Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 02/28/2007 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom
The Signature Les Paul features Wylde's trademark black and white bullseye graphics over an antique ivory finish and pearl block inlays on the fingerboard, mahogany body with a maple top, a raw, unfinished maple neck, gold hardware, EMG humbucking pickups (HZ H4) and tune-o-matic bridge.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 8.9
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overall: 7.8
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Featured review by: UG Team, on february 28, 2007
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Features: This solid-body electric is the brainchild of Ozzy/Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde, who has dominated the rock and metal scene for years with his "Alvin Lee on crack" Precision soloing style. His Les Paul is very traditional, with some stylistic touches that make it his own. The mahogany body has the familiar Les Paul shape with an arched top and seven-layer binding top and bottom. You'll either love the bullseye paint job or you'll hate it, and this guitar makes no apologies about it's looks. The hardware is gold throughout (even the truss rod cover - a nice touch), and features the Standard Tune-O-Matic bridge, stop tailpiece and sealed Grover tuners. The scale length is 24.75", just like any Les Paul. Pickups are two EMG-HZ passive humbuckers, and there is one volume and tone knob for each. Pickup switching is done with a three-way Switch. The hard rock maple neck is finished with clear satin rather than the glossy creme on the rest of the guitar, and the rosewood fretboard sports block inlays. // 8

Sound: True Zakk buffs will immediately want to ditch the pickups for a set of active EMGs, like what he has on his Gibsons. However, the EMG-HZs are an excellent alternative that also serve to keep the price down. The bridge pickup is fat and crisp, and the neck pickup is smooth and buttery. A wide range of rock, metal, or even bluesy tones are possible with this guitar. Country, funk, and jazz players stay away! The mahogany body and rosewood fretboard contribute to the warm Les Paul sound. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: My test model was set up very well, and I saw no flaws in the finish. I took a point off because the frets were not polished as well as they should have been, giving vibrato and bends a somewhat gritty feel. I was able to clean them up with some 0000 steel wool and a bit of elbow grease, but I don't feel I should have to put this kind of time into an $800 guitar. Other than that, playability was excellent. It responded well whether I really dug in for chunky rhythms or finessed it through leads. It's easy to see why the Les Paul has been such an enduring design. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Epiphone has stepped up their quality in recent years, and the current crop of Korean-made guitars like this has fared very well in the long term. The craftsmanship is good, the tolerances are tight and the quality of materials is very good for this price range. I see no reason why this guitar shouldn't last for years and years. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, I liked this one. I play primarily rock and metal, so I don't really miss the lack of a single coil pickup. If you want a guitar that is meant to rock morning to night, this is your guitar. Whether or not you want to parade around on stage proclaiming your love for Zakk Wylde is another thing, the Bullseye is tough to miss, and is certainly associated with him. I think the Epiphone is a great buy, with it's combination of features, playability and tone with an affordable price tag of $800 or so. Even if you have to drop another $200 for the set of active EMGs, you have a guitar that is very nearly as good as the Gibson for $3200 less. // 8

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overall: 9.2
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 17, 2005
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 948

Purchased from: Major/Minor Music

Features: 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). // 8

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 01, 2006
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 986.37

Purchased from:

Features: My review is for the 2005 Bullseye model, made in good old China. 22 frets with big bolck inlays, and a very fast and smooth unfinished maple neck. Similar to a Strats, and this is what brought my attention to the guitar. Mahogony body, hard maple top, neck and fret board. Bullseye finish, with laminate finish. Single cutaway Les Paul. Tune-O-Matic bridge with stoptail. 2 volume and 2 tone knobs. Twin EMG-HZ humbuckers. All Gold Hardware. Oh, and Grover tuners. Pretty good overall. // 10

