Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7 Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 07/01/2016 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7
Epiphone and Trivium's Matt Heafy present the the Ltd. Ed. Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7 seven-string, a new and totally killer original take on the world famous Les Paul.
 Features: 9.3
 Sound: 7.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.7
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reviews (3) pictures (3) 33 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.2
Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7 Reviewed by: tonello, on november 18, 2015
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Milano Music Center

Features: My guitar was built in Indonesia in January of 2013 and has the typical Epiphone Les Paul features: 2 pickups, a three way toggle switch, 22 frets, two volume and two tone controls, and a tune-o-matic/stop bar combo. Some atypical Epiphone features include an ebony fretboard, EMG pickups, and a killswitch on the neck tone pot. The mahogany body and neck and painted black gloss and the hardware is also black. It's a lot like looking at a guitar dressed like a high school goth. It would have been cool for Epiphone to offer this in different colors (maybe a silverburst?) but at the price point, there's not a whole lot to complain about. Because of the better than average features, I give this an 8 out of 10. // 8

Sound: Let me start this part off by saying I am a huge fan of Seymour Duncan pickups. I am an active member of the SD forum and all of my other guitars have SD pups in them. The 81-7 bridge pickup sounds a lot better than I expected. It's cutting and sounds nice with a good grit to it. It pushes my amp a bit harder, so I rolled back on the gain and when I did, the guitar really opened up. The 81-7 ended up being a much better pickup than I thought it would. It is a little noisy, but a slight turn of the noise gate and the hum was killed quicker than my hopes and dreams.

The neck pickup is a much different story though. I usually find the 85 to be a pretty lifeless pickup, and the 707 was no different. I like to use the tone knobs a lot and I wish that rolling the tone back on this guitar would change the sound at all, but it doesn't really. At least not in my opinion.  I told myself when I bought this that new pickups would probably be in order. After hearing the neck pickup, a new set is definitely in order. As I use the neck pickup a lot, hearing it so dull really disappointed me. I give the guitar a 5 out of 10 for sound, and do so despite my liking the 81. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was setup beautifully. I even restrung it and found that the neck needed no adjustment as it is. The action is great for me. I like it just a little bit higher than normal and the guitar was setup the way I like it or damn near close. My guitar in particular is a factory second which means that it has a slight cosmetic flaw, in this case, a small crack in the finish near the base of the neck. However, the crack is so small that even though I knew it was there, I couldn't find it at first. I give this a 9 out of 10 for action because of the great setup. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I just received this guitar several days ago and have yet to play it out live. I did notice that the strap buttons, while solidly attached to the guitar, were a bit loose when it came to holding the actual strap. A stop at the local hardware store for some rubber washers fixed that easily, but if you plan on doing any guitar spins (I can't imagine why you would), straplocks are needed. When I start gigging with this, it will most likely be without a backup, because I don't have the cash to get a new seven string anymore. I'm okay with that though. I have a ton of confidence in this guitar and if at such a time that the guitar does fail on me, I will change my review accordingly.

The finish seems pretty durable. Even in the crack, the finish isn't chipping away easily. However, I really hope it doesn't stay pristine forever. I think a guitar that shows off it's wear looks a million times cooler than a guitar that's been kept in perfect condition. I rate this a tentative 7, due to being unsure about the reliability so far. // 7

Overall Impression: I'd rate this an overall 7 out of 10 for two reasons:

1. The guitar is a dream to play. The neck doesn't feel insanely wide, like extended range guitars can, and the action is absolutely perfect.

2. Sound is where it loses some points for me. Despite the fact that I said I knew I was going to have to change pickups at some point, the fact that the change is now more immediate than I had thought kind of bothers me. The bridge pickup would be fine, but I use the neck pickup a lot for leads and cleans and hearing it be so flat sounding is a huge letdown. I expect a set of SD Blackouts in here soon

Once again, if you're looking for a seven-string and your main experiences are with shredder guitars, keep looking. The neck will feel huge and the action will probably a bit too high for you. If you are a Gibson or Epiphone player and you want to start playing seven-string guitars, you will probably love this. // 7

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overall: 9.8
Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7 Reviewed by: sunawaker, on november 06, 2015
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 500

Purchased from: Smusic


  • Body: mahogany
  • Top: plain maple veneer
  • Neck: mahogany
  • Neck Profile: 1960's SlimTaper; D profile
  • Neck Joint: glued in at deep-set neck joint with "Axcess" heel
  • Truss Rod: adjustable
  • Truss Rod Cover: 2-ply (black/white); "MKH Les Paul Custom" in white
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • Fingerboard inlay: pearloid block inlays
  • Radius: 12"
  • Frets: 22 medium jumbo
  • Scale Length: 24.75"
  • Nut width: 1 7/8"
  • Binding: Body Top - 7 ply (white/black), Headstock - 5 ply (white/black), Fingerboard - 1 ply (white)
  • Pickups: EMG-707 (neck), EMG-81-7 (bridge) (pickups are powered by a 9 volt battery accessible on the back of guitar)
  • Controls: Black Speed Knobsneck volume, neck tone w/KillPot, bridge volume, bridge tone
  • Bridge: Tune-o-matic-7/Stopbar
  • Output Jack: heavy duty Epiphone 1/4" non-rotating
  • Machine Heads: deluxe die-cast with black metal tulip buttons 14:1
  • Color: ebony (gloss)
  • Typical Weight (+/- 5%): 9.7 lbs
  • Strings: D'Addario 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46, 56
// 10

