Sound — 5
The history of the Les Paul and of Epiphone could fill a book... as it has. Believe it or not, the company dates back to 1873 when Greek founder, Anastasios Stathopoulos, started making his own fiddles and lutes. Since then, they have evolved rather substantially... HAHA! Now, this ham-handed segue back to the present day may seem dramatic to you, but it is important for the sake of sheer length. My point is that Gibson and Epiphone have been duking it out for a long time. Even though Gibson bought out their main rival in 1957, the argument over how Epiphones stack up rages on.
Overall Impression — 6
This is one of those rare reviews where I won't really inflict my personal opinion. That is because I truly believe that it depends on the person and I'm a little torn on Epiphone... to be quite frank. I don't think that it is a complete rip-off. Also, the opportunity for creative modifications is endless and Epiphones are ripe for this sort of tinkering. As a quick side note, I will say that I hate the push/pull coil-tapping. This feature allows you to switch from humbucker to single coil but never perfectly achieves either, in my opinion. Despite this, the pickups sound okay. All in all, I would say that the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro is a bit on the expensive side and that you would definitely benefit from exploring the used route with regards to Epiphones in general. But, while it doesn't sound like a Gibson Les Paul, it is certainly a provocative offering. So, check one out for yourself and let us know what you think. By Josh Hiken
Reliability & Durability — 7
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro is a cool evolutionary stage for Epiphone's Les Pauls. The pickups, the ProBucker 2′s and 3′s are a notable improvement over some of their predecessors. The AAA flame maple top is a decent feature as well. Honestly, It sounds good in comparison to its peers. The tone is fairly rich with a very faint dash of classic and the hand-set, mahogany neck makes for good playability. So, for $500.00, you are getting a solid all-around guitar. Is it worth $500.00? Well, the obvious answer is: If people are willing to pay it, then it is.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I will spare you all another discussion on how Ephiphone Les Pauls compare to Gibson Les Pauls... Except for that Gibson readily declares that they are totally different instruments. I will agree with that.
Features — 6
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro is an electric guitar. I've had a few very interesting discussions regarding Epiphone in recent days and their Les Pauls are always a provocative topic. Musicians, gear-heads, egg-heads, animals, vegetables and minerals all have an opinion on Epiphone. It isn't even necessarily whether or not they are good guitars. I've heard full blown brawls develop over which Epiphone would make for the best companion, if one were stranded on a desert island and had to befriend an inanimate object for the sake of some semblance of faux companionship. All kidding aside; are Epiphones a decent value and what about these Les Paul imitations? Furthermore, what is this Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro?