Price paid: $ 320
Purchased from: Sam Ash Music
Sound — 7
I've only played for 1 year and this is the only guitar I've owned but I've played others at stores including Gibsons. I usually play hard rock/heavy metal like AC/DC, KISS, and Led Zeppelin. This guitar is perfect for the genre and the treble pickup, which I use most of the time, is amazing. It's almost as good as a Gibson. The rhythm pickup should ONLY be used on clean and gets muddy while distorted. Everything distorted sounds better with the treble pickup, even stuff meant to be played on the rhythm pickup. But it is still good for playing clean. Though I usually play hard rock I still dabble in other genres and this SG definitely adapts and is great for slow blues. The only other problems with the sound are very high up the fret board, the 6th string buzzes and the 1st and 2nd strings are sometimes muted. I have tried adjusting the Bridge to no avail. Maybe it's just the way I'm playing? Somewhat doubt it. I still give it a 7 because the treble pickup is so sweet. I usually play on a Line 6 Spider IV 15 amp.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar definitely fits my needs and handles my music excellently. It is as good or better then all other Epiphones in most areas. It looks very close to a Gibson besides the Epiphone logo on the headstock. For 1/4 of the price of a Gibson it is almost 3/4 the sound. I am very happy with this guitar despite it's bugs, which I hope I have stamped out. The only reason I would stop using this guitar is to upgrade to a Gibson. If it were stolen, and I didn't have the money to buy a Gibson, I would definitely buy this again.
Reliability & Durability — 5
In the year I've owned it, I've banged it into my bed's headboard numerous times but only has 1 small dent only noticeable by running your finger across it. I've read other reviews where nothing happens to their guitar ever. Mine's had some issues, all under warranty, like my treble pickup randomly stopped working, and one of the tone knobs kept turning and turning without stopping. Also the included cord blew out after 7 or 8 months but I guess that was expected. All of these mishaps, except the cord, were easily solved at Sam Ash. By the way, these were real problems and not just me not realizing something or being dumb because I was a beginner. Lastly, the strap buttons SUCK and they fail every minute and a half. But, I easily fixed this with straplocks. The finish hasn't changed a bit since I got it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I bought this guitar I didn't play it first, first because this wasn't the one on the wall (I played the one on the wall, probably should have played this one too) and also because I couldn't play guitar. Someone at Sam Ash set it up and it sounded great except the action was slightly low, causing some buzzing. My finish was in cherry and it was either 1 piece of mahogany or perfectly bookmatched. The finish was shiny, awesome, and made me feel like I owned a SG worth $5, 000! (A Les Paul's cherry sunburst finish still beats it, but that's it).
Features — 8
Here are some specs listed on the Epiphone website: - Body Material: Mahogany - Neck Material: Mahogany - Neck Shape: SlimTaper(TM) - Neck Joint: Glued-In, Set Neck - Scale Length:24.75" - Fingerboard Material:Rosewood - Fingerboard Radius: 12" - Nut Width: 1.68" - Hardware: Chrome - Machine Heads: Grover 14:1 Ratio - Neck Pickup:Alnico Classic (TM) Humbucker - Bridge Pickup: Alnico Classic Plus (TM) Humbucker - Controls: 1-Neck Volume, 1-Neck Tone. 1Bridge Volume, 1-Bridge Tone - Pickup Selector: 3-Way Toggle Switch, Epiphone All-Metal - Bridge: LockTone(TM) Tune-o-matic - Tailpiece: LockTone(TM) Stopbar - Warranty: Epiphone Limited Lifetime - Picture: http://epiphone.com/news.asp?NewsID=2023 - Cable and Owner's manual included. In addition, available in Heritage cherry and ebony finishes, and has 22 frets. The tuners are Grover locking tuners and I have played with the guitar for days and it RARELY goes out of tune, however a few times while tuning down, the 1st string snapped.