Price paid: $ 948
Purchased from: Major/Minor Music
Sound — 10
My music style is mostly Metal(I grew-up, sorta, in the day of the shredder). but I do alot of Blues and Jazz stuff, and some new metal. Amp wise I run it in to a CarvinX-50B tube head (slightly modified)and a Carvin 4X12 cab with Emenice speakers. The set-up I run has lot's of head room in the sound because I use to use a ART-SGE processer (until it died). Now I just run a Zakk wylde Overdrive and the Zakk Wylde Wah. And if your a Zakk fan like me (I've followed his carer since he joined Ozzy when he was 19). This set up gets me about as close as I'm going to get to his sound. This guitar in it's pressent state will do just about any sound you want. I have a beautiful clean sound, but I mostly have it set for kill(Overdrive, & lot's of it). This thing sounds like a monster. It still dosen't sound qite as good as the Gibson version I tryed but for the money ya can't compare the two like that, but it's darn'close! For an idea of my amp setting Press. 4 bass10, mids1, trebble6 and thers also a 18 db gain curcit on the lead channel, and a 5 band active EQ.
Overall Impression — 10
My main style of music would have to be metal/blues, it's a great match for what I play, I've been playing for about 16 years with no breaks inbetween, even when part of my thumb was cut off I still played guitar two days latter (and yes it hurt). It's hard to play when part of the thumb you use to hold the pick is missing. Anyway my other guitars are a Kramer Nightswan cerca 1989. hand made in the USA Mahogany body, Ebony fret board, rock Maple neck. It has a Seymour Duncan Heavy metal live wire pick up in the bridge & a Jeff Beck in the neck position, the live wire is not for the weak at heart, this thing does not have a clean sound. It's an active 18 volt pick up. The Jeff Beck is passive and does the clean to mean. The other guitar is a Hamer Californian hand made (old style, when Hamer did not make a cheep guitar). Again Ebony fret board, rock Maple neck. Pick ups are also Seymour Duncan, but both are passive, in the bridge theres a Trembucker & a little 59'er in the neck. I would have to say that if the Epiphone were to have something happen to it, Yes I would buy another, it's awsome bang for the buck. As for comaring to other guitars, you bet I did! I wasent even looking for a new guitar when I bought this one it just blew me away that much I had to get it. I was supost to be helpping my friend buy his first guitar (and guess what he bought). So we both walked out with one. I really don't want to say the long list of others I've tryed before it (that's a long list)and it's kind of like name calling, but yes there is a lot of junk on the market today. My Kramer I'v had for 16 years & the Hamer I've had close to 10 years, and buy the way I'v barrley touched my other guitars since buying my Epiphone, It's built to bash and sound awsome. I usally prefer a Ebony fret board (because ther much faster) but like I've said before this Epiphone is an exception to the rules. It's kind'a hard to rate this fairly, if your talking bang for the buck it's a 5. But if your comparing it to it's Gibson counterpart (kind'a un fair), I'd have to say a 4 would be about right. I just don't think it's fair to compare a $6000 guitar to a $1200 guitar. You could not touch a guitar like this Ten years ago for that kind of money. All I can say is if ya try it you'l most likley like it and or buy it. Remember you can always change the pickups. I can say that a friend of mine bought an ESP Gibson copy and payed twice the price I did and he has the same EMG pick ups and we both played through my Amp, and I gota say I think the Epiphone did more than hold it's owne, it plane smoked the ESP, keep in mind the ESP was much more money (he spent 2200) that's pretty impressive to me.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Like I said before this thin will withstand anything you can dish out. As for live playing I'v seen and talked to people using them live and they say no prob's yet. I can't see my bridge lastting a long time I'm trying to see if a original Gibson one will fit (there much better). As for the strap buttons, ther on there pretty good, I'v only tightened them once in a years time. Like I said I'm pretty hard on my Axes, I like that used look. I'v been beating this guitar for the past year and there is no wear what so ever on this thing and beleve me I thrath this thing good.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Factory set up was alright but a little high for my taste, so I lowered it and I also run the strings backwards through the stop tail bar, the same way Zakk does. For the strings I use the the Gibson pure nickel 10 gauge, there a pretty fat sounding string and there easyer on your frets. The pick ups are pretty close to the strings( a little rubbing never hurt anyone). The reason for rapping the strings around the stop bar is it's an old timers trick to get a little more sustaine and it also gives the strings a slinky feel (real nice). One other thing that was dissapointing was the bridge hardware oxidized pretty bad, but that could just be my playing, I'm fairly rough with it. I can't say too much about the electronics, seen I gutted them right away.
Features — 8
This guitar that I have was purchased at the end of 2004, it was one of the first purchased in the city. I belive this is a Koren made guitar, 22 fret/24. 75 scale. It has some fare size frets with a Rosewood fretboard and laminated top, Mahogany body. This little master piece has the Bullseye finish. These finishs are stickers not paint, but don't let that fool-ya this is a solid butt kicking grinder. It has the fixed Bridge and passive electronics, well not any more for my self, I opted for the matching EMG Zakk Wylde active set. The passive EMG hz's are great for someone new to playing, but I'v been playing for close to 16 years. And I can say I'v had a few guitars in that time, and still have a Kramer Nightswan and a Hamer Californian. Both of them are strait shreding axes. So this guitar is quite a departure for me. The EMG's that I put in are wired fore 18 volt not 9v this gives more headroom sound wise. The finish is a little disapointing in that, there is way too much clear coat on this and you can see the stickers seems. I'm a little pickey on this because all my other guitars have been American hand made customs(dollar wise between 2400. to 2800. So you can see there is big difference in detail. But the finish would probably survive a Nucular blast(I think that's the point).