Price paid: € 380
Purchased from: AT Trade (Riga)
Sound — 8
I'm a blues player at heart and in my band we play blues, jazz, rock and fusion. Most often I use: 1) the neck pickup (switched to rhythm) - to get the dark, fat bluesy tone which is perfect for my taste. 2) both pickups (swithced in between) with the bridge pickup's tone rolled at least two sections higher than the neck pickup - this is perfect for rhythm parts, especially when you need to add solo fillings because the bridge pickup adds the extra sustain and spice to the tone. I don't like the sound of the bridge pickup alone when playing in clean - it lacks bass and sounds like plastic, while, when switched to more than average Drive, it is perfect for sustained power cords and solos with juicy tone. When playing with the neck pickup and high level of Drive you get a raw and fuzzy tone which is perfect for songs like "Voodoo Child" in my opinion. This guitar is my main "battle-axe" as it is my only electric guitar so far. Currently I use a Vox Valvetronic amp with Boss OD3 overdrive. The Vox amp and my Les Paul is the best combination i've tested so far - even the bridge pickup on clean sounds quite good.
Overall Impression — 8
If you are a blues oriented player then this is the right instrument for you! I know that I will be a Les Paul fan until the end of my life. This guitar has tone and sound you can't miss if you play jazz and blues. Roll the tone knob to the minimum and switch to the neck pickup and you get a perfect jazzy warm tone!
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar gets heavily exploited at least 8 hours a week in rehearsals and gigs which often last for more than 3 hours with jam sessions. Currently I use Dunlop 10 (0,46) strings. These don't break very often (thank God!). The tunomatic bridge has this tendency for the smaller strings to break on high bends. I always carry an extra package of strings and nippers in the case - you never know when they'll break. The Les Paul is famous for its heavy weight and yes - it sure is heavy! I spend the rehearsals mostly sitting because standing with this rock on your shoulder can be very exhausting. But the strap buttons are solid!
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The headstock has a cosmetic defect which was quite hard to notice at first. There are several grey spots above the "Les Paul Standard" inscription. The pickup selector is noisy and as I would like to say - "moody" as sometimes it makes a disturbing hum, while sometimes after a successful stirring the hum disappears. Many Epiphone Les Pauls has the same glitch as i've noticed.
Features — 8
It was made in China in 2007. The classic Les Paul pack - 2 volume control knobs, 2 tone control knobs, a 3-way pickup selector, 2 Humbucker pickups, Cherry Sunburst finish. I think it's quite hard not to recognize a Les Paul. On the day I bought it I had to carry it home in the original factory cardboard box because the shop had run out of cases. Only a short cable and an official poster were included.