Epiphone Les Paul Special II
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Epiphone Les Paul Special II

Les Paul Special II, LP-Shaped Guitar from Epiphone in the Les Paul series.

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All user reviews for the Epiphone Les Paul Special II

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Average Score:3.4( 3.4/5 based on 74 reviews )
 20 reviews27 %
 28 reviews38 %
 12 reviews16 %
 7 reviews9 %
 7 reviews9 %
Audience: Beginners Value For Money : Excellent
Buy at Amazon
YuriW07/29/2014

YuriW's review

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
This epiphone was the second guitar in my life. I’ve sold my first one to buy this LP from my cousin, mainly because I was 16 years old and wanted to be Jimmy Page. Had it for some good 3 years before moving on to something better and don’t regret it at all. That was quite some time ago, though, at around 2001 there were not as many options of instruments for starters as we have today.

It has the shape of a classic les paul, but the top is flat (unfortunately not the nicer looking arched top like the standard epiphones and gibsons), two humbucker pickups, tune-o-matic bridge, one volume and one tone knob that affects both pickups, one pickup selector with three positions, 22 frets, dot inlays and a pretty nice black finish.


UTILIZATION

Comparing to the other starter guitars (ibanez, jackson and squier), the neck of this epiphone is thicker. I like it, I think it's more ergonomic for my hand and I can play longer without getting tired.

One of the biggest problems with these budget guitars (at least here where I live) is that you always get them from the store with a ridiculously high string action (or from the person you've bought it from if he/she didn't know that it could be fixed). So if you're thinking about buying one of these (actually even one of the other brands) take it straight to a luthier and ask him to adjust the tensor and the bridge to bring the strings closer to the neck: this is going to make a HUGE diference in the guitar's playability and tone.

Other common issues are knobs a little hard to turn, noisy pickup selectors and the likes... dont't worry, all of this stuff can be fixed and for not much money.

Once the adjustments are made you will have a pretty honest axe to play your rock n' roll. The guitar is not heavy, it's weight is well balanced between body and neck and the controls are easy to reach.

SOUNDS

Back in the day I used to play it A LOT with my Zoom 505 II, plugged into any kind of cheap amp (which also were not as good as the cheap amps today). Maybe it wasn't only the guitars fault, but mine tone knob was pretty much useless, you'd either have to keep all open or the sound would be awful.

Anyways, tone all open and string action adjusted: it's a pretty honest guitar to play rock, if you want Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Guns n' Roses, Sabbath, AC/DC, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, even heavier stuff like Metallica or Megadeth can work. Use the bridge pickup for the heavy, sharp, bright tones (think Zeppelin's "Rock n' Roll", "Welcome To The Jungle", "Back In Black", "Master Of Puppets", "3's & 7's", etc.), and the neck for the more mellow stuff (the first two solos from "November Rain" come to mind), some clean tones, or even if you want to sound really dirty with a lot of distortion ("Seven Nation Army" or that great solo from The Black Crowes in "Thorn In My Pride"). With both pickups (tone selector in the middle position) you can get sounds for stuff like (the intro from) "Paradise City", "Mama Kin", "The Jack"... you see, the list goes on and on.

Of course, you can play other things with this guitar too, Hendrix, Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, it's gonna sound nice, but just not as close to the original tones that these guys had.

OVERALL OPINION

After all, what I really didn't like about this guitar was the tone knob, as I explained before. About all the rest, I can assure you that for this price this is a really good deal, but if you have some extra 100 bucks it's worth looking at the next series: SG G-400, Les Paul 100, maybe the Gretsch Jet Club.

