Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Special EGS1WKNH3 Electric Guitar Review


I recently posted a review of an entry-level Fender Stratocaster, and in interest of fairness I should give the Gibson camp their fair share of publicity. So, today we are going to take a look at the Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Special EGS1WKNH3 guitar. This is one of the least expensive Les Pauls on the market, and it is not too bad!

I will start out by saying that is has the general look of a Gibson Les Paul, but this thing is serious de-contented in features, materials, and workmanship. This should not be a big surprise, as this guitar is not going to cost you much more than a hundred bucks. It has the single cutaway, a book shaped headstock, a couple of pickups, six strings, and a lot of stuff that you will not find on a real Les Paul. So this will take a little explaining.

The slab body (no carved top) is made of basswood, a good tonewood, but not the most durable material on the planet. Epiphone finished this LP in matte black, which is a departure from most of these that come with the faded finish. This is loaded up with Epiphone 700T bridge and 650R neck humbuckers that are wired through a 3-way switch that is located between the only tow knobs on the guitar: master volume and master tone. There is also a fairly terrible one-piece wraparound bridge.

The bolt-on mahogany neck is pretty nice, with a 1960s profile slim taper neck and 21 frets sunk into the rosewood fretboard. Funny how Gibson cannot use real rosewood on a $2K Les Paul, but Epiphone can do it on a guitar that costs a C-note. There are sealed tuners out of the headstock that are supposed to be nickel-plated, but it sure looks like chrome to me.

Right out of the box, this Les Paul played pretty good. Intonation was ok, there were no dead frets, and the D-shaped neck had a decidedly Les Paul feel. With a little bit of set-up (truss rod and intonation adjustment), it was definitely way better than the entry-level guitars of the 1970s that I grew up with. The sound is not quite up to snuff and I missed the dual tone and volume knobs that I use on my Gibson Les Paul Standard to get the vibe that I crave. But it is good enough. The pickups have good output and certainly can get crunchy, though there is a bit of hum to be found. All in all, it hits the mark and it is a viable candidate for beginning guitar players, or anybody that is looking for an instrument that may be subjected to rough conditions.

How much does all of this cost? Not much! The Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Special guitar has a list price of $245, but you would be a fool to pay that much. The street price for these is $149, and it you hold out you will find them on sale pretty often for $99. That is a steal for a playable electric that sounds good and looks ok. Trust me!


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