Epiphone Les Paul Customs-Any Opinons?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ike, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    I was thinking of picking up a new electric in about a month, and based on sheer looks alone, I've been leaning towards the Epiphone Les Paul Custom in a pretty cool looking black.
    [​IMG]
    It's right in my price range ($300-$600), but without being able to play one for a month, I was wondering if anyone that had played this guitar could tell me what they thought of this model.
    Any other guitars in that price range that are better?
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    The gold hardware's not going to hold up and it looks gaudy. I would recommend that you consider a chrome hardware model. Unless you're really sold on the gold.

    I've heard good things about those Epiphone Les Pauls. They certainly look beautiful there's no doubt about that.
     
  3. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    I've owned one since '96. For the most part, the gold's held up pretty well [​IMG]
    Although I'm not a fan of painted necks, this one is pretty quick and smooth. The fretboard plays like butter - very smooth. Pickups are pretty good, although not as creamy sounding as the Gibsons. Fit and finish seem very good for this price range.
    I've got a buddy who used to be a tech for Epiphone. I'll contact him and see what kind of insight he can offer...
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I say that the gold's not going to hold up due to my experience with another instrument with gold hardware. I will personally never buy a gold hardware instrument again if I can help it.
     
  5. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    The few I've played, I did not care for. You can find a way better used guitar for that money. Used, of course, not being such a terrible thing when it comes to guitars.
    The action was horrible, the pickups are entry level at best, and I'm sorry, that Gibson warm, creamy sound is no where to be found in an Epiphone version. It's equivalant to the Fender Squire Stratocaster
    If your just going to tinker around, the Epiphone will be fine with some adjustments, intonation and some new pick-ups down the road.
    If your looking to take it to the next level, save a few extra bucks for the "real deal" or seriously browse the classifieds for a used one, I see ads all the time for G&L customs, Fender, Carvin, Gibson and many in that $500-700 price range
    One note IkE, a year ago I went out looking for a reasonably priced "back-up" for my main guitar, that's when I looked at the Epiphones, I ended up with the Hamer , whick was also kneck-thru, goofy gold hardware, and played much better than the Epi. It was about $479-$549 cant remember exactly.
     
  6. Chuck Parker

    Chuck Parker Agent

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    Those Epi LPs are a really nice guitar for the money. I've played a few, but never owned one (my 64 SG Special is all the Gibson I'll ever need [​IMG] ). Those I've had my hands were more than serviceable.
    The major complaints I've heard about Epis in general are in referemce to the pickups, though they're easily swapped out for some hot-rodded aftermarkets for a fraction of the price of an actual Gibson LP.
    Of course, my standard advice for anyone shopping for a new instrument is to try out a lot of them and find the one that feels right to you.
    If you don't mind my asking, what's keeping you from playing one for another month? There are few pleasures greater than spending a saturday afternoon at the local guitar shop just browsing, chatting with the staff and your fellow customers, and test driving a bunch of axes...
    Enjoy!
    -chuck
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Gottta go with Zen on his recommendation of Hamer.[​IMG] I have a friend who has one that he picked over some much more expoensive hardware just because it was better. Hamer makes some very LP-ish guitars, and they are very high quality.
     
  8. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    I've played a real Gibson and bottom of the range Epiphone. The Gibson wasn't 5 times as good. It wasn't even twice as good.
    Check a few different Epiphones and find one that plays nice and sounds nice. Don't forget the shop may have them set up with 10's when you like 9's or vice versa.
    I would say never spend more than £400 on a guitar unless you're seriously into a clean-tone, very intricate guitar style. Once you've got your (IMO essential) ProCo Turbo RAT pedal on there's not as much difference with the pickups.
    You could do much worse. You gotta play some guitars within a price ceiling and go for it.
    FWIW: I am seriously considering buying a Tokai Rickenbacker copy in fireglow - the one I tried was absolutely beautiful!![​IMG]
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I've liked my Epiphone Les Paul that I've had since 94. Sure, a true Gibson sound is superior, and the playability is a little better, but not at 3X the price for me...I'm not that talented with an electric and the rest of my electric setup (amps & pedals) aren't that great.

    That said, I just busted $2K for an acoustic because I can tell a difference between $500 models and higher end ones.
     
  10. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I've never much liked customs, authentic or not, as I find the backs uncomfortable. I'm not much of a fan of Epiphones simply because they aren't the real deal, and no matter what improvements you make to them, they never will be. While I can't really justify the cost of a new Gibson these days, I will still lean towards a used Gibson over a new Epi at the same price. At the same time, I prefer Mexi Fenders to the American ones, as I prefer the feel.

    I concur with Phillip's comments on the gold hardware - the plating will come off in time, depending on the acidity in your sweat, then it just looks plain ugly.

    If you want a Les Paul, I'd second looking at a studio, unless the binding and inlays make a big difference to you.

    Also, when buying any guitar, I highly recommend seeing it in person. The variance in the sound, feel and weight of these things is all over the map, and makes a huge difference in satisfaction.

