I looked at some Ibanez (300bucks) and also some fender Stratocasters (mexicans). This one is well worth the investment. Why? Yes the metal parts loosen up and may fall off if you're not careful but the fretboard is great, the feel of the guitar is good too and with some extra investment you can save big bucks and have an excelent guitar. I chose the Epi instead of the fender or the Ibanez mainly because of the sound, it has richer tone and the body felt more and solid.
My favorite aspect is the feel of the guitar, its very comfortable, light, and solid(in terms of neck and body). The sound is good, on a cheap solid state amp it sounds good and on a valve amp it sound great, so with some updates this guitar will perform like no other of its type.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $420.00 350 Euros (new)
Where Obtained: A store in Madrid Spain
Made In KOREA
Neck: Bolt-Mahogany, Body: Mahogany, Top; Maple, FingerBoard: Rosewood-Dot inlay
22 frets, Large, 6 strings
2 Volume & 2 Tone pots, 3 position switch
Les Paul Body Style
Nice tone, has a good quality Rosewood neck which is wide and allows for good bends. It has good thick tone and with better quality pickups you'd probably get a greater sound.
Some flaws, the pickup screws, input jack and the strap buttons tend to loosen up or fall out! You have to regularly tighten all screws, especially the pickup one's. If you replace these parts and update the volumen and ton pots, plus the pick ups you won't want to let go of this guitar. Still sound great regardless of these issues.
I use the Epi on a Marshall JCM 900 4112 100W and I've tryed her with a Twin Reverb and it sounded intense. On both amps the guitar produced a good creamy tone (on a descent volume offcourse), although in my opion the sound was a bit better on the Twin Reverb.
I've used it for playing funk (acid abigail), blues, and rock-to-hardrock and it's done a pretty good job on all these categories. As mentioned before the sound is full and warm although I strongly recommend you change the pickups to some Seymour Duncans or Gibson orginals, this will make the guitar three times as good!
Almost reliable, as mentioned above certain pieces tend to loosen up, initially it got out of tone pretty quickly but after playing it for some years this problem seems to have solved its self.
I spent too much on this thing because the seller convinced me it was something better. Personally, I'm a little disappointed, but I love the finish. It's really light, easy on my back. I'm not much of a guitar player, I'd much rather play bass, but this thing definately needs some modifications:
Gibson Toggle Switch
Gibson Top-Hat Knobs
Schaller Strap Locks
Gibson 498R and 500T pickups
Model Year: 2000
Price: $300.00 (new)
Where Obtained: eBay
This Korean made piece of trash is supposed to be made of mahogany, but is lighter than a feather. 6 string, 22 fret neck with a finished back. Dual really pathetic humbuckers, I'm replacing them with 498R and 500T's. White finish, stop tailpiece, and really horrible tuners.
I'm primarilly a bass player, so I really wouldn't know the difference between this and a good instrument. I don't have any problems playing it.
The sound is very lacking. The wiring is crap, the sound is too bright for my choice of music. I am going to install Gibson 498R and a 500T, Grover tuners, replace the pots and replace the pickup selector switch (it's made of plywood and foil!) for a real Gibson.