I play this ax everyday. Truth be known, I pick it up more often than my Strat, and I'm a Strat guy. It's the first Epi I've owned, and I'm happy with it.
Price: $0.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Avalon Music
Korean made, it's a typical LP set-up...24 3/4" scale, 2 tone and 2 volume knobs and 3 way switch, mahogany body with an alder top, medium jumbo frets on a rosewood board. Nice gold finish and cream binding and I can't find a flaw in the finish. Cream colored P90 p'ups, Grover tuners (not period correct, but they keep it in tune)
My cousin, who is a gittar tech here locally, set this ax up for me the day after I got it. Basically, just raised the treble side of the neck p'up and installed a Switchcraft switch. Intonation is nearly spot on. I'm slow to compare it to my Strat, 'really no sense in doing that, but it plays well enough that I pick it up EVERYday. Nice fretwork, no rough edges.
Sound quality is where this plank shines. I play mostly bluz, but also a considerable amount of rock oldies, rockabilly, and some country when I'm feelin' like it. Haven't found it lacking for any of those genres. Don't know if it would do for metal, but I don't care...I don't do metal (ain't fast enough). The p'ups are gonna sizzle a little bit, they're single coils after all, and it's a minor amount of noise that I don't even notice unless I'm playing by myself and actually listening for it. I have no intentions of swappin' out the p'ups...they sound great!! Might upgrade more of the electronics, but the p'ups are staying right where they are.
I've had this ax since fall '06 and haven't made any adjustments, outside of string gauges, to it since it's initial set-up. I don't play out, unless ya count parties, but I can't see any reasons that it wouldn't be reliable in steady gig situations. It's a little on the heavy side, built like a tank except for the stock 3way switch.
I was looking for a p90's guitar .I tried a Godin & an ESP.I didn't like either of them .I originally wanted a Les Paul special but Epiphone no longer makes them and I couldn't find a used one.This guitar is better than all of the above guitars. I didn't make a mistake buying it.
Model Year: 2003
Where Obtained: Steve's Music Montreal
Guitar made in Korea of mahogany with a alder cap.Two p90 pickups .Grover tuners .Two tone two volume controls.Beautiful gold top.Tune o matic bridge with a stop tailpiece.22 frets.
The guitar was set up by David at Steve's music store exactly to my preferences .010 strings.Neck is just like old Les Paul neck ,fits just nicely to my hands.Very easy to bend strings.
I play this guitar through a Fender Hot rod Deville 2/12
and a line 6 pod 2.0 It is the most incredible blues guitar I own .The bridge pickup is very raunchy with mild overdrive and the neck pickup is creamy .The pickups as with all p90's are a little noisy ,but that is the nature of the beast.
This guitar is extremely stable ,I think the Grover tuners make the difference .I'd heard bad things about the Kluson copies that used to be on this guitar .It's very solid ,It would be a super stage guitar.
In this price range, there isn't much to beat this guitar. It looks good, and plays and sounds great. I looked at an Epi LP studio in a honeyburst finish, but the Goldie just spoke to me. I also looked at things like the Squier Strat, Yamaha Pacifica, etc. Factory standard, they're good but not great. My advice would be to look at the selector switch, the output jack, the action and the set up of the pickups. Once you've done all this, you'll have a truly exceptional bargain guitar, make no mistake. It's not a Gibson, sure, but at a quarter of the price, who can complain? I'd buy it again, just for the looks and its potential. I had the option of putting in some humbuckers, but IMHO it would've just detracted from the appeal of the instrument. I love this guitar, almost as much as my old Washburn N2. But that's another sob story...
Model Year: 1998
Price: $0.00 2500 SA Rands (new)
Where Obtained: Fourways Music, Jhb, South Africa
This guitar is possibly the best buy I've ever made, although I didn't know this until about 3 months ago. Standard, there's nothing that sets it apart other than the metallic gold finish. But do a little work on it and it'll cry and sing with the best of them. 22 fret 6 string instrument, two volume and two tone controls, 3 way selector switch, two P-90 soapbar-style pickups which I think are just as good as original Gibson P-90s, body and neck mahogany/alder, rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid mother or pearl-y inlays, plenty of sustain on this puppy. You gotta be careful stringing it though - the non-locking tuners tend to allow the string to slip unless you string from the bottom of the machine head. As to the finish on this guitar, people say you sacrifice finish quality vs the Gibson models, but I have yet to see how.
When I first bought it, the action was quite high. It would probably have suited most players, but I like the action almost dangerously low. No problem, set up by a professional chappy, replaced the output jack and the selector switch. (NOTE - If you buy an Epi, get them to replace the selector switch even before you take it home, they are notoriously bad on these guitars.) The neck has a wonderfully polished finish on the back, and combined with medium (I think) frets, makes for very easy playing. [The only drawback I find, and I've found it on all Epis and Gibsons I've played, is that bends are just a little more of a challenge than you would find, say, on a Strat. Dunno why.] That said, this guitar plays like a baby. That it looks as good as it does is an added bonus.
I play mostly rock, pop and blues, and am lately getting into a little Jazz. The sound of this guitar fits just about any style I'm playin'. For instance, use the neck pickup, turn the treble control down to about half, add some compression, and you got just about as good a Jazz sound as you'll get out of a solid body. For blues and rock, I turn all the controls up to full, add distortion and just a touch of reverb, sit back and let it tug at my heart strings. The sound of this guitar is really, really something else. Plenty of sustain, a nice, round, warm tone and, once I'd adjusted the pickups properly, even as a freshly sliced prime rib. I haven't used it on stage or in a studio yet, but I'm sure it will do well in either situation. Another drawback is that there is
a little hum from the pickups, but you get used to compensating. Overall, the sound quality is impressive.
I recently dropped this thing. I'm sure it bounced, and I consider myself lucky it didn't crack our new tiles. ;-) The result was a little crack in the finish, and that's costing me about USD30 or 40 to have it patched up, which I can certainly live with. As I said above, two things you have to watch out for are the selector switch and the output jack. Apart from these two little items, I have had no other problems with the durability of this instrument. Climate changes affect the tuning, but that happens with most guitars in my experience. Maybe I'm doing something wrong!!!
If you cant afford the gibson model this is definitely the next best thing!
Model Year: 1999
Where Obtained: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Standard feature guitar with superb gold finish which looks fantastic in all lighting- especially on stage
A very enjoyable guitar to play- feels good under the fingers
Works well with effects board. Great for playing blues and Guns n Roses style tunes. Played raw it gives a very warm, full and deep sound.
Strings tend to detune very easily- this is perhaps the only feature that lets an otherwise perfect guitar down.