42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
I happened to see this guitar on Amazon and could not believe the price. It looked just like an old Gibson Les Paul Junior TV Model I used to own back in the late 60's (wish I still had it) I had my doubts that the Epiphone would be any good since the price was so low but I know Amazon has a pretty good return policy so I thought what the heck I'll order it and send it back if I don't like it. I was pleasantly suprised. As one commenter mentioned the guitar is more yellow than it appears in the picture on Amazon and the finish is a little uneven but it's a great looking guitar and really captures the flavor of the original. At first it played a little stiff but I decided to replace the strings with some Earnie Ball 10's and that made a huge difference.
I had read that the guitar doesn't stay in tune and I thought I would need to replace the tuning keys but I think the problem is with the nut. The strings get hung up there. I put some graphite lubricant on the nut and that helped but I will probably have the guitar guy I use fix or replace the nut. I think it stays in tune about as good as my 70's Gibson Les Paul.
I also thought I would replace the pickup with a Seymour Duncan but the Epiphone pickup isn't bad at all and I will probably leave it for now. The only real change I have made is to add straplocks. A lot of reviewers have said this is a good starter guitar and they are right, but I have been playing for 40 years and own many much more expensive guitars - still I can see where this guitar will get a lot of use and will be a nice addition to my collection. One of the things I like is that the guitar is very light and is great for just sitting around practicing. The neck is great and the string height was perfect for me (very low) right out of the box. I didn't bother to buy a case but it fits perfectly in my Gibson Les Paul case. The only limitation is that there is only one pick up so the guitar is not real versatile but for just rockin out it's great.
Right after I bought mine Amazon raised the price but I still think it's a good deal. If you are interested in this guitar I would not hesitate to buy it - just replace the strings. My first Epiphone and I am very impressed.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2011
I had no idea how good this guitar would be because I couldn't find a review anywhere, but I ordered it anyway because it was only $99 and at the worst i could use it as a mod guitar. I'd played a normal Epi junior before but never the limited edition, which are more expensive and much more rare. I think the main difference is color, but also the pickup sounds a little better and this guitar was much more comfortable than the normal one I played, which was from a few years ago and pretty worn. When the guitar showed up I took it out and it was a ton more yellow than the picture shows. It's actually bright yellow, not the natural/sort of yellow in the picture. I plugged it in and it sounded pretty good but kept slipping out of tune. After I stretched the strings it stayed in tune better but it still slips out more than it should. I'm planning on putting on locking tuners. The pickup is much better than it should be for that price. It's not great, but it sounds amazing for the price. It was set up well out of the box, good action and no warping in the neck. All in all, for the price this thing is amazing. Get it before it goes back up to $250 or whatever it was before.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2012
Been playin' 25+ years, I mod/alter more than I play & have owned many guiatrs,amps & effects from the cheapest to the most expensive (vintage Memory Man, Les Paul Custom, Marshall JCM800,TS808,etc). I don't write very many reviews & I'am intimate w/ my stuff...I really do need a life! So w/ some credit I can say it's a great guitar for the money. Lot's of resonance when played unplugged, inotation is good & stays in tune w/ a little graphite on the nut. May replace the tuning keys. And of course very moddable.
But why 3/5 stars? Within 48 hours of playing it stopped working, no output! After inspecting w/ an experienced eye I found a bad soldering point to the volume pot. Easy fix for an experienced player but what about the 10yr kid on Christmas morning or a Birthday?
As stated by Epiphone, "setup & inspected in the USA" but craftmanship in Indonisia is questionable.
Bottom line, buy it! For the beginner any deefct would be covered under warranty & the experienced could repair any minor defect such as mine.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2011
Got this for a great price during a recent lightning deal. I read some chatter about the finish not looking like the stock pictures. I don't doubt this, but mine is very close, and I can see a reasonable amount of wood grain showing underneath. I've looked closely for any sort of finish flaws typical of overseas-built guitars, but I can't find anything remarkable. If I'm being picky, I would say the rosewood fretboard has a lightness to it that I wasn't expecting - but that is just natural variations in the wood and after all, it is a budget guitar.
