Les Paul Ultra II review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.6 (62 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Ultra II
0

Price paid: £ 549

Purchased from: Guitar Guitar

Sound — 10
The sound is brilliant. With the addition of the nano mag pickup, this guitar can cover all tonal areas with ease. I run it through a Line6 Spider III 150 and it copes extremely well with all the effects and amp models. The feedback can be horrendous if the amp model is set on insane while you're standing close to it, though.

Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression is one of awe. The guitar is beautiful and as I have already said, it is solid. The pickups are very good and will not need replacing. The nanomag works wonders. I run this with a 65 reissue Mustang, and between them, any type of music is possible. Although the les paul could manage blues- jazz- rock- metal. Anything. I would deffinetly buy this again, and I plan to. I will use the next one as a second guitar on stage and probably put heavy gauge strings on it and keep it in drop C# tuning. I love the finish, it's just gorgeous. The only thing I dislike is the fact it dosnt come with a hard case. Still, I had no objectios to shelling out on a Hiscox case for it (75) as they are very well made, solid and have a generous sized compartment for picks/straps/tuners ect.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is built like a tank. I have dropped it three times and there isn't a dent to be seen. The hardware seems like it will last as long an age. The strap buttons are very well designed and there is really no need to fit proper strap locks. I would recommend the plastick clips that go over the strap though for added safety. I would use this guitar without a backup. It is very reliable and well built.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I got the guitar, the action was perfect. However, the bridge pickup was far too low, but that is just a minor thing. Intonation was perfect, strings fitted the nut, the wood was flawless and the neck was perfectly set. There isn't much else you can ask for. The nanomag even came with a battery.

