Price paid: C$ 579
Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Features — 9
Bought this guitar new from Long and McQuade for $579 in 2013. It is a Chinese made Epiphone. Don't get the wrong idea, for a Chinese made guitar this thing is solid! Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, flamed maple top. Comes with Epiphone's Alnico Classic humbuckers, which are not the best I've ever heard but they're not bad. Very versatile guitar as it has push/pull volume pots which coil tap the pickups, essentially making them single coils. You can get pretty much any sound you would want from this guitar, with the right setup of course.
Sound — 8
I play mostly rock music, some metal, country, blues, and punk. This guitar suits all of these styles very well. The coil tapping is a great feature for country and blues, but the full on humbucker is where it really excels for rock music. Currently I am using it with the guitar rig software(which can make any old guitar sound good IMO) but when I play live I run it through a Marshall. Self explanatory really, classic LP and Marshall sound. The maple top gives it a relatively brighter sound, but still warm and full. Great guitar for anyone who wants the classic Les Paul sound without the price tag.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Since I bought the guitar at Long & McQuade it came already set up. For those who have bought anything from L& M you know they do really good work. Perfect action, intonation, pick up height, etc. I would assume it didn't come from the factory like this. With regards to finish and hardware, It came absolutely mint. No flaws in the finish, or on the hardware. Everything working properly, no issues. Actually surprised with the quality since it is Chinese made. I guess the recent advances in technology have improved the quality of products coming from the far east, or at least I think so anyway
Reliability & Durability — 7
Now, here is the only section where this guitar will take a little hit. After having it for about a year, I noticed when changing from the bridge pickup to the neck pickup, its like the neck pickup "dies." Very faint sound which cuts in and out and I have to flick the pickup selector a few times to get it to "cut in." Not exactly sure what the cause is, but most likely has something to do with the wiring. Another flaw with this guitar is the strap button. I picked up the guitar a couple days ago and when I put the strap over my head, the button came off and it almost hit the floor but I caught it just in time. The hole where the screw is got stripped somehow and it worked loose.
Not all bad can be said about the reliability though. Just like my other Epiphones, this guitar is tough and it can take a hit. Its been knocked over a couple of times, bumped, the usual... and it comes back for more. So, cant complain about the built quality I guess. On another note, most people usually have problems with keeping their Epiphones in tune, but I can honestly say I haven't had that problem yet. I can do all the bends I want, bump it, or whatever and it stays in tune.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is a solid guitar. I use it at home, jams, gigs, and for recording and it has served me well so far (except for the couple things I mentioned earlier). The way I see things is you get what you pay for, and I have definitely got my 600 bucks worth. Minor issues such as wiring and the loose strap button are quick, easy fixes and hey, it's a Chinese made Epi, not a $2000 Gibson. IMO, excellent guitar for what you pay for it.
Little Blurb about me: I have been playing guitar for about 7 years, I have a vast collection of guitars, amps, pedals, etc. I play everything from classic rock, to country, to metal. This guitar fits in with my playing style well, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a Les Paul on a budget.