Epiphone Les Paul Special II (Vintage Sunburst) Reviews4.5/5.0 based on 16 customer reviews
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May 23, 2013Music Background:
SatisfiedNew to guitar and this was a great product at the right price. Didn't want to over spend as I am a beginner and this was all I could ask for and more. Nicely put together and sounds great.
March 30, 2013Music Background:
Working Man's GuitarLike some other reviewers here I've been playing for decades. Along the way you learn to get past the glitter and hype and find gear that has has earned a reputation among musicians as a classic. The Epi LP Special II should be on anyone's greatest guitars of all time list. It's price puts it within reach for beginners. It's quality construction and sound have made it a favorite gig guitar for players of all levels. I can afford guitars that are much more expensive but can't justify it. Epiphone got it right including the simplicity of one volume and tone knob. Match this up with one of the very good amps on SweetWater in the $300 range and for under five bills you can have quality gig worthy equipment. Amazing!
from United States
December 21, 2012Music Background:
ex-pro, recording/sound engineer.
GreatI've owned hundreds of guitar in over 40 years of playing, own around 60 at the moment. I got this guitar as a second so was really cheap, China made 2011 (even at the selling price new it's a real bang for the buck.) I was a guitar tech/repair guy so have experience with how guitars work. There were a few issue's which are easily fixed...The neck bolts where they screw into the neck were loose. To fix these the neck needs to be removed and the original holes need to be dowled and re-drilled, or an easy fix is to insert a few toothpicks with some white glue which I did and now have a tight neck joint. Tuners are cheap but work well enough. Now the good.....the neck is very well done, frets ends smooth and level with very good playability. Finish is very well done. Body wood appears to be basswood, not a bad thing, gives a focused midrange sound. Volume/tone pots are full sized Alpha pots, nice sweep through their range, switch seems solid enough. The bridge and stop-bar tailpiece are the tone-lock, works well and seems to give good sustain. Pickups are Ceramic 8, good clear midrange and highs with tight bass. A lot of cheap humbuckers are muddy but these are actually very good, not the most dynamic but at the price much better than most. I like the thin body, sits on your lap nicely, overall weight is good. I reach for this over my Gibson Les Paul's a lot, just easier on my back. The control layout is nice, one volume, one tone, simple and efficient. This would be a good beginner guitar, good playability and sound. Also would make a good worry free gigging instrument unless you are worried about the name on the headstock....and really your audience won't care unless there are some cork sniffers in the crowd. This is a good time for musicians when you can get good quality for this price...just get it setup properly and you will have a fine instrument.
May 22, 2012Music Background:
Guitar Player (off and on for 20+ years)
Amazing ValueI wasn't expecting a whole lot for the tiny price tag. I just wanted a semi-decent guitar that I could practice on - and that would stay in tune.
This guitar over-delivered big time.
First of all it was set up perfectly right out of the box. No fret buzz, no sharp fret edges, the fit and finish were pretty much flawless. The sunburst is very attractive. The headstock, tuners, neck, frets, body, bridge, and hardware have a quality look and feel to them.
It stays in tune well, even after sessions of extreme bending. And the mahogany body provides a rich warm tone - even unplugged.
The neck is slim - it reminds me of an Epiphone SG. It is super easy to play and provides easy access to the upper frets.
The pickups are excellent for this price range - they provide good tones from clean to screaming.
Overall I would say that this has to be the best deal going. It's hard to believe that Epiphone can produce such quality for such a small price.
Sweetwater always goes above and beyond with customer service and equipment setups.
from United States
February 19, 2012Music Background:
Five Year Player
Really NiceFirstly, I own the left handed version of this guitar. But either way, the sound is phenomenal. I just love to play it. The strings that come on it are a bit thick, so you'll want to change them if you like thinner strings. Anyway, the sound quality is nice and clear, even on a crummy amp. I've owned it for three/four years now and it still works great! If you're looking for a cheaper guitar with that special Les Paul look, this is it.
Roy Goodwin Jr.
from holden maine usa
March 14, 2011Music Background:
Hobbyist & pro
Les Paul special llI Have ben playing guitar sence 1957 I allways playid Fenders & RICKINBACKER BUT i LOVE THE THIN BODY AND THE FACT THIS GUITAR HAS ONE TONE AND ONE VOLUME AND HAS THAT LES PAUL SOUND iV HAD IT ONLY TWO WEEKS AND TOOK IT TO MY GIG INSTED OF MY JAGUAR OUTHER PAULS I HAD WERE TO HEAVY BUT I WILL KEEP THIS ONE A LONG TIME
from glenshaw pa
August 18, 2010Music Background:
feels great for this beginnerit sabout cost and value with me. as a beginner, and not knowing if i could chop at the axe this guitar just sounds nice and plays nice. the weight and balance is great and comfortable. the finish is flawless. i practice with 2 different amps and the sound is super. couple years illmove up from a beginner until then i will enjoy my les paul special.
from Catskill, NY, USA
June 9, 2009Music Background:
An unbelievable guitarI'm James, and I've been playing guitar for about 3 years now. When I got the Epiphone Les Paul Special II for Christmas last year, I was completely blown away by the beautiful finish, the screaming pickups, and the perfect tone. I highly recommend it if anyone would want a classic Les Paul shape, or if they want to start out on a true Gibson souled instrument.
from newyork Queens
February 8, 2009Music Background:
truly amazingI saw one of these in the sweetwater catalog. I liked it so i asked my teacher if it was good. He said it wa good so i put it in my shoping list. When i went to sam ash for fingerpicks i also brought a guitar that looks liked it.Then I saw the tag and it said Les Paul special II. And now i have i and am looking into making a band with this guitar
January 14, 2013
Awesome LP for the price!Great playability, nice action.