Before it arrived, I had all sorts of ideas about upgrades I would do to the guitar: change out the pots/caps/switch jack with higher quality materials, put new tuners on, new pickup, better quality pickguard, etc. Now having the guitar in-hand, I wonder if any of the above are even necesssary. The pots are responsive and not scratchy, the tuners have very little give in them and hold tightly, all the hardware seems of reasonably high quality. All-in-all, I'm happy as-is. If I did see one necessary upgrade, it would be the bridge. The bridge is actually great for what it is - it's a compensated wrap-around style; however, it's not full adjustable. In other words, I can't make fine adjustments to the intonation. There are some sites on the web that sell fully-adjustable wraparound bridges for around $30-$40. Switch them out, and you're done. If you had a little more money, maybe think about replacing the plastic nut with bone - would be nice, but not necessary. If you're the really adventurous type, consider swapping the pickup out with something like a Seymour Duncan Phat Cat (humbucker sized P90) - that's my plan anyway!
If you're on the fence about this guitar, don't think twice. I think even at the regular price of ~$150, this is a solid buy. Certainly a great starter instrument for a serious youth, and a fun guitar for more experienced players who just want something to knock around with on the back porch.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2011
cyber monday ... oh yeah!
ive been playing over 30 some years now and have way to many guitars BUT for the price i had to get one .
i love Epi's and have quite a few and this one is a welcome edition . the guitar it self is pretty rocking rite out of the box . YES it is more yellow than the picture shows but what i wasn't expecting was the more "worn" look it has on the back and especially the next . thus giving it a 4 star for the finish.
playability aint that bad and the intonation is a bit off but these can be a easy fix . the open face humbucker is not bad . the volume and tone pots are quite and after about a hour of so of going through a amp , i was pleased with the tones i could get . you aint gonna sound like Iron Maiden but ya can get some rock going ala Rick Richards from the Georgia Satellites !
i recommend highly for a first good guitar for the beginner or a little more advanced and defiantly for a more experienced player looking for a new a "bbq" guitar , meaning sitting out on the back porch , smoking some ribs , drinking a few cold ones , and playing some ROCK through a Pignose amp on the upcoming winter evenings !
Loud and Proud!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
I saw this guitar pop-up on Amazon Lightning Deals in January of 2012 and bought one for a friend of mine; cost was under $100, and as an Amazon Prime member 2-day shipping was free. (It was even shipped in the Epiphone factory carton.) For under $100 it's probably almost impossible to find something which compares to the playability of this instrument, and for 7 times less the cost of the same model by Gibson I would say that this is a no-brainer for anyone wanting a Les Paul Junior.
First, if you don't know about these guitars: "Junior" does not mean that this is a smaller guitar; this is a full-size, full-scale guitar.
Though the action was a little high out of the box, it is extremely easy to adjust due to the bridge design; all you need is a flat-head screwdriver. This particular guitar would not really stay in-tune very well, so my friend chose to remedy that with a replacement set of Grover tuners, which are standard on many Gibson guitars. If it had been my guitar to keep: I would have tried some lubricant in the nut before replacing the tuners, but a new set of Grovers certainly will not hurt. The problem my friend had while replacing the tuners is that the finish on the back of the headstock split during installation, but whether this was a function of the finish or the installer is unknown to me. Epiphone does use a polyurethane finish on their guitars, and polyurethane is easy to crack. (I think Grovers need slightly-larger mounting screws, so larger holes probably should be drilled carefully before installation.)
There were a few places where the finish was pitted, which is either the result of finishing without proper sanding, finishing without sealing the body first, cheap wood, or a combination of the three. It was not easily noticeable on the yellow parts, but on the black headstock there were some fairly easy-to-spot areas where the finish quality was not great. However, this certainly varies between guitars, and the spots were not really obvious unless you were practically sticking your nose against the guitar.
Epiphone dyes their rosewood fretboards to make them look more like ebony, and sometimes the dye comes off on your fingers. A good wipe-down with some (silicone-free) wood cleaner (or mineral oil) will take away some of the surface dye and will help keep the rest off your fingers. The rosewood looks fine without the dye, so don't worry about your guitar looking worse after cleaning the fingerboard.
The stock bridge is a wrap-around style that does not allow for individual string intonation; my friend replaced it with a Pigtail, which has a lower profile and offers intonation adjustment for each individual string. However, even $1,200 Gibson Les Paul Junior guitars have the wrap-around bridge, so this is an "authentic" detail, even if it lacks certain functionality.
