Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.2 Good
  • Users' score: 8.8 (385 votes)
Epiphone: Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom
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Price paid: $ 799

Purchased from: Local music shop

Sound — 7
Considering the price, I am disappointed in the sound. Les Pauls are very warm, rich sounding guitars, but with the maple neck, it brightens it. The pickups aren't terrible, but they aren't very good, but the pickups in the normal Epiphone Les Paul Custom aren't great either, so no big deal there. The regular Epiphone Les Paul Custom is warmer and thicker tone due to a mahogany neck, and the sound is much more powerful. I would go with a regular Les Paul Custom. If you like the slightly brighter tone, get a Les Paul Plain Top or an SG, either one would be cheaper and more comfortable, and the neck and cutaways on the SG are wonderful. If you're going for an absolute beast, try the Epiphone Les Paul Custom Prophecy. Satin finish slim taper neck, active EMGs, 24 frets, it looks, feels, plays, and sounds much better.

Overall Impression — 6
If this thing were stolen, I wouldn't buy it again. The style is appealing at first, but do yourself a favor and look at other guitars in this price range, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Custom Prophecy. People say this is close to the Gibson. If it is, it is a sad day for Gibson. I have a Gibson Les Paul Classic and it blows this thing out of the water by a LOOONG shot. My white Epiphone Les Paul Custom sounds much better and was cheaper. Just buy one of those and put a Bull's-eye sticker on it (tgey really make them), and you have a better guitar for less money. I know it looks cool, but be smart and look around. For this much money you can get donething nicer.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Okay, one of the things I do like about it its it is tough, I would gig with it without a backup, but the only thing that is more durable than a regular Les Paul Custom is the sticker won't get scratched as bad as a paint job.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
For this price range, I expected more. It is really durable, that's the only thing, but pretty much any Les Paul in this price range will be. I know I didn't get a bad one because I have played several, and they just are not as nice as other guitars for this price. If you really want it, get it set up, and please set side a few hundred bucks for better pickups, a graphite nut, graphite saddles for the bridge, that sort of stuff. Don't get me wrong, theyre not bad, theyre just not great. They're okay. For this price, it didn't impress me. Oh, and some people think that playing this Wylde design will make you look like a wannabe.

Features — 7
Okay, for details of the features, just look at other reviews or a description on a website like musiciansfriend.com. Know that the bull's-eye design is not a paint job, it's a sticker, and you can tell. It looks fake and plastic-like. I think it looks cheap, but it is durable. The unfinished maple neck really changes the feel and sound, you really have to decide if that's what you want. It may feel cool at first, but be warned, it brightens your tone. I used to think it felt cool, but now I think it feels cheap. I REALLY wish it was a 60s slim neck, it would have made a world of difference for speed, comfort, and overall feel.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TomGale
    FlipstaGIB wrote: This is my first guitar but by no means am I inexperienced.I got the black and Orange (Buzzsaw) and was very impressed with the sound it could produce, but I was let down by the build of the guitar. The guitar is extremely cheaply built. Fret buzz because of the flatness of the neck, the nut and action are way too high. The neck is meant to be set, when mine had glue or varnish oozing out. Also the neck is meant to be unfinished. One of my actual fretts had glue oozing from the side of it. I purchased this guitar from a shop which purchased it from Epiphone. If you want a reliable guitar that has both the build and structure, then go for a Gibson- Its worth the price difference.
    Sounds like someone got played lol... never seen an epiphone that bad... but the fret buzz and flatness of neck can easily be fixed by adjusting the truss rod which all guitars have and need. The neck is probably quite a give away that it's probably fake.
    arjanboelsma
    As of January 2011 this comes with active EMG's (81/85) and a ebony fingerboard. Might make this guitar even more interesting!
    TomGale
    I have the 2011 version ... and it's epic... so much better than previous versions... I have submitted a review of the 2011 version on here, it should be up in a day or two. The ebony fingerboard is great, but I'm struggling to find strings that go well with the EMG's, the Ernie Ball Regular (10's) I have at the moment don't mix well with my Marshall MG30FX or the EMG's... What strings does Zakk use?
    TomGale
    arjanboelsma wrote: As of January 2011 this comes with active EMG's (81/85) and a ebony fingerboard. Might make this guitar even more interesting!
    I have the 2011 version... and it's epic... so much better than previous versions... I have submitted a review of the 2011 version on here, it should be up in a day or two. The ebony fingerboard is great... extremely smooth, fast and comfortable... amazing what a decent piece of wood can do
    Kingkilla
    To be clear: I just played one through my Mesa Mark V combo, and my amp loved it!!! Big diff between Epi model and CS version: treat yourselves w/ good high-end equipment and the sound is merrily clear...enough to consider trading in a Martin and a Jackson Rhoads for one!!!! Trust me!!!!!
    mikepataki
    TomGale wrote: FlipstaGIB wrote: This is my first guitar but by no means am I inexperienced.I got the black and Orange (Buzzsaw) and was very impressed with the sound it could produce, but I was let down by the build of the guitar. The guitar is extremely cheaply built. Fret buzz because of the flatness of the neck, the nut and action are way too high. The neck is meant to be set, when mine had glue or varnish oozing out. Also the neck is meant to be unfinished. One of my actual fretts had glue oozing from the side of it. I purchased this guitar from a shop which purchased it from Epiphone. If you want a reliable guitar that has both the build and structure, then go for a Gibson- Its worth the price difference. Sounds like someone got played lol... never seen an epiphone that bad... but the fret buzz and flatness of neck can easily be fixed by adjusting the truss rod which all guitars have and need. The neck is probably quite a give away that it's probably fake.
    you may have a fake on ur hands...
    mikepataki
    I bought a used one today at guitar center for $500...but I wouldn't pay anymore then that for this guitar! The fit and finish are very tight though!!! it's looks pretty sick too; but not worth the reg retail price of $799...I rate this zakk wylde a 7 on a scale of one to 10; good soild axe for most players!