I think that what you really have to keep in mind is: what is you favorite band? And the second? And the third? What kind of guitars do they use?
If they're all metal bands, maybe you'll like a jackson or a ibanez more than this epiphone. If they use more guitars with 'single coil' pickups, you might try a squier stratocaster or a tele. But if they're among these bands I've just talked about before, then this Les Paul is what you need.
iamqman02/14/2012

iamqman's review"I'll take one for that price"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Epiphone is one of those guitar companies that basically mimics what ever Gibson guitars put out. At the phone as a whole line of models and series guitars that basically near everything that the Gibson guitar stand for and sounds like. This is a Gibson Les Paul type guitar with a different name attached to the headstock. Is a very cool looking guitar because it has a great vintage looking paint job. It really gives off that organic vintage vibe just from the paint job alone. It does carry to come back or pick ups like you would see in any other a Gibson Les Paul guitar as well as the volume control mob and tone control knob.


UTILIZATION

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Features:

Color: Vintage Sunburst
Left-handed
Body Wood: Mahogany
Neck Wood: Mahogany
Neck Profile: Bolt-on, 1-11/16" nut
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Position Markers: Dot inlays
Scale length: 24 3/4"
Number of Frets: 22
Pickups: 2-Open Coil humbuckers
Controls: 2 volume, 2 tone
Pickup Switching: 3-way selector
Hardware: Chrome
Bridge/Tailpiece: Stopbar

SOUNDS

This is a very inexpensive guitar overall because it is the junior version of the LP series and Epiphone model series. Basically what that means at this guitar is one of the lower models of the Epiphone model spectrum. Although it does have a great tone and it creates a sounds that is inviting and more importantly is that you're not really going to break the budget when buying this guitar. The great thing about it is that it still features all of the wood combinations that you would get any other Gibson Les Paul instrument. This is very cool guitar for the money and it should be noted that it doesn't take a lot of money to get a great tone and this is one of those guitars that can do it very well.


OVERALL OPINION

At new you can find these guitars for one around $180. That is a steal of a price for what you're getting with his guitar. If you've ever wanted that classic Gibson Les Paul sound and you don't want to break the budget and this is probably the best option that you're ever going to fine. This is such a great sounding guitar for under $200 that it almost is a no-brainer to pick up if you are on a budget or even if you have the money but don't want to spend too much getting a particular Les Paul sound. Overall this is a great guitar and for the price is doesn't get much better than this.
King Loudness01/31/2012

King Loudness's review"Beginner Les Paul."

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
The Epiphone Les Paul Special II is the lowest level LP copy made by Epiphone and is a decent ax for anyone looking to get into the Gibson feel but not pay for the higher level Epiphone or Gibson versions. It features a mahogany body, a bolt on mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, a tune-o-matic/stopbar setup bridge wise, standard tuners, and a pair of OEM Epiphone humbuckers wired to a volume, a tone and a toggle switch. Pretty much a standard Les Paul as far as features go, but with the slimmed down electronics compliment and of course the cheaper bolt on construction. It also has a flat top as opposed to the carved one on the higher end models.

UTILIZATION

The ergonomics of this guitar really are nothing special to me. It's of a medium weight and seems to feel pretty LP esque when you strap it on your shoulders. That being said the bolt on construction doesn't feel right to me, and I'm not a fan of that style of construction on a Gibson type guitar. The upper fret access isn't bad but I can't really comment on it too much because it really isn't really all that remarkable or unremarkable. Getting a good tone out of this guitar isn't really a priority... the pickups are not great and honestly it's the type of guitar someone would get who doesn't focus on the sound, but rather just wants a basic set of clean and maybe distorted tones.

SOUNDS

The tones out of this guitar aren't particularly great to me. The bolt on construction combined with the cheaper pickups/electronics really makes for a fairly unremarkable sounding guitar to my ears. The clean sounds are pretty flat and not dynamic enough, and the drive sounds are pretty muddy and lacking in clarity. It's not really worth upgrading the electronics in this one either, so it's really the type of guitar you'd just use to learn on or if you want to play really loud, aggressive punk rock and don't care about the tones.

