Looking for a top quality starter guitar with all the pedigree of a Gibson Les Paul but at a fraction of the price then the Epiphone Les Paul Special II should be top of your wishlist.
For years Epiphone have been making quality electric guitars that have been used by some of the greatest guitarists. John Lee Hooker played an Epiphone as did Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison. Les Paul even worked nights at the Epiphone factory to create the “log” his original version of what would become the eponymous Les Paul guitar.
Started in 1873 the Epiphone brand was a leader in the field trading blows with the other great Guitar brand Gibson. The fierce rivalry between the two companies continued up until 1957 when the then head of Epiphone sold the entire company to Gibson for $20,000. Gibson then decided to continue the Epiphone name as a way of widening their dealer base. Rather than give Gibson guitars to untested dealers they would first test the distributor with the Epiphone range. The idea worked and this business model has continued with Epiphone guitars acting as a low priced but well made introduction to the more expensive Gibson guitars.
The Epiphone Les Paul Special II is aimed at continuing this tradition of great quality guitars sold at very competitive prices. But is the guitar cheap and cheerful or is it worth buying?
There is not much you can say about the body of the guitar. It is the traditional Les Paul single cutaway shape made from solid mahogany giving it that real Les Paul solidity and feel that any fan of the Les Paul will recognise.
The bolt on neck is mahogany with a rosewood fret-board featuring 22 jumbo frets. Again there are no frills associated with the neck, there is no edge trim and the fret markers are simple dot inlays. If you want a lightweight guitar then this is not for you. Because this is an entry level guitar you don’t get all the trimmings so there is no edge-work on the body or neck, there is no pick-guard and the pick-ups are naked and dirty! But hell that makes it look as if it means business, this guitar is stripped down and ready to play so don’t expect any frills.
In terms of electrics you get the standard two humbuckers with an Epiphone 650 R in the neck position and an Epiphone 700 T in the bridge position. The controls are a single tone and volume control and you can select the pick-ups through a three way selector switch. This has been moved from its traditional position above the neck, down to between the volume and tone controls.
In looks and feel this guitar is a true workhorse. You get the Les Paul sound and feel for a fraction of the price. The build quality of the guitar is great, I really like the stripped down look, it really suits the guitar and actually makes the guitar look more expensive than it actually is. The guitar also sounds great as the demo video below shows.
To sum up if you are looking for a starter guitar, or if you are looking for a good quality guitar to take to a gig where you wouldn’t take your more expensive guitars then the Epiphone Les Paul Special II could be just the guitar for you and at just £119 it is excellent value for money so if you like the look then you can buy it now from Gear 4 Music.
|Epiphone Les Paul II Special Electric Guitar|
|Bridge||Lock Tone Tune-O-matic bridge and stop bar|
|Frets||22 Jumbo frets|
|Neck Shape||1960s SlimTaper D profile|
|Bridge pickup||Epiphone 700T Humbucker|
|Neck pickup||Epiphone 650R Humbucker|
|Pickup switching||3 way pick-up selector switch|
|Controls||1 volume and 1 tone control|
|Recommended retail price||£119|
|If you love this guitar||Buy it now|
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