Sound: Suits me down to the ground, I play metal, tuned down to B a lot, and also a lot of blues. The EMG's have a warm tone in the bridge and a very sharp and striking lead tone in the neck. Full rich sound with no buzz at all. They are EMG's after all. Very easy to do pinch harmonics, which lets face it, it why most people buy this guitar anyway. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory set up was spot on, very low action and I have not had to adjust it since. Pickups were spot on, tight to the strings, no routing problems, the binding is spotless and not a single discoluration or laminate flaw. Perfect. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is great live. The only Les Paul I have ever played that you can shred to bits! Hardware will tarnish over time, such is the nature of gold plate, most importantly get some strap locks. Every Les Paul owner knows that these guitars are heavy and if it falls off, well you know what happens. I will play this guitar all night long with no backup, tunes well, stages tunes well, and never goes out of tune thanks to the good old Grovers. The finish has not faded and I dont think it will, I have had it for only a year now, not a scratch on it. A hard waring guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: Zakk's Signature Guitar, so of course this is built for Metal, and does the job perfectly, I've been playing for 5 years now, had many guitars and this is the best. Until off course I can afford the Gibson! If this was lost or stolen, I would of course have a little cry first, then wend my way down the shops to get another. I will be investing in the other 2 signature models just as soon as I have the cash. A great investment and collectores item. I just love the sound, versatility and weight of this guitar. I has endless sustain. If your moving up in your playing, and need to invest in a guitar, that even the pros would play. Get this one. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 29, 2005
2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: James Cook Music Store

Features: Made in 2005. The Zakk wylde model features a mahogany body, a good, hard 24 fret maple neck, gold hardwere and a cool spiral paintjob in black and ivory white. One of the key features of the guitar is the EMG pickups which when played loud with lots of distortion sound imence. Exelent value for money. // 10

Sound: This guitar is very versitile. I use it for anything from bassy blues to hard rock and it dosn't fail to deliver everytime. I mostly use this guitar for bedroom practice through a 50 watt amp but it still sounds impressive. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came well set up from the factory so I could just plug it in and go. The only flaw I found with the guitar is that the 3 way toggle Switch becomes loose easily and because of its size, is hard to tighten. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've had my Zakk Wydle Epiphone for just over 6 months with it being played regulary and I've found it to be reliable. The groover tuners are exelent and I very rarely have to retune the guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall impressions for this guitar are exelent. For the money it not only looks the part but sounds the part to. The attention to detail is great and it even comes with a Zakk Wydle Siloette decall on the back of the headstock. I would most likley buy this guitar again if it was lost or stolen because theres not many other guitars in the same price range which can compete with it. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 22, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Korean Made, 22-frets, Les Paul body with maple neck, 2 Emg HZ Humbucker (H4+H4A), special Zakk Wylde finish (bullseye), Tune-O-Matic bridge, 3-way toggle-switch, block-inlays, 24.75" scale, grover mechanics. // 10

Sound: When I first picked up this guitar I thought it'd be like the other Epiphones I've tested but not this time. I couldn't believe how much crunch it had. Zakk wanted a maple-neck because he wanted to increase the brilliance of tone, he made it. Well, the passive pickups are not the best (because of that I've put in the EMG81, EMG85's) but they're quite powerfull. The passive pickups are the passive version of the active EMG81 which has a very aggresive tone. I liked the passive ones but I wanted the active ones. It fits perfectly for pinched harmonics (if you know Zakk). // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set-up was perfect, nothing to say against. It has this comfortable Les Paul feeling with a neck that's even more comfortable. It's kind a great tuning down the guitar to C or lower because it always stays in tune. Mostly I'm using the Zakk Wylde signature strings 10-60 and tune it down (sounds like I'd be a fan of Zakk, honestly I didn't care about him since I've seen his guitar. The strings are really great, too). // 10

Reliability & Durability: Zakk's costum guitar withstands a lot. Since I'm palm muting a lot the bridge is a bit rubbed of, that's not that nice. Dunno if other guitars with fixed bridge have the same problems. As you see there are no other problems at all (not yet). I can depend on it totally. // 8

