Epiphone Les Paul Standard Starter Pack Review

Buy The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Player Pack

Guitar Center: Buy for $649

My Review Of The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Beginner Set

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is one of the more expensive Epiphone LPs and it is one of the best guitars under $1000 without question. This guitar is definitely the star of the package, and it is what makes up the bulk of the price (the guitar itself will set you back about $550). I have done a review of this guitar in the past, which you can read here. In short, there are really no downsides to this guitar. It is absolutely stunning to look at, and the construction is top notch. The mahogany body creates a beautiful resonance and the mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard feel phenomenal. The guitar has alnico humbucker pickups which give you that classic Les Paul sound and what a sound it is!

The rest of the package is definitely very good for the additional $100, but it is basically the same extras that you get with the less expensive starter sets from Epiphone. It comes with a 15-watt amp, digital tuner, cable, and headphones; all of which are good. With that said, I almost feel like the rest of the package just does not do the guitar justice because it is that good. That is not to say that the extras that come with the package are not good and aren’t worth the money — they definitely are — but the instrument in this beginner set really outshines everything else.

The Verdict

If you’re in the market for a beginner electric guitar pack that is in the $600 to $800 range, you will not be able to find a better choice than this. The guitar is simply outstanding, and the rest of the package is very good as well. If there is a downside to this package, it is the fact that the guitar is so phenomenal that it outclasses the rest of the set.

Epiphone Les Paul 100 Review

Epiphone Les Paul 100 Review

The Epiphone Les Paul 100 is one of the middle children of the Les Paul family of guitars from Epiphone. The LP 100 is one step above the special II, and it is a rather significant step up from $169 to $299, but the improvements over the less expensive version are extensive. This model has the more standard body design, which is more rounded and less flat. My Epiphone Les Paul 100 review starts with the body which is made from Mahogany, as is the bolt-on neck, which also features a rosewood fingerboard. The construction of the guitar is definitely top notch, and the chrome hardware looks great. The sunburst, as always, is super gorgeous and the smooth lines just make it even sexier. As with the other Epiphone Les Paul guitars, this one also features the plastic volume and tone knobs, which I am not ecstatic with, but they aren’t bad either.

The dual humbucker pickups on this guitar are phenomenal for the price of this guitar. We are talking serious SERIOUS versatility with this little honey. You really have complete control over how this thing sounds, and it sounds great running the range from folk to heavy metal. You’re really not going to find a better sounding and more versatile guitar under $300. The neck and fingerboard feel really good in the hand, and I had absolutely no complaints with being able to keep my fingers dancing along the frets. There’s no buzz or feedback, and it keeps its tune quite well. The overall weight of the guitar is extremely light, so it isn’t too heavy for younger/smaller players, and it is something that you can be comfortable holding while standing for an extended period of time.

Epiphone Les Paul 100 Verdict

This is a great beginner electric guitar for just about anyone because of the incredible versatility that it provides. The construction is excellent, the pickups are excellent, and it looks absolutely beautiful. This is definitely one of the best options for an electric guitar under $300.

Buy The Epiphone Les Paul 100

Guitar Center: Buy for $299 Lefty for $314
Amazon: Buy for $249 Lefty for $264

Best Beginner Electric Guitars

Buy The Best Beginner Electric Guitars

Fender SE Special Strat Starter Pack
Guitar Center:Buy For $199
Amazon:Buy For $199

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Player Pack
Guitar Center: Buy for $269 Lefty for $284
Amazon: Buy for $259

Epiphone LP-100 Starter Pack
Guitar Center: Buy for $399 Buy Lefty for $414

Reviews Of The Best Beginner Electric Guitars

With the electric guitar, the best way for beginners to start learning is to purchase a package that has all of the pieces you need to get started. The electric guitar requires a lot of extras in addition to the guitar so getting everything together is perfect. In addition to the guitar, you also need an amp, a cable to connect the guitar to the amp, extra strings, a tuner, and a case to carry your guitar, accessories, and to protect the instrument from damage. Each guitar package is the best package in its respective price range: under $200, under $300, and under $500. There are many other good options available, but these are the packages that I consider the best based on my experience and knowledge. Without further ado, I give you the best beginner electric guitars.

Fender SE Special Stratocaster Starter Pack

The under $200 price point is the most entry-level guitar point but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get something that is very good. Guitars and guitar starter packages in this price range won’t have all the bells and whistles that you would find with a higher priced instrument, but it is a great way to get started, and it doesn’t break the bank. The best package that you are going to find under $200 is, without a doubt, the Squier by Fender SE Special Stratocaster Starter Pack (Squier is a brand that is made by Fender). This starter pack has a great deal going for it in addition to the price. Included is a Squier SE Special Strat with a tremolo bar — a nice bonus in this price range — as well as a 10-watt Squier amp, gig bag(soft carrying case), a guitar stand, picks, digital tuner, cable, shoulder strap, and an instructional DVD. Each component of this package is very good, and you won’t be disappointed with this. My full review of this package is here.

