We highly recommend the Epiphone Les Paul Special II for anyone seeking a budget-level instrument that is both playable and good-sounding.
The beginner-level guitar market is a pretty tough niche to crack. There’s no shortage of beginner-level instruments, and you can even buy them at major retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target. However, the old adage “you get what you pay for” applies when purchasing a guitar at the same place you can buy motor oil. Clearly, it’s tough to buy a solid, beginner guitar without wasting your money.
Enter the Epiphone Les Paul Special II. With a street price of $169, it’s clear that this is a budget-priced instrument. However, what’s not clear is just how much you get for that relatively low price. The Epiphone Les Paul Special II is a worthwhile entry into the budget guitar market with its solid playability and full sound.
The Epiphone Les Paul Special II features a basswood body with a bolt-on mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard outfitted with dot inlays. The guitar sports 700T/650R open-coil humbuckers with the characteristic tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece. A master volume and tone control along with a 3-way selector switch complete the electronics package. The guitar is a comfortable 24-3/4″ scale with a 1-5/8″ nut width.
Upon our initial inspection, we did have to make a few small adjustments such as intonation the guitar, adjusting the action, and tightening up the tuners. The pickup selector was also a little scratchy. After we took care of these nagging problems, we were very pleased with the overall quality of the instrument. The finish is fairly thin, so you do have to be careful, but the wine red finish was well done on the whole. However, the action and sound are very good for an instrument in this price range. There were a couple of dead spots, but nothing that hindered our enjoyment of the instrument.
Given its price, we highly recommend the Epiphone Les Paul Special II for anyone seeking a budget-level instrument that is both playable and good-sounding.
Name of Gear: Epiphone Les Paul Special II
List Price: $299.00
Manufacturer Info: The Epiphone Company; epiphone.com
Pros: Solid beginner-level guitar; good sound and action for beginner guitar; good bargain
Cons: Scratchy pickup selector; poor initial setup