    Believe it or not, there is a big difference in tone between instruments, even when distorted. Depending on what style of music you wish to play, the pickup choice is a concern as well.
     
  12. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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  13. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    While your there Ike, look at a Hamer , basically the same set up, same fat-ass style bridge, double-humbucker, 3-way sw, only difference is up by the neck it's a double cutaway. It'll be around the same price and world's easier to play.....if your set on the Epiphone, & as a couple of other cats said, play a bunch of them until you find the right one. I didn't realize this was for home, I thought you were going full-on live Ike n' Roll
     
  14. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  15. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    After seeing some up close pictures, I've begun to dislike the gold pickups on the Epi Les Paul. They just look trashy. Maybe they wouldn't look that bad in person, but in close up pictures they are off putting.
    So, while it's not completely off the table, I've begun to seriously consider others. Here are some that I've begun to look at:
    Epiphone Les Paul Studio:
    [​IMG]
    It's cheap (a little under $200 cheaper), but I'm afraid that means it's not such great quality. It doesn't have the gold on it.
    The New Fender Mustang:
    [​IMG]
    It's cheaper than the LP Custom, and I think it looks cool, but I have no idea how it would play, and I'm not sure if my local Mars/Guitar Center will have it in stock. In fact, I'm not sure it's even come out yet. Can anyone enlighten me on this guitar?
    An American Stratocaster:
    www.musician.com/musiciansfriend_frameset.html
    A little more expensive than the Epi LP (which was already at the top of my budget), but classic. I've only had contact with the Mexi Strats, which I believe are generally considered inferior. I think this one is probably a safe bet.
    I'm looking for something that's diverse (though mainly rock, lots of power chords, etc.) in sound.
     
  16. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    The lower cost on the studio has little to do with lesser quality, and everything to do with asthetics: no binding on the headstock, neck or body, no fancy inlays in the headstock. I haven't checked out whether the body woods are any different, but chances are they are the same. I also don't know if the electronics (pickups) are different, you'd have to check.

    While the Mustang may look funky, it isn't what you want unless you are playing surf music. Those single coil pickups are thin and brittle sounding, and that bridge hardware is pretty much junk.

    If you are buying a Strat, I recommend the Mexis. The new ones are pretty close to the US versions for quality of build, the only major difference are the pickups (I like the Mexis better) and the bridge/tuners. I don't like the feel of the US necks, prefering the matte finish on the Mexis. The difference in price allows for more customisation if needed (ie upgrading pickups).

    If you are going for a rock sound, then a fat strat would be the way to go: a humbucker at the bridge and a pair of single coils. This allows more flexibility than a Les Paul, especially in clean tones with the rhythm (neck/middle) pickups. Do note that a Strat is harder to play than a Gibson due to the longer scale length, but this also accounts for a better tone in many cases as the strings are under more tension.
     
  17. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    D'oh...I really liked the Mustang.
     
  18. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    As a performer I'd have said you *don't* want an expensive guitar. Maybe things are different over in the States but here I've seen many bands have their equipment stolen at gigs, no matter how careful you are. Add to that your concern over how scratched, etc. it becomes and your gig stress will sky-rocket.

    I much prefer a mashed up one. In the pic you can see me playing my blue custom Tele - it's a crapped-up 70's job but it has humbuckers, one with a coil tap for a single-coil sound, which is better I find.

    In the main I've found that the more serious the musician, the less impressive the guitar. I'm not looking to lay into people here, but like Philip said, the gold will come off. If you want a guitar to look good in the corner of your room and get the ocasional play, then fair enough, but otherwise even Encore can make a fantastic guitar.

    Price: A lot of the difference in price in guitars is also down to the pickups and electronics. That's why I mentioned the distortion Turbo RAT because after a certain point you won't notice.

    Try to get a glued-on rather than a bolted-on neck - better sustain. Also try to find a string guage that suits you. I just cannot play 10's on an electric - too stick and awkward - it has to be 9's, but most shops put 10's on so I find it hard to pick a guitar as the action will always be slightly off what I want.

    Incidentally if you compare the Les Paul and a Strat at the shop the Les Paul will be a LOT louder due to the single-coil pickups in the strat. Also much bassier and woody sounding. (I like that sort of sound.)
     
  19. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Since I'm not going to play it live, I've got no fear of it being stolen.
    Is the first pedal the distortion pedal you're referring to? What kind of distortion does it provide?
     
  20. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Pro Co Sound
    I am talking about the third one down in your link - first in this one - the Turbo Rat with the red. The difference in the sounds of the "Rats" is pretty subtle I believe but they're an excellent distortion pedal. Hard-wearing and crisp sounding.
    I combine that with a Nobel's Overdrive pedel for a really chunky sound. Try Guitar Geek and see what pedals they have listed for your favourite guitarists as you may want to go for something else. Rat's my fave, though!! [​IMG]
     

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