Price paid: £ 240
Purchased from: http://www.thomann.de/gb/epiphone_les_paul_studio_deluxe_eb.htm
Sound — 10
The first thing that comes to mind when describing the sound of this guitar is VERSATILITY. I am still amazed at how many incredible sounds this guitar can make. The pickups have amazing playability (much more so than the basic studio). Playing through a simple 45w Marshall practice amp, I am able to replicate almost any sound I wish. Whether it be 'Green Day style' punk rock, classic lead rock such as Guns N' Roses or Led Zeppelin, smooth clean jazz riffs or HOT twanging country and western, this guitar can produce amazing results. I have played my friend's actual Gibson Les Paul Studio and honestly cannot notice the difference.
Overall Impression — 10
I love this guitar, and use it an awful lot. No matter what I want to play, it seems to produce an incredible tone. If it was stolen I wouldn't hesitate to buy another, I believe this is definitely the best guitar in this price range by a long way. It plays almost as well as a Gibson, for a fraction of the price. If you're looking for a guitar around this price, look no further than Epiphone Les Paul Studio Deluxe.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Although these guitars are made in Asian factories, Epiphone have increased quality control in order to assure better products are leaving their factories. That said, this guitar seems solid and reliable, and I cannot see anything going wrong in the near future. I have played this guitar live a few times and it has never let me down, and I never use a backup. The strap buttons are solid, and no matter how much of a beating I give this guitar it never fails.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar is a BIG step up from the basic Epiphone Les Paul Studio. The guitar came from the supplier in a box, with strings already fitted. No word of a lie, I took it out of the box, tuned it up and began playing. It comes perfectly set up, and I have never had any problems whatsoever (had the guitar for a year now, it has been played a LOT). Playing this guitar is a dream: it has a nice thick neck to get some strong sound going, but a fast fretboard ideal for fast licks and riffs. I have checked the guitar over many times and still cannot find a single bit of cosmetic, electronic or structural damage.
Features — 9
My guitar is the limited edition ebony finish, with a beautiful glossy black finish. It has a mahogany body and neck, with a maple top and rosewood fretboard, all weighting 3.5kg (about 8lbs). The pickups are Alnico classic plus humbuckers and are very good quality (upgraded from the basic studio) The neck has 22 frets, with a 628mm scale, and trapeze perloid fret markers for orientation. The hardware is all silver chrome, with black control knobs for volume/tone on each pickup. There is a standard 3 way toggle pickup selector with a black top. The headstock has Grover-style machine heads, with Vintage white tulip tuning handles. Came with an Epiphone accessory pack.