Price paid: A$ 900
Sound — 10
I bought this guitar two years ago when I was really into bands like the Strokes and with my Les Paul and Fender amp I can get a great sound for that style. My rig is as follows: Epiphone Les Paul Standard (hoping to add an American Strat here soon) >> Big Muff Pi USA >> Homemade Tubescreamer (my friend makes them. They're better than any tubescreamer I've ever heard, and I've heard a few) >> Boss DS-1 >> Phase 90 >> Vox V847A Wah (want to change that to a 535Q Crybaby) >> Boss CE-20 >> Boss DD-7 (soon to add DD-20 here) >> Danelectro Reel Tape Echo >> EHX Holy Grail Reverb >> Fender FM 212R solid State Amplifier (want to change to Marshall Tube amp). It's using active (humbucker) pickups so if you're using a noisy amp or a noisy fx unit, this guitar will make the hum as low as possible. It has a great sound for all kinds of punk, rock, blues and plays well on most other styles.
Overall Impression — 9
These days I'm more into funk, indy, prog rock but still a lot of rock and punk, so this guitar does well, but I'm missing a Strat for a John Frusciante type sound. I've been playing for about six years, but the first few were slow and I was poor so this was my first real guitar (the previous one was a Samick Strat and it sucked), so it's really good for intermediate players, and even a virtuoso would have nothing really to complain about, though there are better guitars out there to be had. The only thing I wish I had asked when I bought it was: "why does it come in an Ibanez Box with an Ibanez Manual?" but hey whatever. If it were stolen or lost I would probably buy a Strat for my next guitar, but after that I'd go straight back to the Les Paul cos it has such a great rock sound. I love a lot and hate very lttle about this guitar. The only thing I'd complain about is that for a lot of The Music I'm playing these days the humbuckers are too fat. I compared this to a bunch of other Epiphone Les Pauls in the shop and they were all good, but what worked for me with this one was that it was simple. The rest all had really flashy flamed finishes and stuff like that, but I liked just the plain black finish. For me it made it stand out from all the more noticable ones. Anything I wish it had? I wish I had a Strat, but I wouldn't trade it for one.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Its a Les Paul. it's like the truck of the guitar world, it's solid it's heavy and indestrucktable. Not that I don't take good care of it. I won't wear a belt when I'm playing so it doesn't get scratched. it's great for live playing, unless you're playing a long set cos it's pretty heavy. The hardware is all chrome so it doesn't rust (which is a must living near the beach), the strap buttons were solid, but I replaced them with Schecter strap locks. I would use this guitar anywhere it's that solid and versatile, the only thing you can't get is an authentic single coil/strat sound. The only thing missing from my rig really is a Strat for that single coil sound and a Marshall tube amp. The finish is awesome, I've had it for two years and it barely has a scratch
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar came pretty well set up out of the factory. The pickups and the action were both set really well which is what drew me to this guitar. All seemed to me to be done really well with it. After a couple of weeks however I noticed 2 things: it had some fret buzz from a high 17th fret and only a huge amount of changing the action and bridge height could stop it, but I had the fret filed down and now it's perfect, and when I used gauge 9 strings the high E string kept snapping. It turned out to be a burr on the bridge saddle, but again a little filing and it was all fixed. So none of the stuff I had to do cost me anything. My local music shop's luthier guy did it for free and it took about 5 mins
Features — 9
This is a 2005 Epiphone Standard Les Paul made in Japan. It has 22 frets at a 24.75" scale with a 1.68" nut width, a rosewood fretboard with trapezoid inlays and non-locking grover tuners on a set mahogany neck. It has a Flame maple top on a Mahogany body with an Ebony finish, and a Stop-bar Style bridge. It has two active Alnico V pickups, one at the neck and one at the bridge, with two volume controls (vol for neck pickup, and vol for bridge pickup), and two tone controls, as well as a 3-way pickup selector.