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I think this guitar is not really all that special. It offers a way to get into the Les Paul shape and feel for not a lot of money, but the quality isn't great, and the tones really don't represent the great tones of the real Gibson models. For about $200 new it's not a great deal, but you can get them for less used. It's in the same class as the Squier Affinities and such as far as quality... they have the shape and name but may not live up to them...
iamqman12/13/2011

iamqman's review"Not bad for a beginner"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Epiphone is one of those guitar manufactures that basically builds exactly what Gibson already makes but does it more conveniently and cheaper and for budgeted musicians. Most of their instruments are basically the lesser version of the more popular and more heavily used professional instruments from Gibson guitars. This guitar is basically a knock off or a budgeted version of the Les Paul vintage instrument. They carried pretty much all the same features as far as the wood, the combination of volume and tone control knobs, as well as the two humbucker system. It's basically exactly like a Les Paul, but he just doesn't have that extra oommph that a Gibson Les Paul guitar carries.

UTILIZATION


Epiphone Les Paul Special II Features:

Color: Vintage Sunburst
Body Wood: Mahogany
Neck Wood: Mahogany
Neck Profile: Bolt-on, 1-11/16" nut
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Position Markers: Dot inlays
Scale length: 24 3/4"
Number of Frets: 22
Pickups: 2-Open Coil humbuckers
Controls: 2 volume, 2 tone
Pickup Switching: 3-way selector
Hardware: Chrome
Bridge/Tailpiece: Stopbar

SOUNDS


This guitar features mahogany wood in the body and neck. When you immediately grab this guitar you can feel how cheap and inexpensive the guitar is built. You can easily feel that the workmanship and that this guitar is not quite to the standards of a normal LP guitar. However, all of the tones and the general voicing is very similar and familiar to Les Paul guitar. So if you're running this guitar in combination with a clean amplifier then it's not really going to be that nice of a sparkly tone much like a Gibson Les Paul guitar. But if you're running any high gain or even medium gain setting and you're really going to feel how well this guitar performs in a more rock pop in metal typesetting.

OVERALL OPINION


These guitars are pretty inexpensive and you can find them for right around $200 online and in many guitar retailers around the world. This is a fairly inexpensive instrument and if you're not in the market for a real Gibson Les Paul then this is a decent alternative for under $200. This is also a guitar for someone who might be learning the guitar and you don't want to spend a whole lot of money just learning whether or not you even want to be a musician.
MGR/Blackdog05/30/2010

MGR/Blackdog's review"Epiphone Les Paul Special 2"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Transparent Wine finish and black tint hardware with 2 humbuckers. Single volume and single tone control; 3 way switch.

Well made and the workmanship is surprisingly good. No finish drips, etc, neck pocket is very tight (it's a bolt on neck), frets are very nice and needed no attention. Setup was almost perfect, but took a small amount of nut slot deepining and lowering of the saddle wheels.

I recorded 1 record thus far and play regularly in my town. I am known as a good song writer and performer, but not professional caliber performer. I havew played since I was a kid (40 years). I studied classical guitar and play with nails mostly.

Big Box store for $170. I was thinking of a Squier Tele with 2 p90s, but this guitar was a better feel and sounds quite good.

Well made and set was very good from the factory. Indonesia made, and it's the equal of most Gibsons from the USA for build and finish. The cavity is neat and clean, fretboard is clean and fret endsw are smoothed.

Plays great right off the rack and sounds good enough to gig with. It's ratedthe #3 electric under $500 for a reason!

I would have liked separate controls and a coil tap. But this is a low priced basic guitar. You are not going to get special features for cheap. Tuners are adequate, but not in the Grover class.

This is surprisingly good. Not handsome woods, but well made and the neck angle is right. The over-all build and finish is quite good. I mean like as good as most any guitar short of a Tom Anderson or expensive Japan Epiphone.

A best value guitar suitable for anyone short of a polished pro! It's that good and I have top notch guitars. I have owned most of the real good stuff (Eric Johnson Strat, Tokai LP Reborn, a Bill Crook Tele, etc.).

