Price paid: £ 339
Purchased from: Dawsons
Sound — 10
Rich, fat and full when clean, this guitar provides an awesome strumming tone from the neck pickup, and mixing the two can produce some amazing, almost acoustic-like sounds. Kicking some classic styled overdrive opens up some amazing powerchord crunch. Crank the gain further, scoop the mids and the guitar becomes a modern metal Beast that remains defined however much distortion I throw at it. I run it through a Boss Metal Zone, Boss Equalizer and Behringer fx600 into a Line 6 Spider III 30w.
Overall Impression — 10
I play anything from indie-pop through heavy groove-metal. This fits the bill magnificently with any style. I have been playing for two years on a lower-spec Epiphone Les Paul Special II, and I can only say that this is a vast improvement from a great first guitar. If this was stolen, I would rush out straight away and buy another. I cannot find any major flaws with it. When I decided I needed a new guitar, I wanted something versatile, playable and great sounding. I compared it to an Ibanez RG model, but the Les Paul ticked every one of my boxes. The only way I think it could be improved would be a coil-tap feature.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is one of the more sturdy guitars I have played, and although I have not yet played it live, it feels like it could be thrown face first against a wall and survive, although I do not recommend this! The hardware is solidly set into the body and are not going anywhere. It feels solid enouh to gig, and I would happily play this live without a backup. The strap buttons, however, seem unreliable, so I have bought some simple strap locks and these have reasured me that my guitar is not going to suddenly make a dive for the floor.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
A medium-low action keeps the guitar very playable, the pickups were at a good height straight out of the box but the intonation was slightly out, and although I had this fixed, it was slightly out again within the week, but this may just be the old strings. None of the guitars controls are loose, noisy or prone to cutting out. The finish, being handmade, has some slightly wavering lines on the body outlines, but is otherwise flawless. The 19th and 20th frets are slightly sharp and unfiled, and the tuning peg for the D-string is very loose, and takes a full 180 degree twist before any pitch difference is heard.
Features — 9
This Guitar was hand made in China in limited numbers by the Epiphone Custom shop, it has a solid mahogany Les Paul body and a set-in maple neck. It features 22 frets on a maple fretboard with black trapezoid inlays. The main selling point of the guitar is the finish, which is mostly white but with black binding, scratchplate and controls. The logo on the headstock surprised me with it's pearloid logo! The tune-o-matic bridge makes action adjustments easy and quick, and the grover machineheads do a decent job of keeping it in tune, (although the d string tuner has quite a lot of play in it). It comes fitted with passive Alnico V humbuckers as standard, and the 4 Standard control knobs give a good rage of tones without having to touch the amp.