« Fly, fly away! »Published on 01/26/12 at 18:52
The design is pretty ergonomic and cool. It's a little hard to get used to playing a V if you are coming from a Strat or Les Paul, just because it is a bigger instrument. However once you wrap yourself around the idea it is fine. It is easy to play standing up or sitting down. I've seen some of these V's with a small grip pad on the bottom side of the body for extra traction when sitting. However this guitar was ultimately made to rock out, so it's better used standing up in my opinion. The upper fret access is pretty killer given that there's no cutaway or no real neck heel to get in the way. It's not as flawless as a neckthrough design, but for a set neck you aren't getting much better access here, folks.
The tones out of this guitar are actually pretty decent given that it's a cheaper instrument. The stock pickups are basically medium output clones of Gibson 'buckers and they do a fair enough job at the cleans and drives. The clean sounds are not the best for what I wish to hear, but they do a passable job and work well for bluesy or rock tones. It's a bit muddy though, and you don't get the brightness that would be ideal for funky sounds. Switching over to a drive tone is where this guitar shines. The pickups work very well for classic rock a-la Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, The Scorpions. Again, the muddy quality is apparent if you're used to hearing the real deal, but for someone who cares more about the look and just getting a loud, raunchy guitar sound, these pickups suffice for rhythms or lead tones.
All in all I think the Epiphone '58 V is a great buy for someone looking for a well made and very cool looking guitar. It sells new for about $550 which is a good price. The stock parts, as with most Epis, really aren't the best in the world, but you can get decent parts to mod it if you're so inclined. However if you're looking for a cool looking guitar that would not break the bank and allow you to really fly, this one is definitely worth the consideration