Overall Impression: I love playing metal but also soft stuff like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Creed etc. and this guitar gives me all I want. I can come out with a chunky sound and play fast downtuned riffs or clean melodic riffs. I chose to play with active EMG's because they give me a bit of both high distortion and warm, mellow clean. And I don't regret it a bit. Before buying it I also tested a few Ibanez, Gibson, PRS and found out that for the price the Epiphone costs, nothing from the other named marks could be compared with. For all of those who are now interested in that guitar-go and play it. I couldn't describe it better. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: False_God, on july 07, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: This Epiphone features the black and cream bullseyes, it was built in 2004 me thinks in Korea, the neck is maple with a rosewood fret bored and 22 medium frets. the Body is mahogany with maple top and typical weight of a Gibson. It features two EMG's HZ H4 in the neck and bridge, it has the typical 2 volume and 2 tone for versitility and the 3-way switch. all the hardware is gold (shiney) and has a tune-o-matic bridge. I got a soft case and that was it basically. // 9

Sound: I play alot of metal and this suits it to the ground. The pickups help to achieve this edgy metal sound that I was after. I use a MT-2 and a Hughes And Kettner which I have gain up to 10 27/7 so their is a hum which isn't too bad compared to other high gain pups. This guitar can get a nice warm bluesy tone and a tearing metal sound so it has pretty god variety. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was a bit too high for my liking but was easily fixed, I adjusted the pickups to my own liking so it wasnt a problem or anything. This guitar doesn't contain any other flaws. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is really well built and could withstand 1,000,000 gigs, am the gold tends to lose colour but it is my fault for not cleaning it. Every now and then I have to tighten the strap lock because they tend to come loose, but its no biggy! // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar is pretty perfect for me as the music I play is metal. I've been playing nearly two years and I own a Godin Radiator and a Jackson KV, am I wish it had maybe active EMG's, cos the HZ are only ok. I love the bulls eye paint job, it pwns the Orange one, I actually compared it to the Gibson verson and I found this to be much better, because it took the guitar tech a week to fix the Gibson they got in and the Epi was perfect the minute it arived. // 8

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overall: 9.4
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Melody Music Store

Features: This Epi was made in 2005, and when I got it it had seemed like the strings were too. But, that's besides the point. it's got a 22 fret Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays (pearl). It has mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck, and a beautiful butterscotch blonde flamed maple top. It has a a double f-hole design on the wings and a Les Paul shaped body with a more rounded off cutaway. The single cutaway body gives you easy travelin up to the 22nd fret. It's smooth sailing. It's got nice Grover locking tuners. It has a pickup configuration of 2 single coil chrome V-P90's, with all chrome hardware and a nice old-school Bigsby tremelo/vibrato which throws the strings over top of a Tune-O-Matic bridge for easy adjustment. It has a volume knob for each pickup, pverall tone knob, master volume knob, and a rhythm/treble toggle switch. It has the headstock plate that is remenescent of the old hollowbody Epiphones. It has beautiful cream/vintage white neck, and body binding. The one I purchased came with a Fender Deluxe gig bag (yeah, I know, awkward combination.) If you are looking for a semi-hollowbody Les Paul shape with P-90's and a ES-335 sound (with a little ease on the wallet), then get one now! I have a Peavey Raptor Plus EXP and a First Act ME505. I have played Fender strats, teles, Gibson Les Pauls, and Gibson Stereo guitars and nothing has gave me the Blues/Rock mixture that I have been looking for in a guitar. If you like the sounds of Chuck Berry and AC/DC, then why buy 2 guitars. Just get an Epiphone Wildkat. It is well worth the money! // 10

