Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Epiphone Les Paul Special II

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

YuriW 07/29/2014

Epiphone Les Paul Special II : YuriW's user review


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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.


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.


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.


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.