Price paid: $ 599
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play lots of classic rock, Zeppelin and Hendrix mostly. This guitar is perfectly suited for me. I've got a Fender Mex Strat, and this replaced it as my num 1 as soon as I got it. The Bridge pickup dimed out sounds great for that page ripping tone, roll back the volume and it cleans up nicely. I don't use pedals at all, as of yet, just adjust tone and volume on guitar, with the neck pickup tone dimed and volume at 3-4 you get a great acoustic/slightly crunchy tone perfect for the beginning of over the hills, then just flip to Bridge and you're at max gain for the verses. Only thing I want to add is coilsplitting, for max Zep tone ability.
Overall Impression — 9
If you're looking for a classic rock guitar, you probably want a Les Paul or a Strat. For the price along with tone, features, and looks, I love my choice and recommend you do the same. Like I said I play lots of Zep, no surprise why I bought this, it looks like Pages, sort of. And its lighter than any other Les Paul I've played, a huge perk for a small guy or skinny guy like me. If someone made the mistake of stealing this I'd be forced to commit murder. The only thing missing is coilsplitting, which I plan to add. Like I said I bought it on a whim and got lucky, looked nice so I bought it, turns out sometimes you can judge a book by its cover...
Reliability & Durability — 10
As soon as I got it this is my numero uno. After a year of playin everyday, hardware and finish still look great. Everyone comments on its looks. The grover tuners work great and this thing is seemingly always in tune, compared to my Strat which I need to tune up everyday just about. I'd definitely recommend this guitar to someone who wants a great Les Paul at a fraction of the price. Best epi in my opinion although I've never played an Ultra-II.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Plays great right out of the box, just lowered the Bridge a bit to suit my liking. Only thing i noticed upon inspection is that the volume/tone knobs aren't all lined up. One turned all the way up might say 10 another 6, you could take the time to line them up if youve got ocd or too much time, but just turn it until it sounds right.
Features — 9
I got this about a year ago, I don't when it was made, but was made in some asian country, I forget which one. Someone will prolly rip me but I don't really care where it was made, it feels good in my hands. Its got 22 frets, rosewood fretboard, tune-o-matic bridge, alnico classic and classic plus humbuckers, grover tuners, and gold hardware. The biggest perk is definitely the chambered body, being a smaller guy the lighter weight is awesome, and epi Special II felt like an elephant after playin this everyday. All of these features I found after I already bought it though, I'll admit I wanted it strictly on the sweet sunburst quilted top, gorgeous guitar in my opinion.