Les Paul Ultra II review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.6 (62 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Ultra II

Price paid: £ 549

Purchased from: Guitar Guitar

Sound — 7
This guitar suits my music style and playing style perfecty as it can handle distorted and clean sounds and there is no buzzing when the guitar is being played. It is alos built like a tank. I have dropped it three times and there is only a small scrath to show for it. The styock pickups are very good, but if you are looking for something with alot of punch, it would be worth switching out the bridge pickup for an EMG or Seymour Duncan. I run it through a Line6 spider III 150, and it copes very well with the amp models and amp effects. I also use DS-1 pedal, and it can handle any level of distortion the pedal gives. However, there can be terrible feedback if you stand too close to the amp. And the neck pickup seems abit weak to me.

Overall Impression — 9
My overall impression is one of awe. The guitar is beautiful and as I have already said, it is solid. 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, but I will be putting EMG'S on the next one. I love the finish, it's just gorgeous.

Reliability & Durability — 8
As said before, this guitar is built like a tank. The hardware seems like it will last as long as an age. The strap buttons are very well designed and there is really no need to fit proper strap locks. I would recommend the plastic 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 — 7
From the factory, the guitar was set up perfectly. The intonation was amazing, the action was set at just the right height and the pickups were almost correct. A few mm too low, but that was easily sorted. Everything was routed properly. The finsh was flawless, and it is beautiful. The wood quality is great and the mahogany gives a great tone. Everything was cut to perfection but one of the frets were slightly oxidised. I sorted it with a bit of polish, but I would have rather not have done.

Features — 8
This Guitar was made in Korea and it 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. The bridge pickup also sounds clear and defined with distortion. 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. Just underneath the battery compartment, there are three controls, Treble, Bass and Gain. These controls control the tone of the Nanomag pickup. The controls on the fron of the guitar consit's of 2 volume controls and a master tone. There is also a master volume for the Nanomag. You can tell the difference as the numbers on the knob are different. The Tune-o-matic bridge keeps everything in tune and the grover machine heads are first class. The only problem I have with this guitar is the fact that it does not come with a case and I had to shell out 75 for a Hiscox one.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the nanomag isnt really "acoustic" sounding, certainly nothing like a piezo. You get some interesting possibilities when you run it with 2 cables, humbuckers to your amp and the nano into the PA. When combined thru one cable into a guitar amp it sounds weird - just gets unnecessarily bright - so it's not very useful. For Epi it's an OK Les Paul, decent quality for the price, but the toggle switch was faulty and a few other electronic quality control annoyances. Top looks really nice...
    I've had this guitar for a year now and I'm enjoying it. I switched the pups for some Dave Mustaine Livewires and they have really made a difference. The stock pups are good but the Livewires are much better. The guitar plays very nice. The Nanomag is kinda weak though. If your running it by itself in stereo, you really have to have it turned up. But with some tweaking you can get a decent acoustic sound out of it, just not very loud. It blends well with the Livewires.