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June 2017 Giveaway

Epiphone Les Paul Special II - Vintage Sunburst Reviews

4.5 stars based on 29 customer reviews
  • from Shreveport Louisiana June 11, 2014

    Great guitar

    I'm a beginner and I couldn't be more happy with my purchase. I love everything about it especially the price. Sweetwater has the best deals on great guitars when I'm ready to get anothe they will be who I buy from.

  • from Bonita, CA June 7, 2014

    Epiphone Special

    As a guitar player and performer I have to say I focus on comfort and playability first and foremost. I own the original Epi Special made by Gibson when Epi's were made at the Gibson factory in Nashville. I purchased mine on ebay for 82.00 The tone from this guitar is amazing, just clean clear tone from the mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard give it that special crunch and sustain needed for all kinds of music. The simplicity of single controls for both pups is killer. Now I know why PRS guitars are designed this way. Playability and tonality are beyond the imagination for a guitar this affordable. The stopbar tail piece and adjustable bridge give this guitar the ability to stay in tune and the three way switch gives you an amazing choice of tones. I play mine through a fender twin reverb silverface and it delivers the blues and jazz I need using one pup or two. Best guitar I've played ever and I'm not ashamed to gig with it either.

  • from Saint Amant, Louisiana March 4, 2014Music Background:
    Sound Tech

    Epiphone Les Paul II

    I've looked for a while trying to figure out what type of guitar I should learn on. I've always wanted to play a guitar but if it didn't work out, at least I could sell it for a little less than I paid for it and it wouldn't be a great loss.

    After looking for a week and getting some great advice from a friend of mine in a band; I decided to get this guitar. It's inexpensive and carries the Les Paul name. It looks and feels nice while your playing. I couldn't have chosen a better guitar to learn on.

    If you're a beginner looking learn on a really good quality guitar that won't break the pocketbook, then look no further. I'm very pleased with this purchase!

  • from Milford, MA January 21, 2014Music Background:

    Les Paul Special II

    First Guitar. It was recommended by many. If are considering a start up guitar with quality and the affordable price, go no further.

    Shipping was fast and the Sweetwater Representative called to confirm it was delivered, no damage and was the correct Guitar that I ordered.

    Anyone who asks, I highly recommend using this company to purchase any musical item. Thank you Sweetwater...

  • from Jasper, AL December 27, 2013Music Background:
    guitar, drums, bass

    Gift for son on Christmas

    A great guitar for a decent player, and super great for a beginner. Service at Sweetwater was excellent as well. The first came in damaged, but they promptly sent a call tag pickup and got a new one out a week before expected to have in stock.

    Sweetwater has excellent service. Customer is number one!

  • from Jasper, AL December 11, 2013Music Background:
    Worship Drummer, Guitar and Bass Enthusiast

    Great Value, Better Service

    I ordered this guitar for my son for Christmas. It will be a great starter for him, especially since he likes Les Pauls (like his dad). I arrived with a chip on the headstock from shipping damage.

    One email to Tyler, and the situation was on the way to being corrected. I have to say that due to holiday sales, they were sold out, but Collen got me one to my door, 7 days before they estimated it being available at their warehouse.

    I am completely satisfied with the high quality customer service that Sweetwater offers... Way better than you can get at most local music stores.

  • from West Deptford NJ November 3, 2013Music Background:
    Lead guitarist in a church band. Been playing for 40 years

    Great Guitar for The Price!!!

    I ordered this guitar from Sweetwater for 149.00 with free shipping. Super fast shipping and great customer service ( Love the free candy!) I 've owned 2 Les Paul customs in my life and they were heavy around my neck. I'm on a budget and wanted that gibson sound again with a light weight guitar, (This is it.) The guitar came with perfect intonation from the factory but I had to lower the action by just lowering the bridge ( no big deal.) Beautiful finish, solid construction. Sounds great through my Fender mustang 1 amp. Worth the money , buy it you won't regret it.

  • from Barberton,Ohio July 15, 2013Music Background:
    Music Enthusiast,Love to play Guitar

    Les Paul Special II

    The Les Paul Special II Guitar . The look,the feel,and the sound of this guitar are proof of Quality Craftsmanship and Care from Epiphone. I am happy to own this guitar

  • from IL May 23, 2013Music Background:


    New 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.

  • from WI March 30, 2013Music Background:

    Working Man's Guitar

    Like 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.


    I'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.

  • from Alabama May 22, 2012Music Background:
    Guitar Player (off and on for 20+ years)

    Amazing Value

    I 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 Nice

    Firstly, 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.

  • from holden maine usa March 14, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist & pro

    Les Paul special ll


  • from glenshaw pa August 18, 2010Music Background:

    feels great for this beginner

    it 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:
    Hobbyist, Student

    An unbelievable guitar

    I'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 amazing

    I 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

  • from Muskegon, Mi March 6, 2014Music Background:
    I'm fifty five years old and have been playing guitar since I was 12yrs old, not to mention every other string instrument too! I played out in the local circuit in my earlier days. Now it's pure satisfaction with family and friends and an acational open m

    sweet guitar

    A beautiful guitar made out of fantastic wood, fun to play, I'm ga ga over it. The price was amazingly low for all that guit-fiddle....bam!!

  • from January 14, 2013

    Awesome LP for the price!

    Great playability, nice action.

    This is big bang for your $.

  • from Northern California January 7, 2015Music Background:
    Old Newbie

    Epiphone Les Paul Special II - Vintage Sunburst

    For a low cost, beginners guitar, this one is a good deal. Once I changed the strings to DAddario EXL10's it played a lot nicer that with the stock strings that came on it. Much easier on these "newbie" fingers. I have not played in years and I had forgot about the need to be building those calluses on the finger tips again.

  • from Oh, USA December 2, 2014Music Background:

    Nice, playable guitar

    Just getting started, was going nowhere fast with a decent acoustic. The neck and action on this model gives me some hope. Couldn't find a better price, salesman was helpful and informative, delivery quick and undamaged. If you want an affordable, playable guitar this would seem to fit your needs.

  • 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 Value

    This 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:
    Pro musician

    Best value & Sound

    The 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.

  • 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!

  • from Rockford, IL. December 15, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Local weekend band (muscian)

    Epi Les Paul Special II

    Nice Epiphone, sounds similar to my Gibson LP Studio and I love the gloss vintage sunburst finish. Only a couple of things I wanted to mention, having a little trouble keeping it in tune and came from factory with a few little scuffs and scratchs but no big deal. I am gonna put some new strings on it and see if that helps the intonation problem. Overall a good guitar for the money.

  • from fairport,ny April 15, 2013Music Background:

    good guitar for the price

    nice 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.


    This 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.

  • from san diego September 23, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar-Banjo player over 6 years

    Only for beginner

    It is only ok if you are anything over beginner than don't buy it, it is only a great guitar to practice on not to great though.

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