Sound: I play blues/rock and it suits my style extremely well. I play through a 1974 Teisco Checkmate 22 Solid State amp with a DOD Stereo Flanger, DigiTech Grunge Distortion, and a Boss Blues Overdrive pedal and Fender Electro-Volt + Fender California Cables. The Teisco head has volume, tone, reverb, tremelo depth, and tremelo speed controls. I crank everything up on the head except for the reverb which I hardly ever use. You can go from blues, rock, grunge, pop, funk, oldies, even a little bit of Metal with this guitar. Go bright or mellow rich/full great sound it is your choice. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: There is one little problem with the Wildkat I got, it has a little bit of a green color mixed with the paint that is about as big a nickle, right by the top of the neck on the edge of the guitar. The wood helps provide great sound. The tuners work perfect and smooth with no trouble. But with the Bigsby vibrato (depending on your strings of choice) you may have to do a good bit of tuning every now and then. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have played quite a few Live shows with it and it has never let me down. I will always go to gigs with no backup when I have this guitar, I plan to keep it forever. As well do I expect it to perform great for me and my listeners. Like a cast-iron skillet, it only gets better seasoned with every time you play it. It's got a deep/rich vintage rock and blues tone/sound. // 9

Overall Impression: As a Blues guitarist that has been playing fo a year at the age of 16, you may not think I know much about what I say. But I live the blues mentality and it's all I listen to. I love the blues and the only band I have seen bring good blues within the past decade is The White Stripes. Listen to a song called "Ball And Biscuit" on and you will get what I'm saying if you know true blues. // 10

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overall: 9
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: madaxeman123, on december 21, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from:

Features: Mine was made in Korea, serial number U06093124. It has a Thick mahogony body with a maple top and the finish is the buzzsaw one. The neck is Raw maple and fills your hand nicely. It has 22 frets (Not the easiest access to number 22 but still good). It has a Gibson style tunomatic bridge and grover machineheads all finished in chrome. The pickups are a passive EMG-HZ set and there were'nt any accessories included. // 9

Sound: I try to be a versatile guitarist and so I play everyhing from Jazz through to shred. This guitar is capable of both genres and everything in between. Many people have trouble with the fact that the pickups aren't Zakks own EMG 81 and 85 set but having played these pickups on another guitar I must say that I prefer the passive ones as they give an excellent clean tone as well as some great distortion that never really loses clarity. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: My guitar had come set up from the shop with a set of Ernie Ball Regular Slinkies (0.10-.046). The action was perfect but the string tension made it difficult for me to bend the strings in Zakks Wylde way. I suggest stringing them over the bridge as Zakk does to reduce tension. I have done this and makes the guitar much more playable and I use gauge 10-52 strings. All Hardware was set up perfectly on mine although I did invest in a pair of straplocks as the strap didn't want to stay on the buttons. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will stand the test of playing live. I have only played it once Live but it was very capable. The hardware will last although after a few weeks the bridge pickup cut out (this was due to the Switch which is often poor on Epiphone guitars. I Payed 15 for a new switch and haven't had any trouble since). Apart from this the guitar is very durable and I believe it will continue rocking for many years to come. I only mark it down because of Epiphone's poor switches. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a great guitar for what I play. It is very rugged, sounds awesome and is an excellent guitar. I also play a modified Epiphone SG (I replaced all the hardware and pickus so it sounds and plays excellently) and this sounds just as good as it despite the SG's awesome pickups (Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz combination). If this guitar was stolen I would hunt down the man that stole it and destoy him. I love this guitar. The reason I chose it is that I love LesPauls but being a 16 year old I do not have the money to but a Gibson. I chose this particular model almost purely based on the neck and pickups. I recommend it especially if you can buy it at the same price I did. // 9

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overall: 8
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: hminh87, on july 16, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 480

