Sound — 9
I have been waiting ages to get my hands on a Les Paul, and boy has it been worth the wait. It suits my music style extremely well, that being said I play essentially punk rock, as that is my bands genre and style. In addition, I play Classic Rock (think 60's and 70's), Alternative, Ska, Rock n Roll, and Old School Punk. This particular guitar is extremely versatile, you can get a lot of sounds out of a single pick up, not to menton tweaking your amp and pedal settings will make for even more possibilties. The humbuckers work like a charm, I plug this in to a DS-1 Boss Distortion, and with an Orange Crush 15 watt practice amp. My Orange is really beat up, yet I can get a very good crunch from the Les Paul with it. See my music resembles that of Green Day's and The Clash and the Dead Kennedys in a number of ways, mostly Green Day. However, for my own music I've cranked up the treble to achieve my own crunchy yet punchy sound that I need and love. My baby ROARS! I find it very hard to put her down, even with 5 minutes left before I need to be in my desk at school. This guitar produces nearly no noise at all, it will of course make a little with the gain on my distortion pedal cranked up, but it's never that bad, even with my P.O.S. amp. This guitar can be both very bright or dark, it can swing any way it's needed for. I will warn you that if you do not adjust the settings efficiently, the neck pick up can sound very muddy. All in all, this thing is unable to achieve that Gibby sound mostly because of the low end humbuckers.
Overall Impression — 9
Being almost nothing but a punk rock musician, I fins this as a classic guitar to use, it can have so much variety but still has that sound I need the most. I had been waiting for my Les Paul for a LONG time, and finally I have my own, I do not regret my decision to buy it at all. For single noted riffs, barre chords, powerchords, and major/minor chords, my LP sounds fantastic with it all. I have been playing for the better part of 3 years, practicing erhaps about 3-5 hours every week day, and then about 8 on the weekends. Music is my life, and my Les Paul is the instrument that drives me. I would not ask anything, if I could, mainly because I asked everything that I needed to ask. never ever buy a new guitar with out thinking it through and asking as many questions about it as possible, it will bite you in the arse if you don't! This will never be stolen or lost, I am never that careless with my guitars, especially what is now my favorite. I love everything about my Epi Les Paul and hate nothing, it is perfect for me, except for replacing the pick ups, which I will get around to this summer. I compared this to Ibanez and Fender with multiple models, but I always found myself coming back to the Les Paul, it is my soul guitar, and that won't change. The only thing I wish my Les Paul had was burstbuckers or some Gibby humbuckers. This guitar captures the very essaence of the sound I love and want from a guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I garuntee it will withstand Live playing. As a punk, I play my guitar with bnot so much heavy but fast paced strumming, this thing delivers excellent sound regardless.The hardware is bound to last, even with that, as I said, I plan on replacing the humbuckers for something of higher quality, as a musician in a band, I need all the qualtiy I can get. The strap buttons, to my surprise, actually are very stable. I play my LEs Paul parallel to the ground, if you slant while playing, it may slip off due to the angle. This guitar really is not THAT much heavier than my Strat, it really isn't as weight ridden as many would have you believe. It may just be that I have stronger back and shoulder muscles ( I play hockey ) than most, but really it's not that big of a deal. Gigging with my band, I will certainly be using it with out a back up. I can rely on This Girl no matter what comes my way.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
My god, this thing is a BEAST! It was pretty well set up by the factory, but I am adamnat that you go to your local guitar center and jam with several and examine each one before you buy, you can easily buy one that was not set up well in the factory and may even have VERY bad faults in it. That is what I did, and when I finally found the one I wanted, I knew that was it, my long wait of saving and searching was over. This guitar was well set up at the factory, the only thing that really stood out was that the jack was always getting loose, so I just grabbed hold o it and screwed it in as hard as possible with my fingers, it hasn't moved since. I also decided to set up my Les Paul only a couple days after purchasing, mainly to set it up the way I wanted. I simply adjusted the pick up hight to my liking, replaced the strings and used a different gauge of.10, and polished her up. That was all that needed to be done. Everything has been done properly, the bridge is set right, my finsih is flawless, the pick ups are bitchin, all though I will probably replace them with Gibson humbuckers in the future, just for a more quality sound. The frets were flawless, polished and filed perfectly, something you absolutely HAVE to check before you buy. The finish does not cheap out any where on the body or neck, and the neck is a lot like a 60's neck, thin and strong. The tuners do better than I would have expected, as a lot of people dog the grover tuners quality, it actually can keep my Les Paul in tune even with my constant playing for about a week or two. ONe problem, this may just be because of the ferocity I play this babe with, but my 4th string seems to break constantly. I break it A LOT! it may be from faulty strings, but I really don't know at this point. It may be changed, as I repalced it with a Markley and it hasn't broken after about 5 days now.
Features — 8
Made in 2008, and made in china, my Les Paul is my own dream come true, after nearly a year saving for it I finally got it around two months ago. It boasts a mohagany fret board with 22 jumbo frets, a very smooth thin neck with incredible finish. My baby is entirely mohagany, with a pure cloudless night ebony finish, and I will say here and now that the finish really does looke like it could be that of a Gibsons, no spared expense when it comes to making a beautiful guitar from Epiphone. It is a single cut away Les Paul Standard Plus Top, a very, very gorgeous and classic instrument. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge (one of the only things I dislike about it) although it still works with my Les Paul. It has two very hot chrome covered active Humbuckers, and they can reallllllly scream. On my headstock I've got the classic chrome grover tuners, and they hold this baby in tune much better than rumors would have you think. When I bought this Les Paul I got the warranty, some extra strings, and a DS-1 distortion pedal, however, they were not so kind as to deduct that from the price, probably because I got this guitar about 200 dollars off the main price.