Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: CA House Music
Sound — 10
This guitar is absolutely perfect for my music style. I play mostly Classic Rock (like Kiss, GNR, Sabbath, AC/DC, etc.), Modern Rock(Jet, Rage Against The Machine, System Of A Down, My Chemical Romance, etc.) Metal (Killswitch Engage, Dethklok, Bang Camaro, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.) and then some other stuff that is played clean (Bob Dylan, Eric Hutchinson, Switchfoot, Sublime, etc.), so just about everything, and this guitar covers all of these genres perfectly. The only problems are with the pickups because you can't do fingertaps and pinch harmonics (aka artificial harmonics) don't quite scream enough because the pickups aren't that great, but they are easily swapped for some hotter ones. I have used a Fender Frontman 15w amp, a Peavey ValveKing 112 (50w), a Marshall MG30DFX, a Roland Cube 30X, a Vox Valvetronics 30W, and a Crate V18, and this guitar sounds great paired with any of these amps. I recommend a tube amp, but not everyone can afford tube. I normally play it through a Marshall MG30DFX on a daily basis, and it sounds great with this amp. There is sooooo much variety to this guitar's sound it is almost unbelievable. The only noise I have experienced with this guitar is if you are playing in front of a CRT monitor/TV and you are distorted/overdriven. I use a Dunlop Wah Pedal and a Zoom 505 guitar pedal and it works fine with both of these, plus the effects that most amps have.
Overall Impression — 10
Great overall impression. I played this at the store and had tried a few other Epiphones, a couple Gibsons, and some Fenders before settling on this guitar. This guitar matches my music style flawlessly, and if this guitar were stolen from me I would most definitely buy another one. I picked this guitar over the others because of the great looks, amazing sound, and great price tag. The Gibson Les Paul I played honestly sounded worse than this Epiphone, and the Fenders weren't quite the sound I was looking for, considering mt main guitar before this one was a Strat. I have been playing for about 11 years now, with many more to go, and the only complaint I have about this guitar is the pickups. The aren't hot enough for things like fingertaping, and they don't quite scream enough during pinch harmonics. I absolutely love the finish of this guitar. I got the Heritage Cherry Sunburst and it is positively beautiful. My favorite feature is probably the Overall Value of the guitar. The only differences between this and a Gibson is the pickups, the headstock, the tuners, and the price. Considering that pickups can be replaced, the headstock is just looks, the tuners are Grovers and can be changed if desired, and the price is less than half of most Gibsons, I don't think you could find a better value anywhere.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will almost certainly stand the test of time. The hardware is all solid and has a good name behind it. Nothing seems lose or weak, and the finish could probably withstand a sandstorm. I have played all my gigs with this guitar with out backup, and haven't sweat over any of them. The strap buttons are perfectly fine, but I am gonna replace them with straplocks soon, because I tend to throw my guitar around a little during gigs, and have had my strap come undone 3 or 4 times now, but have luckily caught my guitar every time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up pretty well out of the box. The action and intonation was fine, but the nut needed some work, but that is normal even with Gibsons. All I had to do was file the nut to fit the gauge of strings I use (.11-.48) and I had to put some graphite grease in the nut to prevent pinching. Everything else was great. The pickups sound great where they are, but I might move them around to see what other sounds I can get. There is also one tiny spot on the body binding that I could have complained about, but nobody will ever notice unless they are using my guitar as a pillow (as in they have there head right up next to it). The only other complaint I have is that the volume pot for the neck pickup is too close to the body and rubs the finish, but it's effect can't be seen, and if you pull a little when you turn it it doesn't rub.
Features — 9
Awesome features on this beast. It has 22 frets, a Rosewood fretboard, Mahogany Body with a set Mahogany neck, and Maple top. It has a beautiful Heritage Cherry Sunburst finsish and a LockTone Tune-O-Matic Bridge/Stopbar Tailpiece. It came with AlNiCo Classic humbuckers and Grover Tuners and has 2 Volume and 2 Tone Controls and a 3-way selector Switch. It didn't come with a case, but I picked up an Epiphone LP case at the same store, so that was no problem, considering it is a common guitar shape. Can't complain about it coming with Grovers and a Tune-O-Matic bridge, but the pickups could have been better.