Price paid: £ 380
Purchased from: DV247
Sound — 7
I mainly play Hard-Rock, 80's Hair Metal, Metal-core and some blues, I was planning to buy a Gibson Studio Les Paul after borrowing my dads for a month to see if it could cover what I play and I wasnt disappointed, while picking out a Les Paul I thought of giving the Epiphone a chance and I was surprised by how similar the two sounded, I eventually picked the Epiphone due to it been so much cheaper yet sounding ALMOST as good. I run the Epi LP through a Boss ME-50 into a Blackstar HT-5, I only use the Boss for effects and use the Blackstar's own distortion so I dont lose any tube warmth. The guitar is completely silent, the only real problem I have is the stock pickups, they lack alot of mid range and dont distort (even lightly) too well without them sounding a bit muddy, I quite like the muddy sound of the neck pickup it gives it a strange thick sound for solo's but the Bridge sounds quite grubby. I would recomend replacing the pickups for a HUGE improvement in sound, but to be honest they arent nearly as bad as other "own brand" stock pickups I have tried in the past. The sustain this guitar holds it also very impressive, I feel that once I upgrade the pickups (JB in the bridge, 59 in the neck) the sustain will increase even futher.
Overall Impression — 8
As said before I love playing Hard-Rock and Metal and this guitar is great for it, out of the other 6 guitars I currently own this is probably my favorite. Switching from a heavy power chord riff to a big meaty blues based solo there is no other guitar (that I own) I would rather use. The fair thing to do is to compare this guitar to its big brother the Gibson Les Paul, I can safely say that by buying this guitar and sticking two Gibson or Seymour Duncan humbuckers into it you will have a great guitar, one that would not only have a better finish on it but sound just as good as a Studio Gibson Les Paul, for much less cash.
Reliability & Durability — 7
After owning this guitar for a couple of months I noticed issues involving the pickup selector, when changing pickups there would be a drop in volume and tone, this turned out to be a faulty pickup selector (a common problem in Epiphones) this disappointed me as it was the only major problem I encountered. The strap buttons are fine, not had it slip off a strap yet, I planned on using this guitar as a work horse, for gigging and recording, so far it has survived well, not a single chip on it due to the nice multiple coated paint work, I jam with it constantly and when I go to choose one of my guitars I regularly pick this one. I do still worry about the pick up selector though, once I upgrade the pickups I will replace the whole electronics to avoid a similar occurence.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I got this guitar straight from the factory and the set-up pretty well, nothing too bad or great, it was usable but didnt make me feel impressed, the pickups were at a great height and sounded fine, but I adjusted them to my own personal preference. All the hardware was fitted perfectly and was obviously checked before leaving the factory. No damage to the finish either which was good.
Features — 7
The guitar was build in 2010 and made in China, it has 22 frets in a set mahogany neck, and has a scale length of 24.75". The finish is something I was willing to spend extra money on after seeing the "Plus Top" flame maple finishes and the body binding in person as they looked great. It has a Standard stop bar tail piece and a tune-o-matic Bridge which does its job perfectly, even when doing heavy palm muting the Bridge still feels comfortable. The Grover tuners hold their tuning well, and it comes equiped with 2 passive Alnico Classic (HOTCH in Bridge and 57CH in the neck) Humbuckers. It came with a large Epiphone poster, owners manual, truss rod adjustment key and a amp/guitar cable. I would of hoped for a gig bag to be included seen as both Fender and some Ibanez's of this price range have them included. The Les Paul it not ment to have too many frills and extras as it as seen as more of a "work horse" instrument but saying that I still feel that it deserves a "7".