The Epi Special II for $170 is a steal!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Anonymous05/15/2005

MGR/Anonymous's review"Epiphone Special II"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
I bought this guitar at LA music for $200 in mississauga ontario. I mainly bought it for the paint job. Lol I was a begginer then.

It is nice and low play easy to play perfect for the begginer and it can also play almost anything out there.

Ummmm the 6th string sometimes hits against the third fret probably just my guitar tho.

Practically bullet proof and indestructible trust me ive tried.

Very good guitar BUY!!!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Retb03/04/2005

MGR/Retb's review"Epiphone Les Paul Special II"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
I bought this axe at Guitar Center. One hint, NEVER buy anything at guitar center without a price match. They will always over-charge you. I paid $250 for this guitar originally, but I came back a few days later and got the price lowered to $150. "LP" in this case didn't mean Les Paul, it meant "low price"!

Low price isn't always a bad thing. For the price my axe was very good. The tone is amazing it totally out-plays the squiers it's not even in the same ballpark. I love the placemant of the pickup selector. It's really easy to access while playing. I liked the feel of the neck as well. It's pretty thi, so it easy for beginners and the fretboart is nice and wide, but not too wide. Also, the finish and datailing is beyond perfect. It can take a good beating too.

A few things needed to be fixed on my axe within the first year. My input jack broke, my strap pegs fell off, and the standard tuners are junk. Overall, after those repairs (about $110) this axe is very good. I gig with it all the time.

Overall, the good things on this axe are the neck, the detailing, the body, the knobs and wiring, and the hardware. Everything else could use a little work.

I highly recommend this axe to any beginner or as a second guitar for an intermediate player. It'll last you well through the intermediate stage.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Mazz02/04/2005

MGR/Mazz's review"Epiphone Special II"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Purchased 5 years ago at Music Junction in Camberwell, Victoria for about AU$450 (for the guitar alone, hard case was extra). I needed a guitar to learn on (as my Dad did not trust me with his guitars) and could not start out on acoustic because of small hands and fingers (although from practice on this one I can now play acoustic).

It has an awesome tonal quality to it, and it is possible to really rock out with, both in rythm and lead positions. It is really comfortable and light to wear, but takes a lot of getting used to playing it on your lap. This guitar can take a serious lot of knocking about - I have dropped and knocked this guitar on numerous occasions, and only have two very small dints in it. I wouldn't be surprised if you purposely smashed it on the ground and it didn't fall apart. I found this guitar was great for my small hands and fingers, and the fretboard is fantastic, doesn't take much to play, though the neck is fat and quite slow.

Although I really love this guitar, there are a lot of down sides to it. The pickups seemed to sink back into the guitar body and after that the sound wasn't ever the same, and it was somewhat dampened. The Jack socket was incredibly loose about a week after I got it home, so I tighten that by hand every once in a while (because there is no other way). The tuning is not the greatest out, although mine seems to be a lot better than other Specials out there. I can really thrash the guitar for a good 30 minutes before it needs any form of tuning (and no, I am not tone-deaf). But it can get rather annoying when I have experienced guitars out there that do not need tuning for at least half a week. The strap is set in an awkward position and you really need either quick locks or a screw-in strap to not have your guitar crashing to the ground every five minutes. Originally my strap knobs just kept falling out (hint: stick a matchstick in the hole and then screw it back up - you're just filling up a hole). The plastic on the pickup switch broke almost immediately and when switching between pickups, there is this large echoey sound, which can be heard over an amplification system at times it is so loud. And I have a 60W practice amp! The thing that really made me want to buy a new guitar was because the neck was so slow. No lightning quick solos on this guitar.



As I said earlier, you could bash this guitar to Mars and it'll come back sparkling. Little bits have fallen to pieces or have stopped working over the years, but it's expected from such a cheap guitar. I would recommend changing the tuners and the pickups for an almost awesome guitar if your an intermediate player.