The humbucker is just fine, and would probably suit the needs of most working musicians; my friend says he's going to replace it, but we had a little jam session a few days ago and it sounded like an electric guitar to me. I own several guitars myself (Fenders, Rickenbackers, etc.) and have been playing music for several decades, so if the tone was overtly bad I think I would have been able to tell. I wasn't blown-away by the tone or anything, but there are so many factors which affect guitar tone -- amplifier, effects rig, string gauge, the skill of the player, etc. -- that I'm content to say that this sounded like any guitar you could hear any night of the week at any local show anywhere in the country, and most people would not be able to tell (by the sound of it) that it was not a $2,000 guitar.
My friend says he's been playing this Epiphone Les Paul Junior more than his other guitars, and before he acquired this his main guitar was a Gibson Les Paul Studio. He also owns a Clapton Signature Strat, and he says he enjoys playing this Epiphone more than his Clapton, but that may just be because he likes the Gibson-style neck/radius better than the Fender neck/radius.
The bottom line here is that you will be hard-pressed to find a better guitar for around $100 anywhere. Even if you spend an extra $100 on a professional set-up and quality replacement tuners you will still have a functional and playable guitar for a fantastic price. If you're playing in dive bars: it's nice to have an instrument like this that sounds and looks good, but it is inexpensive enough that it's not a huge financial liability if damaged, lost or stolen. This would also be an excellent student guitar, or a great choice for a beginner/child to have their first full-size electric guitar.
This would also be a great project guitar, as most decent (unassembled, unfinished) guitar kits are more expensive than this, and because there is only one pickup there is plenty of room for modification. The bolt-on neck allows for even more customization, as bolt-on necks are easily replaced.
--Bolt-on neck (wood-to-wood contact is better for tone than a layer of glue in the neck pocket, the neck-angle can be adjusted with shims if necessary, and bolt-on necks are easily replaced.)
--Simple design means less room for parts to fail, and fewer parts to replace
--Lots of room on the body for customization/experimentation
--Easy to set-up and adjust, even for a novice
--Might need a professional set-up, which usually costs extra
--Tuners aren't great (additional cost to replace; try lubricating the nut first)
--Wrap-around bridge (no individual string intonation, but "authentic")
--Dyed fretboard; dye will come off on your fingers if you play a lot
--Occasional (very minor) finish issues (for around $100 it's hard to care too much about this)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2012
For the price ($120) it's great. Probably the biggest disappointment is that it isn't actually this color even though it's what I ordered. It is yellow, but it's more of a dandelion yellow; most of the reviews for the guitar make that same comment. I would give it 4 stars but for the color not being as advertised. It stays in tune really well which is a bit of a surprise for such a cheap guitar.
It's a great guitar for beginners. I'm not a beginner, but it's been 15 years since I've played regularly so it will be awhile before it starts to bother me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2012
I played around with an acoustic when I was younger, but never really stuck with it. Bought Rocksmith and this guitar to go with it. The guitar plus game was less than the bundle (which was unavailable when I wanted to purchase it) The color is much brighter, like others have mentioned...think school bus yellow; I am a beginner, so it was a great price for me, I think I might try some other strings soon, as far as tuning goes, I have to tune it maybe once a week or two, I have nothing to compare it to, but it does not seem to be horribly out of tune, just needs a slight adjustment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
I bought this guitar as an inexpensive introduction to the LP style guitar since until now have only owned Strats and strat copies. To my surprise this guitar is worthy of more than that. I can see this guitar getting a lot of use. The tone is nice and warm, and the finish is very nice. Mine is some-what more yellow than the pictures as many have stated; the way the wood grain shows up through the finish is very attractive. I looked for flaws, but found none. I set mine up as soon as I removed it from the box. The action was already to my liking, with no fret buzz or rattles from loose hardware. The strings themselves had a very metallic, cold sound, but I replaced them with some Ernie Balls and plugged it in and the guitar sounded great, much better than I expected. I though this guitar would wind up being a bit of a beater, more or less a low end instrument I wouldn't worry much about when taking it out with me, but now I'm considering upgrades and a hard case for it; its that nice. Many have said the machine heads don't hold tune but mine have held tune very well once I broke the strings in and even if the they are cheap, this guitar is worth upgrading.
There are better guitars out there, but at this price the quality and sound are unbeatable. I am very impressed with my first Epiphone, and I'll definitely buy more of their products.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2012
I just received my LP jr limited edition and was alsmost afraid to open the box.
after some of the numerous reviews I read. What I received was an incredible looking
instrument of flawlessly constructed materials. It resonates better than my American Tele,
I realize it's limitations as well. I likely will change tuners and maybe the bridge,it
plays well now ,but with a little TLC, look out.