Features — 10
This Guitar was made in Korea and it has a smooth and boasts an impressive slim-taper, 12" radius neck with 22 frets. The quilt top finish is a beautiful sunburst with no flaws at all. The chambered body makes this guitar light and a perfect candidate for long Live sets or jam sessions. The Alnico classic plus humbuckers are passive and have a great sound. But the true gem of this guitar is hidden in the neck. The shadow nanomag Acoustic pickup. This is active and needs a 9-volt battery in order to work. The sound is just like an electro Acoustic, and I use it for all my clean tones. The controls are split. Two are for the humbuckers, while two are for the nanomag. However, the volume and tone pots Switch depending on what pickup you are using. For example, if you are using the treble pickup in the bridge position, the volume is closest to the floor while the tone is closest to you. This is reversed if you are using both pickups or the neck pickup. The grover tuners are high quality and hold tune very well.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    k0r105
    i'm sure this guitar is very nice, but imho it doesn't help a potential buyer if a review has all 10s unless this is the greatest guitar known to mankind
    acade365
    thrash-it-up wrote: eastern_riffs wrote: i've played this guitar quite a few times, and while I like how it plays, I always found it to be overpriced for the kind of electronics it has. it's got an alright tone, but I found it lacking the 'warmth' that some of the other Epiphone Les Pauls, like the Custom, have.this would be decent with some nice seymour duncans or even EMGs, and it would double the guitar's value in terms of sound if you changed the stock PuPs. it's also funny how guys in UK, like the reviewer,pay around $1100 for a guitar you can get for $600 online. in england the cheapest you can get that guitar is the price he says! ive spent quite a while looking for them, epiphone have been really gay and are charging stores ridiculous money to be epiphone dealers, so the stores have had to put up the price of epis to compensate for epiphones douchebagery
    expensive=gay ???
    Jet_Black88
    nikh158 wrote: I`ve owned one of these for about a year. I bought it thinking, mistakenly that I could easily switch between the acoustic and distorted pickups.If you use one amp, this involves both flicking the pickup switch and turning the volume pot down at the same time, or connecting two amps up to a footswitch. In fact it`s quite difficult to find a suitable double A/B switch which allows you to do this. In the end I found a Behringer footswitch which worked, but meant having to press both switches at the same, to achieve the desired effect. And it broke after a week. As for the guitar itself: The build quality is OK, but things break easily.It looks great and sounds fine for the money. Played through my cheap Crafter acoustic amp, it`s nice and bright, although there`s a little too much bass, even with the bass turned down on the guitar. It`s worth 10 for the idea and probably 7 for the execution.
    It's not that hard to use the A/B switch to go into the amp. I use a DOD ab box, and it does the job. You can go into one amplifier, even. Also, I've never played this guitar through an acoustic amp, but with the bass turned all the way down on an electric amp, the acoustic guitar will get REALLY bright, almost too bright.
    jannick
    thewickerman512 : againsteternity wrote: It's an epiphone it can't be all tens lol Dude, a nice Epiphone plays better than a newer Gibson, as of late, the necks absolutely suck on the Gibsons, and the construction's not that much different from an Epi unless you buy a VOS.
    Ofcourse nothing really match's the empire og Gibson. But in the Epiphone les paul department, you're better of with a Vintage... A little better body and much better pick-ups. mostly.
    nikh158
    I`ve owned one of these for about a year. I bought it thinking, mistakenly that I could easily switch between the acoustic and distorted pickups.If you use one amp, this involves both flicking the pickup switch and turning the volume pot down at the same time, or connecting two amps up to a footswitch. In fact it`s quite difficult to find a suitable double A/B switch which allows you to do this. In the end I found a Behringer footswitch which worked, but meant having to press both switches at the same, to achieve the desired effect. And it broke after a week. As for the guitar itself: The build quality is OK, but things break easily.It looks great and sounds fine for the money. Played through my cheap Crafter acoustic amp, it`s nice and bright, although there`s a little too much bass, even with the bass turned down on the guitar. It`s worth 10 for the idea and probably 7 for the execution.
    eastern_riffs
    thewickerman512 wrote: againsteternity wrote: It's an epiphone it can't be all tens lol Dude, a nice Epiphone plays better than a newer Gibson, as of late, the necks absolutely suck on the Gibsons, and the construction's not that much different from an Epi unless you buy a VOS.
    Not really, unless you're comparing an $800 Epiphone to an $800 Gibson. There's a huge difference in tonality and sound clarity, and the warmth that Gibsons are known for. However, it's not completely for my style of music, and that's why I prefer to put EMGs on a Les Paul Custom.
    eastern_riffs
    jean_genie wrote: stratomaster123 wrote: Why is Epiphone charging ridiculous prices for guys in the UK and not so much here in the US? It's probably related to shipping. Epi (nee Gibson) has a crap store return/repair policy, and the Epi quality control is bad enough that a lot of them have to go back. I suspect that the inflated price overseas is the dealers padding their bottom line, in the very likely event that a guitar they sell needs to go back to the US (and to the UK again!) for servicing.
