Epiphone have announced four releases for the American summer, with both budget and premium Les Paul style guitars in the mix. First off though is my personal favourite of the lot, the archtop style ‘1966’ reissue.
Epiphone Inspired by '1966' Century Archtop
This thinline reissue is a faithful recreation of the original guitar, with specific historic features adhered to, but it’s also updated for the modern guitar player. The ‘1966’ Century is fitted with P90 PRO pickups, sand-cast Alnico V magnets, ‘50s/’60s-style tin-plated brass base plates and Wilkinson Vintage machineheads and is available in Cherry and Vintage Sunburst finishes.
Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Inspired by '1955' Les Paul Custom Outfit
The ‘tuxedo’ Les Paul was designed by the man himself, Les Paul, with pure beauty in mind, and this new Les Paul Custom is modelled from it. When I look at it, I see the James Bond of guitars; smooth, refined, but with a little bit of danger inherent. The deep black finish is offset by gold hardware, but it is really under the hood where this machine shines. Packing two Gibson USA Soapbar P90 pickups, it’ll no doubt produce classic Les Paul tones. The guitar also features Epiphone’s Heavy-Duty Non-Rotating 1/4" output jack, a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and Epiphone Deluxe machineheads.
Epiphone Les Paul Special VE
For its price (US$149) this guitar seems to have some decent features, but from the look of it you can tell it is the budget guitar of the lot. A revamped version of the best-seller Les Paul Special, open-coil humbuckers replace the P90s often seen in Les Paul guitars, and there are only single volume and tone controls. However, it does pack in some decent hardware, with a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, like the ‘1955’, and Epiphone Premium Tuners.
Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO-II
Packing a slew of new features, this guitar is a worthy update of Epiphone’s LP Traditional PRO. These features include Epiphone’s Alnico Classic PRO and PAF-aping ProBucker-3 Alnico II-equipped humbuckers, which feature the ability for coil-split sounds on push/pull volume and tone knobs. The guitar also features an in-built 15dB boost, which is activated by pulling the bridge pickup’s tone knob and is powered by a 9V battery.
For more information, visit gibsonami.com.