Gibson Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar Reviews
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Gibson Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar

3 ratings (1 Epinions review)
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Sweet, sweet, Les Paul!

Jan 11, 2006 (Updated Jan 11, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Playability. Fast neck, low-action, great sustain. Good rock/metal sound. Affordable, great value.

Cons:Cheaper than the best.

The Bottom Line: Excellent guitar for the money. Plays like it's much more expensive. If I lost it I would only replace with an actual Gibson solid-body, otherwise it's perfect for me.


I have been a guitar player for 15 years, I started when I was fairly young. So, in the course of the past decade and a half, I've played many many different electric guitars, and acoustics too for that matter. The one I actually bought is the Epiphone Les Paul Special II. Here's why:

FEEL
This guitar feels good from the second you pick it up. Nice weight, excellent balance, and the size/length seems just right. It has a 24.74" scale (common), and 1.68" nut width. A very playable neck width, with low-action feel. The neck is bolt-on dark mahogany. The body a laminated alder/maple, allowing for excellent sustain. And I'm not just saying that. It will play some great solo leads.


SOUND
The Les Paul Special II has a nice, bright sound. Thanks in part to the 2 open-coil Humbuckers. Fabulous lead tone, packs the ultimate punch in distortion or other crunch effects. Flip the selector switch to 'rythym' (or neck pickup), and it will give you that Gun's 'n Roses' Slash sound. This guitar should, in my opinion, be used for rock/ metal, as the clean sound seems a touch nasally. That could be my different amps too, you may think otherwise...


MAINTENANCE
Here's the most common thing I feel needs attention when you first get your Les Paul: When you get this guitar new, change the strings immediately. Factory string are basically trash. I recommend Dean Markley Blue Steel, or Ernie Ball Super Slinky's (light or extra light for this guitar -nothing heavier), then check for intonation. In case you're unfamiliar with this term, it means the guitar's ability to stay in tune when playing higher up the neck. All too often I've had guitars that sound great (once tuned) when strumming your typical G-C-D 1st position chords -which seems to be the typical first try-out anyone gives a new guitar- but sound like the novice you thought you weren't anymore once you travel north.

This is what I found with MY LP. If you need further help with adjusting intonation, email me @ geeze_ma@hotmail.com, with an appropriate SUBJECT line indicating your concern.

Every few string changes, the Les Paul's nut and bridge may need this: a little pencil lead rubbed in the grooves where the strings sit. This helps 'lubricate' the groove so your strings won't try to bind when tightening, causing that ping-ping sound, which can shorten your string's life.

DURABILITY
My LP seems to take a licking quite well. Thanks in part to the heavy finish. Note of caution however, the Les Paul Special II when bumped or dropped, drops out of tune VERY EASILY. Be careful. I've used other guitars that weren't so touchy, but this seems to be the case here. Probably not the most high-tech chrome tuning pegs available...but for $199, you can't expect the best of everything. My LP is now 8 years old (as of Jan '06), and plays like a well-oiled machine. With proper care, you'll have a great run with this beast. I still haven't had to do any reconditioning of my frets, and I play probably 3-5 hours per week. (I share my playing time with my Wasburn D-10CEB acoustic/electric).

VALUE
SECOND TO NONE! This is the best electric guitar value I've ever seen. Sure, you can buy a strat. imitation from Wal-mart for a lot less, but you get what you pay for. This is still a Les Paul, Epiphone aside. They are good enough to have become a child-company of Gibson, and it will not disappoint! (For an interesting history lesson about Epi-phone, visit www.epiphone.com and click the 'History' link.)

ALL IN ALL...
I think you will be pleased should you decide to own one of these guitars. It has decent hardware, great electronics, and SUPERB playability. I have had ZERO problems with the elctronics whatsoever in 8 years. Fast low action (perhaps with some minor adjusting), great sustain, and excellent feel. The black (or ebony) model, has chrome hardware, and the other colors generally are seen with gold-tone hardware or black. The Special II model comes with an UNlabeled selector switch, and one volume, one tone knob. All feature Gibson's locking bridge design.


Recommend this product? Yes

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