Les Paul Ultra III review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.1 (28 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Ultra III

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
My preference is bluesy rock, it suits the genre well with the right Rig. I use a Marshall, Boss GT6. The probucker are different, definitely not burstbucker quality but their own. The combo of the Nano and Neck pickup gives you a sound that you can't get with just splitting the neck and bridge pups, its got a syrupy thick twang. The Bridge and Nano are just entirely to treble happy when combined. One thing is for certain, to get the most from this guitar you Need two amps. The mono (2 in 1) jack is a far cry from its stereo potential. It's night and day.

Overall Impression — 7
Overall, I paid 450. It's worth that or a little more. If I lost it I'd be pissed that I was out 450. I'd get another if the price was right. Pros: good sound minus the buzz... Very wide sound range, beautiful finish even for China, cool technology, holds a tune great. Con's: made in China, electronics are always eventually going to fail. And the fret buzz can be a nuisance. If you're a perfectionist move on to a tribute or better. If you can handle some imperfections this may just be the guitar for you...

Reliability & Durability — 7
Would I gig with it. Ummmm yup, would I have a backup, damn right. That's a must idc if you're sporting a 59' Gibson that Les himself handcrafted and flew down from guitar heaven to give you. Bottom line $h!T happens. Always have a backup. Especially with anything electronic, and this guitar is essentially that.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Alas the brass tacks. Mother effing fret buzz... yes mine has it. Is it annoying, yup! I've heard its the Nano magnet that causes it because its such a powerful magnet that's seated on the fretboard very close to the strings. Who knows... But! For some mystical reason when I ran two amps it cannot be heard. I'm not sure why, and this wasn't because I masked it with insane distortion. The neck is satin, you slide down the neck like baby oil on a slip and slide. Great feature! The finish is Heritage cherry, and gorgeous. AAA flamed maple is fine! The tuners hold a tune well, and the electronic tuner is vivid and accurate.

Features — 6
2011, Chinese model. You can get the specs online.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Seriously with the fret buzz people? I have played 3 of these now and bought one. The only fret buzz that exists is in your Gibson biased minds. This guitar is extremely well made and functional. Only one tone knob, but that doesn't really matter because you can achieve every tone your looking for and more. The nano-pickup is clean, but could use more bass. The probuckers offer great distortion and combined with the nano-acoustic pickup offer a more punchier sound that is even more distinct than a single-coil sounds. The neck is absolutely perfect!
    I know it has been said above that these are very versatile, but does anybody have CONSTRUCTIVE feedback on how good it sounds for many types of metal, as that is basically what I play? I may want one of these in the future, just wondering what others thought...
    @ metallic..... Actually if you combine the nano and the probuckers on the mono ( one amp ) you get a high gain sound , depending on your amp it may be good enough for some metallica type metal , if your looking for a really hot sound well .... The probuckers are epis version of Gibson probuckers , more tuned toward jazz, and rock sounds . Imo true metal has to have a very hot pup , probably active . But w processors now you can get a metal sound from a esteban guitar.... Jk . The only way to really know is to test it yourself .
    I own it and it is an absolute fabulous guitar. I don't use the acoustic pickup much though but maybe lots of others do. I love the built in tuner, it even silences the output when your tuning. Overall it is an awesome guitar!
    Is it ok for progressive and alternative stuff??? I have ordered one and am very curious about it's distortion output because I play in drop D.