This is big bang for your $.
from Wildomar, Ca
April 26, 2012Music Background:
40 plus years.
Epiphone Les Paul Special II (lefty)My wife purchased this for my birthday. First and foremost.. what a great instrument for the price!! Out of the box the set up was almost perfect. As a matter of fact, so close that I have not bothered to dial it in any closer. The finish was flawless. There was a problem though. Small as it was it is something that just surprises me that Gibson/Epiphone would do. This is a left handed guitar. It has pots that are reversed from a righty guitar. For some dumb reason they installed right handed knobs. The numbers run backwards. I called Sweetwater and they did their best to get the proper left handed black speed knobs. But Gibson said that they no longer had any. So, Gibson sent me top hat amber knobs in lefty. Not what I would expect and they did't look at all good on this instrument. So.. I had to purchase replacements for under $5. One would think that a class act like Gibson would provide the proper knobs.. Anyway, this is the only fault that I could find with this instrument. All I can say is, if you want a wonderful playing instrument with simple controls for a price that is well within everyone's means, buy one of these.. You won't regret it!!
from United States
November 9, 2011Music Background:
Performer, Educator, Music Industry
Great ValueThis is the definition of "Bang for the Buck" - you can't lose. This guitar can easily rival competitors sitting at hundreds of dollars more. The playability, tone, & look are all exceptional for the price. My guitar arrived practically in tune, and the setup was near perfect. The intonation up and down the fret board is spot on, and the tuners feel like they'll last a good long while. Very happy with it, and will definitely get hours of enjoyment from this ax. Thanks Sweetwater!!!
from SD Ca.
June 12, 2010Music Background:
Best value & SoundThe reason most guitarist buy a guitar is because of the tone and playability of the instrument. This Les paul Special is just that and a lot more. If you are like me, you want a guitar that sound great and is easy to play. What makes the Special Epi so great is that it weighs less that your standard les paul and therefore better for those long hours in rehearsal and on stage. The Epi Special gives you tone that is more like that of a jazz box yet can give you balanced distortion and crunch if that is what you want. The rounded neck and wider nut make the guitar easy to play. Best guitar for the money on the market.
Paul R. Potts
from Ann Arbor, MI
September 3, 2007Music Background:
Amateur Guitarist (24 years experience), Chapman Stick, Live Sound, Podcaster
A Nearly Free Guitar that Plays Quite Well!I did not buy this guitar new, but actually found one left by a dumpster. The instrument as I found it had a few issues; it had been beat up and neglected a bit. But I got it cleaned up and set up and can separate the abuse/neglect issues from the instrument itself as it is supposed to be. It really did not take very much work, and now I have a perfectly good "backup" guitar to take to lessons. Unlike my more expensive guitars, I don't feel nervous leaving it where the kids can get their hands on it.
This is an Indonesian-made instrument. Basically, this is a Les Paul with a body that feels more like the thin "slab" body of the SG line. Unlike the SG line, though, the body is basswood. The guitar is quite light -- certainly much lighter than a fat Les Paul. The basswood means it is quite resonant as well -- it has a loud sound even unplugged. I think the neck is supposed to be mahogany/rosewood, although since it is finished in black I can't really tell. It is a 22-fret instrument with a 4-bolt neck plate. The neck joint is reasonably smooth and clean and the cutaway makes it easy to access all the frets.
What I like about this guitar:
- It is very light.
- It is quite resonant.
- With a little tweaking of the bridge height screws and truss rod, the neck is quite playable. I set mine up with Ernie Ball 11s and these heavier strings give it a lot of tone.
- The pickups are quite decent and you can get a nice crunchy Les Paul tone out of it.
- The bridge is reasonably solid and it was intonated pretty well.
- The fretboard is reasonably well made and you can achieve low action and smooth play with it.
- Although it isn't my preferred color scheme, the finish is quite good and the orange/black burst has a very classic look to it.
What I dislike:
- The tuning keys are somewhat flimsy and the ratio is too low. Despite this, the instrument seems to hold its tune fairly well.
- The output jack plate is plastic instead of metal.
- A couple of the smaller screws were pulling out (including one of the screws securing the output jack plate and two of the screws securing the tuning keys). I'm sure these could be fixed with a shim and some glue.
- I was going to report that the neck has some buzzes, but after some setup work and adjustment to get the combination truss rod setting and bridge height correct, this is really not a problem. There are a few frets where I get very slight buzzing still, but with the distortion cranked up this is hardly noticeable.
What this tells me, though, is that as you might imagine, it isn't cost effective for the manufacturer to do a really precise setup for a guitar that sells for so little. If you buy one, you would probably do well to have a friend who knows how to set up a guitar. Or you could learn to do it yourself -- this would be a good model to learn on, since even if you manage to break it, you will not be out all that much money!
So, I would definitely recommend this instrument for:
- A student, assuming he or she has access to a guitar teacher who can help get the instrument set up properly.
- Any guitarist who wants a second or "beater" guitar.
So there it is -- a cheap guitar that plays like a mid-priced guitar, if you give it a little TLC. I am considering doing a few upgrades -- replacing the tuning keys and jack plate. But mostly it is just a great bargain as-is!
ed from fairport,ny
April 15, 2013Music Background:
good guitar for the pricenice guitar,epi makes good low end guitas,frets are good pups good sound,neck nice smooth.I
from St.Paul MN
July 10, 2008Music Background:
17 years Making and Producing my own music.
SolidThis is one of those under rated guitars.
I bought one to have as a beater and it has been very good and true.
I have done some tweek's to it in way of installing some pickups and Series/Parallel/Split switches and new tuners and some hardware upgrades.
Fun guitar as a main or backup.