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Player Pack

This specific electric guitar package clocks in at $269 and it is absolutely amazing. The guitar that comes with this package is the best electric guitar that you can buy under $200, and it is definitely one of the best beginner electric guitars you can buy. If you buy the guitar by itself, it will set you back $169, so the rest of the package tacks on an addition $100. The best thing about this package is the fact that you get the truly phenomenal Les Paul Special II as the guitar. This is a guitar that will grow with you as you get better, and it is an absolutely gem. You can read my full review of the guitar here but, suffice to say, I love this guitar. Included with the amazing guitar is a very solid 15-watt amp — you typically get a 10-watt so this was a nice plus — as well as a gig bag, digital tuner, 20 foot cable, shoulder strap, and headphones. The headphones are great because they allow you to play with your amp without disturbing anyone else, which is great for those late night jam sessions when you get the itch to play. Maybe it’s just me, but I do a lot of my best playing late at night, so I am always listening to myself play through headphones. I do this with my piano too! The one thing I wish this package had that it doesn’t is a guitar stand, but you can buy one for $10, so it is a very negligible problem.

Epiphone LP-100 All Access Pack

Another Epiphone Les Paul? Yes. I have been quite impressed with the Epiphone Les Paul guitars — they have a wide range of them — and I actually own one of them myself. I’ve been a Les Paul fan since I was a boy, and I used to go sleep at night and dream of the day when I would have my very own Gibson Les Paul, and I am now fortunate enough to own a few. Back to the guitar! This guitar is definitely a solid step up from the the Les Paul Special II, and the guitar itself will set you back $299. This whole package is going to cost you $399, and the rest of the package is more-or-less the same as the LP Special II pack. Once again, this package doesn’t include a stand, but that is not a big deal. The extra $100 over the other package definitely brings everything to a whole new level, as the guitar is just a better instrument. You can read my review of the guitar here.

The Verdict

Whatever price range you are looking at when buying your first electric guitar, you can find something excellent that will get you started the right way. Most of the cost of these packages is tied up in the instrument, so the more you spend, the better the guitar you are going to get. With that said, when friends come to me and ask about getting started, or buying a guitar for their kid to learn to play, I typically recommend with staying under $300 unless you really know that you’re going to want to continue playing. These three packages are the best beginner electric guitars that you can buy in each price range, and you’ll be happy no matter which route you take. Happy Jamming!

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Review

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Review

Guitars for under $200 are definitely not hard to come by, there are a lot of them around. With that said, finding one that is excellent is a much more difficult proposition. One guitar that I had the pleasure of testing in this price range was the Epiphone Les Paul Special II. I am a HUGE fan of it’s bigger brother, so I had high expectations for this Les Paul. Epiphone definitely has a reputation to uphold and they certainly haven’t failed with this guitar. This guitar has a mahogany body, mahogany neck, and the standard 22-fret rosewood fretboard. One thing that I did notice about this guitar is that the sound is incredibly versatile. This is something that I hoped for but did not expect from this entry-level Epiphone.

When I first picked up the guitar I was pleased to discover that the body is actually pretty lightweight, and that was definitely a nice surprise. Because it’s lightweight, this guitar is great for younger players. The Epiphone Les Paul Special II comes in a variety of different colors, from the standard solid black to bright white and almost everything in between including both vintage sunburst and heritage cherry sunburst. Epiphone did a great job with this guitar getting it ready to play right out of the box and no adjustment is needed to start shredding. I was not concerned at all with the durability of this instrument and that isn’t something I can say for every electric guitar under 200 dollars.

The only negative that I can really complain of at this point is the fact that the jack socket can be troublesome. Personally, I didn’t have any problems with mine, but the problem has cropped up with enough people that it is something to be aware of.

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Verdict

Overall, I consider this electric guitar to be the single best overall electric guitar under 200 dollars. This guitar does just about everything well, it is extremely well built, it sounds great, it looks great, it IS great. You can pick this up for 169 dollars and you would be hard pressed to find a better guitar for the price.

Buy The Epiphone Les Paul Special II

Guitar Center: Buy for $169
Amazon: Buy for $169

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Epiphone SG-Special Review

Buy The Epiphone SG-Special

Guitar Center: Buy for $169
Amazon: Buy for $169

My Review Of The Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar

Epiphone has been making some exceptional guitars in recent years. From my personal favorite, the Les Paul Custom, to others like this Epiphone SG-Special, Epiphone has been making some very solid guitars. This particular model happens to be one of the least expensive Epiphone guitars on the market at just under 170 bucks. It is definitely worth the money, especially for beginners. This guitar is well constructed and it features a rosewood fingerboard with 22 thin frets, and a three-way pickup selector. While this guitar would definitely be phenomenal for a beginner, there are some issues that are likely to bother the more experienced player.