Purchased from: eBay

Sound: Don't expect too much that this guitar will sound like Zakk Wylde Farewell Ballad video. Unless you have his amp of course. But don't worry too much about this, this guitar will do his music just fine. The EMG-HZ isn't bad at all despise all the bashing around. The bridge pickup is trebby, perhap too trebby for my taste. Neck pickup is really good! It has a very good mix of hi and low, a little bassy, though. I found myself mostly playing either with the neck only or both for some added treble from the bridge pickup. Because of the body mass on this guitar, they give amazing sweet sustains. And yeah, as a personal benchmark I always try to pull out the Slash tone out of any of my guitars. This guitar handled it quite well but misses some of the treble respond from the neck position. I think the pickup is almost too hot for it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish bullseye is decal, on cream background it really beautiful and cool finish. A little finish flaw on the edge of the neck where it meets the body, though. The action was a bit high when I received it. Pickups were also too high. While lowering the action I noticed a dead fret due to a fret was sitting too high. Nothing I couldn't fix with a piece of leveling tools. After a setup it became a really good guitar. Neck is very close to '60 profile and it's unfinished (love it). Fretboard was a little dry and needed to be oiled. Very nice pinch harmonic respond. The nut needed to be replaced because I just hate plastic so much and it was a little too high, too. The Grovers tuners works well but my low E string goes slightly out of tune all the time. My fault, really. I pinch harmonic like a maniac. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar was built like a tank. Really heavy, so heavy that I afraid the strap button might fall off after a while. The bridge pickup gave me a bit of a problem, though. Happened once, the output dropped almost completely and replaced by a low static noise. I opened it up but found nothing wrong. Strangely when I plugged it in again the thing worked as nothing ever happened. The finish will last a long time. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm a fan of Zakk, and I like Les Paul shape. That's a good enough reason for me to purchase this guitar. My mom really liked this guitar. She said "It got style!". She couldn't stop complaining when I decided to sell it (was planning to buy a ESP btw). I just wish that it has better quality check from factory as I needed to give it a setup. I really wanted Epiphone to put real ZW EMG into this instead of some passive ones. I mean, after all it's HIS signature guitar. // 8

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overall: 7.2
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 23, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 799

Purchased from: Local music shop

Features: Okay, for details of the features, just look at other reviews or a description on a website like 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. // 7

Sound: 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. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 6

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overall: 8
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: Louthesnakeman, on may 21, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 300

Purchased from: co-worker

Features: It's made in 2005, Buzzsaw graphics (not Bullseye) 22 frets on a relatively slim neck compared to most LP models. The body is mahogany with a maple top and the neck is also made of maple. It comes with the standard tune-o-matic+stopbar set up, Passive EMG 81+85, 2 tone and volume knobs, 3 way switch, grover kidney tuners, I bought it with a case but normally it's not included. Basically, it's a basic LP with a maple neck and flashy graphics. // 8

Sound: I play lots of rock, hard rock, rock'n'roll and metal and it sounds okay for my playing style, I did switch the pickups however, normally the strongest pick up is in the neck position for this model since Zakk uses that for his solo's. The Pick ups are okay but I'd rather get some active EMG's in it. I play it through a Cube 80x on the clean channel and use my pedalboard for distortion, chorus and wah. The guitar itself is very quiet, no buzzing or feedback when not playing, nice sustain. The 85 pick up has the most output and normally it's in the neck position, which means your output in the bridge position is worthless in my opinion. The round tone from the pick ups is allround usable. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I got this guitar from my co-worker so it was tweaked perfectly! Extreme low action for raging across the fretboard. The graphics look awesome, no dents or flaws. The only thing I didn't like was the pick up positions and the 10-46 strings, I put on 10-52. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is able to survive gigging, it's maple neck won't break that easily and the hardware are of good quality. I switched the strap buttons to straplock systems since the guitar is rather heavy and we don't want it to fall now do we? Since it comes with passive pick ups you won't have to be afraid of batteries running dry while playing. You can absolutely depend on this guitar while gigging, the finish is a polytane layer so it won't damage very quickly (don't smash it on the ground or through an amp, that's for kids). I would play this guitar without back up if I weren't paranoid about breaking strings. // 9

Overall Impression: For my style of music it's a nice guitar, compared to the vertigo it's "the smaller brother" type of guitar. I've been playing for 15 years and I must say this guitar isn't bad at all, I rather play this than my SG, it sounds more chunky and it squeels like a lil' piggy when wanted. If it was stolen I'd be devastated and I'd love to get one again. Too bad it's discontinued. If it only had active pickups. // 8

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