    it's not so much the shipping,its two things that cause this. I personally have never seen any Epiphone having the need to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair. They're usually well made (to their potential), contrary to popular belief. 1)the value of 1 GBP is not equivalent to $2 in the UK, although that is what exchange rates suggest. If that was the case, then you would get a loaf of bread for about 2 GBP, because its roughly $4 in North America. People don't exactly earn half of the US salaries in the UK, in terms of pounds. While the value of the pound seems to be double of the USD internationally, it isn't so in the UK. 2) Branding. Epiphone is an import brand for the UK. While the guitar itself is manufactured in Korea, it's done by a parent US company, which makes it exclusive to the English guitarist. There are also customs and duties on imports which make any internationally produced good more expensive in the UK, or wherever it's imported to.
    thewickerman512
    againsteternity wrote: It's an epiphone it can't be all tens lol
    Dude, a nice Epiphone plays better than a newer Gibson, as of late, the necks absolutely suck on the Gibsons, and the construction's not that much different from an Epi unless you buy a VOS.
    RockGamma3
    It's probably related to shipping. Epi (nee Gibson) has a crap store return/repair policy, and the Epi quality control is bad enough that a lot of them have to go back. I suspect that the inflated price overseas is the dealers padding their bottom line, in the very likely event that a guitar they sell needs to go back to the US (and to the UK again!) for servicing. Um, no epiphone is Korea. lol
    TromboneThunder
    Sounds like a pretty great guitar, from the review itself, although you really can't tell anything from a straight 10 list. Also, that is the grossest misspelling of "definitely" I have ever seen. lol. I mean, I can cope with "definatly" or the like, but "deffinetly"? lol Aside from that word, I want try out this guitar.
    jean_genie
    stratomaster123 wrote: Why is Epiphone charging ridiculous prices for guys in the UK and not so much here in the US?
    It's probably related to shipping. Epi (nee Gibson) has a crap store return/repair policy, and the Epi quality control is bad enough that a lot of them have to go back. I suspect that the inflated price overseas is the dealers padding their bottom line, in the very likely event that a guitar they sell needs to go back to the US (and to the UK again!) for servicing.
    SilverSpurs616
    k0r105 wrote: i'm sure this guitar is very nice, but imho it doesn't help a potential buyer if a review has all 10s unless this is the greatest guitar known to mankind
    Agreed. I'm always wary of an all-10's review, be it guitars or cat litter.
    jpk6044
    thrash-it-up wrote: eastern_riffs wrote: i've played this guitar quite a few times, and while I like how it plays, I always found it to be overpriced for the kind of electronics it has. it's got an alright tone, but I found it lacking the 'warmth' that some of the other Epiphone Les Pauls, like the Custom, have.this would be decent with some nice seymour duncans or even EMGs, and it would double the guitar's value in terms of sound if you changed the stock PuPs. it's also funny how guys in UK, like the reviewer,pay around $1100 for a guitar you can get for $600 online. in england the cheapest you can get that guitar is the price he says! ive spent quite a while looking for them, epiphone have been really gay and are charging stores ridiculous money to be epiphone dealers, so the stores have had to put up the price of epis to compensate for epiphones douchebagery
    $749 US right here: http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-E...
    thrash-it-up
    eastern_riffs wrote: i've played this guitar quite a few times, and while I like how it plays, I always found it to be overpriced for the kind of electronics it has. it's got an alright tone, but I found it lacking the 'warmth' that some of the other Epiphone Les Pauls, like the Custom, have.this would be decent with some nice seymour duncans or even EMGs, and it would double the guitar's value in terms of sound if you changed the stock PuPs. it's also funny how guys in UK, like the reviewer,pay around $1100 for a guitar you can get for $600 online.
    in england the cheapest you can get that guitar is the price he says! ive spent quite a while looking for them, epiphone have been really gay and are charging stores ridiculous money to be epiphone dealers, so the stores have had to put up the price of epis to compensate for epiphones douchebagery
    eastern_riffs
    i've played this guitar quite a few times, and while I like how it plays, I always found it to be overpriced for the kind of electronics it has. it's got an alright tone, but I found it lacking the 'warmth' that some of the other Epiphone Les Pauls, like the Custom, have.this would be decent with some nice seymour duncans or even EMGs, and it would double the guitar's value in terms of sound if you changed the stock PuPs. it's also funny how guys in UK, like the reviewer,pay around $1100 for a guitar you can get for $600 online.
    Josher.K
    >This Guitar was made in Korea and it has a smooth and boasts an impressive slim-taper, 12" radius neck with 22 frets. >Has a smooth what
    Jet_Black88
    I have this guitar. He actually got the controls of the guitar WRONG. Two of the knobs on the front are volume knobs for the humbuckers, in the same place as any other Gibson guitar. However, there's a "master" tone, and a "nanomag volume" as the other two knobs. To further tweak the nanomag sounds, there are three mini knobs on the back - bass, treble, and gain. I still need to try playing this guitar through a dirty channel using the acoustic pick up, but I'm pretty sure you can use the gain knob to vary the amount of distortion your acoustic pick up would get on the dirty channel...so you could play clean on the dirty channel. I'll verify this tomorrow, as I just received my amp. The bass and treble controls can be turned, and you can make the guitar sound like a bass, or a really bright acoustic. The tonal capabilities are impressive. ...I feel like I should write a review after reading this one.
    TJ the Gnome
    k0r 105 is right, but i would like to try out this guitar. anyone know where i can find one?
    J.J.G.
    just another all 10 guitar indeed. "The feedback can be horrendous"-rate it 10. lol?
    up4anything
    Average evaluation is 10! Hey pals, it's Epi not Gibson. These guitars have well made but can't compare with Gibson, so evaluation for all aspects near 10 is ... too much! Mentioned price is very close to LP Studio w/o case. BTW, all Epi have ugly peghead