I wanted a Les Paul body style with a flatter than 12" radius fret board. I got it (14") and am happy with it.
I wanted midnight sapphire. I got it and am happy with it.
After I had my guitar tech go over it and make some adjustments, I love everything about the guitar except the active pickups (more on that below)
My guitar tech did the following:
Seated the 12th fret properly on the treble side since it wasn't level with the others and then he set it up for me by:
~Replacing the stock 10-46's with my brand of 9-42's.
~Adjusted Neck relief after string change (to suit my preference.)
~Adjusted intonation on a couple strings.
~The upper strap pin was stripped, he repaired it.
It plays like butter now, the way I need it to. Once I swap out the pickups with something passive (Burstbuckers? Rail Hammers? EMG Passive's?) I will consider this my main guitar.
About the pickups: I would NOT call myself a tone snob, especially after not using tube amps until about 30 years into my guitar life but so far, I have not met an active pickup I can live with.
Since I've learned the joys of using tube amps, I have been able to hear a lot more of the frequency response and "feel" in what I play. The active EMG's in this guitar seem almost "surgical" and there's something missing to me. I love balls to the wall metal but when I dial it down I have gotten use to the way passive pickups clean up and I'm not feeling that kind of love with these EMG's.
I knew this guitar had active's in it but since it's easier to change pickups than the finish, I went ahead and bought it.
I wanted to comment on the strap locks that Epiphone included. I applaud their providing a strap lock system that will still allow the pins to work with any old guitar strap. This is typically thoughtful of Epiphone. Despite that, I was uncomfortable with the way they worked. The locks that you install on the strap rely on a c-clip to fit over the thin portion of the pin that's mounted on the guitar.
It holds it in place using the spring tension of the c-clip and after using it for a couple days, my three negative comments on it are: 1. It doesn't provide a tactile click that lets you be sure it's locked, 2. it started to chew through the pin on the guitar pretty quickly revealing the brass underneath the black finish and 3. Removing the guitar strap from the guitar was awkward due to having to push the strap in the opposite direction to get past the spring pressure and I was concerned with accidentally running the lock into the guitars finish. I have already replaced them with another locking system.
I love the satin finish on the back of the neck, I can fret it easily. I have no problems getting up as high on the neck as I want.
The Sweetwater ordering process was fantastic, I got the guitar way faster than I thought I would when placing the order. Their follow up was great, I like the fact that my rep sent me the glamour shots of my actual guitar after placing the order. He was also very responsive and accommodating when I wrote back.
I will definitely come back to Sweetwater when I'm looking for more gear.
Scott in Royal Oak, Michigan