other Special II on the planet.