Sound: Perfect for progressive djent music. We are a dark metal band from Venice, Italy with extreme prog influences that bland together electronic and complex metal patterns. I use Randall 200w Combo and POD HD500X, sound very clear and polite... With a big range of frequency. Perfect for heavy distortion and synth sounds, I've connected to the guitar an extra midi pick up for use an external synth and some VST plugins. And the guitar is perfect with his different range of options on the pick up select. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: No flaws and the fabric sets were perfect when I buy it! The pick up are extremely good very aggressive and the same time full of harmonics and the bass sounds are very full of frequencies. The black hardware is so shinny and is still perfect after I very abused of it on the stages. The guitar rarely loose their tunes also if hit the strings with volence and this is quite good when I mix the sound with the midi synth device! All the materials in the guitar is superior for the Epiphone Standard I give the highest vote for this guitar. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Great durability and performance during the last 2 years and live is perfect suit for my exigences. Designed in close collaboration with Matt Heafy, each Ltd. Ed. Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom reflects Heafy's distinctive approach to guitar, which has earned him and Trivium scores of dedicated fans around the world. The sound and performance is still good laso using different type of amplifier and effects. The scale length is 24. 75" and the ebony fingerboard has a 12" radius and 22 medium jumbo frets and features pearloid block inlays, which seem to practically glow in the dark against the Ebony finish. // 10

Overall Impression: Dark progressive music, with djent and extreme metal influences, I play from over 20 years, I have Cort 7 Extreme Evil and a Shecther Omen 8 strings guitar. For sure I suggest this guitar to everybody who loves 7 strings guitar and I would rebuy it if it was roberred. Is extremly light and powerfull and very easy to play. I've tried also a ESP Eclipse 407 but it was very heavy and the sound was too sharp. This seven-string is a breakthrough in contemporary metal and hard rock sound. And I f you think that is a limited edition guitar I suggest you to search for it and make it yours! // 10

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overall: 9
Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7 Reviewed by: brycebomb1311, on july 01, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Second Hand

Features: Body: mahogany
Top: plain maple veneer
Neck: mahogany
Neck Profile: 1960's SlimTaper; D profile
Neck Joint: glued in at deep-set neck joint with "Axcess" heel
Truss Rod: adjustable
Truss Rod Cover: 2-ply (black/white); "MKH Les Paul Custom" in white
Fingerboard: ebony
Fingerboard inlay: pearloid block inlays
Radius: 12"
Frets: 22 medium jumbo
Scale Length: 24.75"
Nut width: 1 7/8"
Binding: Body Top - 7 ply (white/black), Headstock - 5 ply (white/black), Fingerboard - 1 ply (white)
Pickups: EMG-707 (neck), EMG-81-7 (bridge) (pickups are powered by a 9 volt battery accessible on the back of guitar)
Controls: Black Speed Knobs: neck volume, neck tone w/KillPot, bridge volume, bridge tone
Bridge: Tune-o-matic-7/Stopbar
Output Jack: heavy duty Epiphone 1/4" non-rotating
Machine Heads: deluxe die-cast with black metal tulip buttons 14:1
Color: ebony (gloss)
Typical Weight (+/- 5%): 9.7 lbs
Strings: D'Addario 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46, 56

Came shipped from previous owner in an excellent SKB Hardcase // 10

Sound: I play anything from classic "dad-rock" to modern deathcore/hardcore and this fits it awesomely. Usually, I keep it in standard or at least drop B, but if I were to tune lower, I'd probably put a thicker gauge string on (but I don't need to tune lower because I also play an 8 string). I play it through a Line 6 POD HD500 and they complement each other very well, although I haven't played it through a "real" amp yet. The only gripe I have for it is that the Killpot does not always work, but I rarely use it, so it doesn't bother me much. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I didn't receive it from the factory, but the setup on arrival from the owner before me was stupendous. The pickups were adjusted to what I would set them at, but (being on of the only things wrong with the guitar on arrival, the other I'll get to in a second) the pickup screws were/are stripped, so I can't really adjust them even if I wanted to unless I replaced them. The other flaw that this had when it arrived to me was a hairline finish crack near the neck heel, which doesn't affect playing at all. // 9

Reliability & Durability: If I were to play out, I would absolutely use this in that situation. It seems like it would hold up to the task very well. I replaced the strap buttons with Dunlop strap locks, but the stock buttons seemed to do their job. Then only thing that I would be worried about in a live situation would be my dumbass-self forgetting to unplug it and it running out of battery, but that is why I keep a spare battery! The finish seems pretty durable. Even in the crack, the finish isn't chipping away easily. I personally think that a guitar that shows it's age looks a hell of a lot cooler than a guitar that's been kept in perfect condition. // 8

Overall Impression: As I said earlier, I play anything from classic "dad-rock" to modern deathcore/hardcore, meaning that I know a lot of covers, but prefer to write on the the heavier side, which this thing is great for. I've been playing for about 6 years, seriously for probably about 4 1/2, and I've had TONS of gear over the years, but this is one of the best instruments I've personally ever played. I currently have an out of commission MIJ Fender Strat that is my main 6 string, but I would definitely play an entire show with this 7-string. I have actually been interested in purchasing one since Epiphone released them, so I would buy another one if it ever got stolen. I absolutely love the traditional "Les Paul" feel about this, and the Axcess Heel really makes me love it more. I feel like I wouldn't like it as much if it had the more traditional, bolt-on neck joint, but that's also my opinion. I also thing the Ebony fingerboard looks absolutely stellar on this particular guitar. Usually, I'm a maple fretboard guy, but this is sooo pretty. I do wish I had locking tuners, but that's a mod I can make myself. // 9

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