Price paid: € 300
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
I play most things that you could classify as Rock; no country, no metal, no surf, Indie or what have you. In other words, 60s and 70s plus what recent stuff I like (i.e. Black Crowes, Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters). I play it through a Fulltone OCD into a Dynacord Twen, 45 year old (if not older) Tube amp; 12" speaker, High input, sometimes with a little tremolo (inbuilt). I like the tone on pedals and amp full so I have the full sparkle when I need it (and with such Humbuckers and such an old amp you need to have tone on full to get the brightness you may want); otherwise I use the tone controls of the LP to make it a little mellow or adjust the top end a bit. And boy, what a sound it is! My favourite would be the bridge PU with the tone rolled off completely, neck tone on full, both volume up and then in the middle position. The most satisfactory growl you could ever imagine from a guitar! Otherwise, with the volume of the neck PU down to a 6 or 7 with light strumming you can get marvellous cleans whilst the bridge PU on full volume (same amp and FX settings) provides you with a fantastic overdriven sound; think whole lotta love - which nevertheless remains very clear in the sense that you can play with good, lush overdrive without having a muddy sound. Full on Distortion is equally possible for, say, the Bon Jovi "Always" solo (with the tone rolled off a slight bit), but chords you of course have to palm mute. Volume knob very nicely cleans up as you turn it down and - at least with my fulltone/dynacord combination - strumming intensity is mirrored by the sound very very nicely. I bought this guitar to play Led Zeppelin etc. And for me this is a straight 10/10. If you want to play Metal, buy something with a shredder neck and active EMGs; if you want to play country, buy a Tele, but if you want to play man-rock get this.
Overall Impression — 10
Style of music I play is mentioned above, and yes, ultimate-guitar, it is a damn good match. I've been playing 8 years now and have owned a Squier Strat and Behringer amp at first, and moved on to a PRS SE Soapbar Singlecut which I adore, a Fender Mexico Classic 50's Strat which is great for open G Keith Richards stuff. I play through a Fulltone OCD and a Vox V847 wah (forgot to mention it above, sorry) into my Dynacord as described above. I also have a small ratvalveamps practice combo; tube amp with 8" speaker and some nice twiddly knobs and adjustment things I don't really need anymore, but I also played the LP through that one and it was gorgeous, big sound from a small amp which with a Strat or the PRS (with P90s) was not a possibility. I bought this guitar blind (didn't try, not even one like it!) off ebay and am very glad I did! Would definitely get the same again, maybe different colour if the sunburst takes my fancy but overall this is a lovely, beefy, gorgeous, sweet-sounding guitar which, for the money, is worth getting for anybody who likes to have fun playing good rock music!
Reliability & Durability — 1
Live playing YES, come on, that's what it's for. Hardware will last until I replace it. If you play live you'd have strap locks anyway but as far as I'm concerned the original strap buttons are solid. Would gig without backup. Otherwise I don't want to comment on reliability and durability until I properly put it through its paces which will take another year or so.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Can't comment on factory setup because I bought it second hand, but I have to be nitpicky and complain about some fret buzz and *slightly* cranky/rusty/older-than-it-really-is-looking hardware. However, fretwire was excellently cut, finish is perfect (without a few minor dings and dongs from the previous owner), electronics are superb.
Features — 10
To my knowledge the guitar was made in 2008, manufactured in Korea. See specs on Epiphone website if you are extremely curious as to the general Les Paul specs. The exact specs of my guitar are as follows: - Laminated maple top, honey burst colour - body and neck laminated mahagony - Epiphone humbuckers - Grover tuners Have to give it a 10 because I've fallen in love with this guitar and the features are just right for what you'd expect from a Les Paul - and because at the price, the features are high spec (Grover tuners; humbuckers are extremely quiet even through a 45 year old amp...)