Overall, this guitar is probably the best you can get for a beginner who does not know if they will continue with the instrument. It is cheap, and actually quite durable (despite what was previously said), and is good for what it is. But if you are up to the stage where you are looking for your second guitar, I would not suggest the Epiphone Special II, unless you were buying it for it's open coil humbuckers, because they can sound pretty sweet, even though they are cheap.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Martin Richardson10/05/2004

MGR/Martin Richardson's review"Epiphone Special II"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Christmas was coming around and my good friend(almost like a big brother) had gotten me interested in guitars by letting me borrow one of his and learning on that. the main thing i learned was that i had to have one of my own. it was a custom ibanez rg w/ tremelo, sd pickups, etc. it was good to learn on and taught me what i liked in guitars, i learned to love the humbucker(an invader) in the bridge position, and at the time and musical taste, hate the tremelo. it just got in the way and i didn't need it. so i went looking around at entry level guitars in packages. after countless hours online the Special II had came across my eyes and seemed to fit the bill. i went down to the local Guitar Center and had a look at everything with my dad, and ended up with the Special II package(amp, strap, cord, etc.) and a guitar stand for $220 out the door.

The Special II has some pretty awesome pickups for being stock on a lower end guitar. the pickups look almost identical of a SD Jazz(neck) and a JB(bridge) minus the Seymour Duncan text and probably sound very similar. the tune-o-matic bridge makes tuning very stable and offers a lot of sustain. it sounds very good for punk, rock, jazz/blues, etc. i can get some really clean tones out of it in the 2nd and 3rd positions and a lot of different distortion tones in the bridge, bright or dark(but not exactly muddy). action is good, and the cosmetics are also very appealing w/ chrome hardware on a black guitar(and from what my friends have said, it looks very good on me). its a nice basic guitar that can still impress the ladies.

the les paul shape is not as comfortable as the strat shape when sitting and you need to be careful when standing up as the strap tends to want to slip off near the neck(strap locks can fix this). theres some buzzing every once in a while and the tuners aren't great(but what do you expect from such a cheap guitar). the neck is not thin, which makes it somewhat difficult to play faster stuff if you have smaller hands. its a bit heavy for a beginner and my shoulder tends to hurt when standing with it for more than 20 minutes(maybe if my strap just had more padding). the gold text on the head stock and on the 3 way switch doesn't look good on a guitar with a black and chrome scheme, kinda tacky.

seems to have lasted pretty good, no problems so far in the 10 months i've had it.

its a great beginner guitar and if you wanted to truly make it your own by adding pickups, tuners, etc. it could be even better and a lot of fun. now that i've played more(and more guitars) i realize that i want a strat shape more right now with a trem setter(to help with stability, or a stringthru like a schecter) and will probably sell the Special II. its a great guitar and i really want to keep it but i'll always remember it and would definitely advise any player to add a les paul style guitar(even this inexpensive one) to their arsenal. i know i will definitely want another les paul and will get one when i can.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Freddy R.09/21/2004

MGR/Freddy R.'s review"Epiphone Les Paul Special II"

Epiphone Les Paul Special II
I purchased this guitar off of musiciansfriend.com for $240 because I wanted to learn the guitar and I figured that since everyone and their mother has a Stratocaster, I'd try something different.

I like the overall feel of the guitar. It has weight to it yet it is still lighter than many other guitars I have played, and I have an easy time wrenching out the notes. The neck is fairly thin, but not as thin as a Strat. The fretboard is very comfortable and smooth. The pickups have a naturally hot sound, and they distort as soon as the gain knob hits 2.

The output jack is loose, and tends to crackle, especially on a wireless setup. Otherwise, if you swap out the standard strap buttons with dunlop straplocks, it is not a major problem there, but the stock ones are garbage.

For the price it is very well made. It is definitely more of a beginner guitar, but still, there are some loose ends, the tuners aren't always reliable, and the frets aren't put in extremely well. But overall, it is quite good

For the beginner or alt rocker on a budget, there's no better guitar in this price range. If given the choice between this guitar and a Highway 1 Strat, I'd take the Les Paul.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com