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Epiphone Les Paul Special II Review - Armchair Empire

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Review

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  • 8.6/10
    Hardware - 8.6/10
  • 8.5/10
    Electronics - 8.5/10
  • 8.7/10
    Sound - 8.7/10
  • 10/10
    Value - 10/10
8.9/10

Our Rating

Table Of Contents

Intro  •  My Review  •  Pros  •  Cons  •  Features  •  Conclusion

Introduction

A dream-come-true musical instrument that anyone can afford, the Epiphone Les Paul Special-II Electric guitar emulates the looks and feel of the classic Gibson Les Paul that has defined rock music for generations, altogether. Of course this cannot be directly compared to the legendary electric guitar, but offers an almost real feel and tone of it, well worth the money spent. Be it the impressive Mahogany build or the exquisite Rosewood fingerboard with dot in lays, each and every aspect of this electric guitar’s construction has been dealt with meticulous attention to detail. The duo of open coil Epiphone 700T and 650R Humbucker Pickups enhance the tone to provide an authentic, melodious Les Paul feel.

les paul special II full sideways

Available in several elegant colors such as Vintage Sunburst, Ebony, Heritage Cherry Sunburst and even a glossy Wine Red, this Epiphone Electric Guitar has specifically been crafted keeping the requirements of wannabe teen guitarists in mind. From the easily portable design and single-knob intonation controls, to the easily workable flattened fretboard, the simplified design truly ushers up your learning curve as a beginner. And as far as string changing is concerned, you couldn’t have asked for an easier variant with the available lock tone bridge and stopbar tailpiece.

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Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst
  • Mahogany body
  • 700T Humbucker pickups
  • Rosewood fretboard

Review and Experience

Having been a die-hard fan of Eric Clapton and Michael Bloomfield all through my teens, I seem to have transferred some of my musical inclinations on to my 12 year old son. Imagine his excitement when I gifted him the Epiphone Les Paul Special-II Electric Guitar last Christmas! Not only did I manage to get him a present well within my budget, but I also got home yet another fabulous ‘beginner’s guitar’ to review.

les paul special II player pack

Before I get to the design, playability, controls and sound, I would like to strongly suggest all interested buyers to opt for the player pack instead of the lone guitar. That’s precisely because the player pack just costs a bit more, and comes with everything that you need to get started right away including a 10 watt amplifier, 10 feet guitar cable, a lovely guitar strap and travel bag along with high quality tuners and mid-sized picks.

les paul special II neck

Design-wise, most of the electric guitars manufactured by Epiphone are always up to the mark. But if you are planning to buy the Epiphone Les Paul Special-II Electric Guitar for your child, it becomes all the more worthwhile because of the various Game configurations for PS-3, PS-4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One that are available. So there are ample choices to get your little ones to be seriously hooked to their guitar lessons! Diving ahead to the designs, the presence of two 650R and 700T Humbuckers is a laudable advancement over and above other ‘budget-guitars’ with a single, single-coil pickup. If you observe closely, you will realize that this model has got all the signature Les Paul design elements and controls, but obviously “dumbed down” for beginners.

les paul special II body

Sound-wise, I feel that it is seriously time for us as customers to bid adieu to the inferior lone-up of electric guitars in the market, which are dirt-cheap but sound like screaming cats in a bag. I mean, if Epiphone can bring you such a superior-sounding instrument at this knockout price, there is really no reason for any guitar-novice to waste time and money on another brand. The only piece of advice I’d like to give all beginners here is that please don’t adjust the truss rod without proper training or supervision. While a more rugged instrument would withstand careless handling or tuning, this particular model is kind of delicate and might end up getting permanently damaged if you don’t know what you are doing.

But don’t worry, this is only applicable if you want to change the strings or use this guitar for more acoustic notes like in jazz. As far as day-to-day playability and beginner’s lessons are concerned, you really don’t have to worry too much as this beauty is fairly easy to play. A word of praise goes forth to its lightweight construction, so you can go ahead and carry this wherever you’d like to!

les paul special II body controls

I don’t like to brag (or maybe just a little) but I consider myself as a somewhat seasoned reviewer of electric guitars. That, apart from being a diehard music lover of course! Now, as soon as my expert eye scanned over the hardware and electronic components of the Epiphone Les Paul Special-II Electric Guitar, I was mightily impressed with the fact that this was so wonderfully ‘beginner-friendly’. There are so many keen learners who end up losing interest in just a couple of weeks if the guitar purchased is not the right one. In case of this Epiphone guitar, something as small as the pickup toggle switch or even the master volume control knob, has been constructed so meticulously, it’s a treat to hold this guitar and learn to play it!

Pros

  • Highly economical, well-built and visually appealing electric guitar with Lifetime Warranty for enthusiasts to begin their musical journey without too much research
  • Very ergonomic, comfortable and easy to play, especially for users with small and medium-sized hands for hours at a stretch
  • Rich in features on the lines of its much more expensive counterpart (original Gibson Les Paul) with smooth tones routed via a top-notch Tune-O-Matic Bridge
  • Simplified Tonal Adjustment using single Toggle Switch and single tone control for both pickups
  • Slim bolt-on neck ensures fuss-free maintenance, high durability and nice, bright sound
  • Very well constructed with top quality dual humbuckers exuding smooth intonation

Cons

  • Players with larger hands or broader build might find it a bit uncomfortable owing to the slim design
  • Short string length limits scale and tonal variation to set limit, curtailing professional use of this guitar
  • No accessories are included; need to spend separately on amplifier and cable
  • Solid body guitar will not emanate high resonance tunes like the original Gibson Les Paul

Features

  • Dimensions of 17 x 45 x 7 inches with total weight of 7.9 pounds
  • Mahogany Body with 1960s Slim Taper ‘D’ Profile Bolt-On Neck
  • Rosewood Fret board of 12” radius with 1.68” nut width and nickel hardware
  • Signature Epiphone 650R Humbucker Neck Pickup and Epiphone 700T Humbucker Bridge Pickup
  • Single volume and tone control knob with 3-way toggle switch for Pickup Selection
  • Tune-o-matic Bridge System with Stopbar tail piece and 6 strings of scale length 24.75”

Conclusion

If you’ve always aspired to exhibit your musical prowess with an original Les Paul, buying the Epiphone Les Paul Special-II Electric Guitar will definitely take you several steps closer towards your dream, even on a tight budget! More than anything else, this is a simplistically designed and most basic electric guitar that enables you to build your guitar-playing skills from the very scratch. Yet, the overall build, truss-rod stringing and periodic maintenance aspects will never, ever convey the feel of a cheap or makeshift piece. Barring a few limitations such as light, bendy strings, short scale length and a very low resonance body type, this sassy electric guitar from Epiphone has all guns blazing and hits the bull’s eye!

Not the right choice for you? Check out our electric guitar reviews hub!