First of all, the guitar body is laminated. It may look good — who am I kidding, it does — but it does show finger prints and scratches very easily. This can be pretty annoying as you constantly have to polish the thing to get rid of the fingerprints. When playing without an amp, the Epiphone SG Special tends to buzz… a lot. Obviously, this is not an issue when playing through an amp as you are not going to hear it, but it can be really annoying when you are just practicing without one. With that said, this guitar definitely has a number of things going for it as well.

First of all, it is lightweight in comparison to some other guitars in this price range. This is good for playing live, but it does not really matter too much if you’re sitting. It does look good, and it is different in comparison with the standard strat style guitars that are in this price range. The strings are very easy to change, which is definitely important if you are new to playing the electric guitar, because there is nothing more annoying that not being able to change the strings.

The Verdict

This guitar is definitely good value for money, but it is not as good as the Les Paul Special II. It is unlikely you will be disappointed with this guitar, and if you prefer the look of this guitar more than the Les Paul, you won’t be disappointed choosing this over the other. This isn’t my favorite guitar under 200 dollars, but it is a very solid instrument at a very reasonable price. I was very pleased with this guitar and, at $169, you will be too.

Other Relevant Reviews

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Epiphone Dot Studio Review

Buy The Epiphone Dot Studio Semi-Hollow

Guitar Center: Buy for $269
Amazon: Buy for 269

My Review Of The Epiphone Dot Studio Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

A semi-hollow body electric guitar for $269? Yes. You can get the Epiphone Dot Studio — in the worn brown — for the bargain price of $269. This Epiphone hearkens back to the days of the legendary Epiphone archtops like the Sheraton and Emperor. When I first picked this up, I was very surprised that the instrument that I was holding only cost $269. The one that I was reviewing was the vintage sunburst and that one costs $499. Why Epiphone is charging double for the exact same guitar with a different paint job is beyond me but, whatever.

This guitar feels great in the hands. It’s light and you can tell that it is well made. Epiphones used to have a stigma attached to them because the foreign manufactured ones were terrible, but I have not played a truly inferior Epiphone guitar in many many years. Most of this guitar is made from mahogany, which is known for its resonant qualities, and it does not disappoint here.

This guitar produces a really solid sound. The stock humbuckers are very good, and you will have no trouble playing jazz, blues, or rock on this guitar. It can have an extremely warm, clean sound or it can be really dirty with very little adjustment. Overall, the fit and finish on this guitar is great… with a few exceptions. The nuts are pretty weak plastic and should definitely be replaced with something more substantial. Additionally, most people have not played on guitars without inlays on the fretboard and this lacks inlays. The dots are on top of the neck and this could take some getting used to for people who have never played on a guitar with a blank fretboard.

The Verdict

This is not a Gibson ES-335, but it is an excellent semi-hollow guitar for an extremely reasonable price… provided you don’t go for the absurd markup on the sunburst. This guitar is phenomenal for anyone who is planning to play any genre where a hollow body guitar is better like jazz, folk, folk rock, and blues. For $269, you are going to have difficulty finding a hollow or semi-hollow guitar better than the Epiphone Dot Studio.

Other Relevant Reviews

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Epiphone EM-2 Prophecy Custom EX Review

Buy The Epiphone EM-2 Prophecy Custom EX

Guitar Center: Buy The Standard for $299 or The Floyd Rose Version for $399
Amazon: Buy The Standard for $299 or The Floyd Rose Version for $399

My Review Of The Epiphone EM-2 Prohecy Custom EX Electric Guitar

I’m a big fan of Epiphones in general, and the EM-2 Prophecy Custom does not disappoint. One of the things that I really like about this guitar is the fact that they offer two different versions. The standard version which is $299 dollars, and a version that has a Floyd Rose tremolo bar for $399. For those of you who don’t know what a Floyd Rose is, it is a tremolo bar which does not make your guitar lose its tune, which is a big problem with regular tremolo bars. Some genres of music make extensive use of vibrato and having a Floyd Rose is extremely helpful for these. The finish of this particular guitar is absolutely stunning, the effects are beautiful, and you can really tell that a lot of workmanship has gone into it. The midnight sapphire color is truly spectacular. One thing that I love about this guitar is that the neck feels incredibly comfortable when I’m holding it. There aren’t any rough edges or little pieces that bother me; my hand hand can slide up and down no problem.

There are a lot of guitars that I have come across around this price range that just don’t seem to cut it when it comes to comfort. To me, this is a really important thing to look for when buying a guitar because you are not going to enjoy playing it if it is not comfortable to hold. The bridge pick up on this guitar is incredible, the sounds that are produced will have you asking if there was a mistake on the price. While the bridge pickup is phenomenal, the sound from the neck pick up is not as clear as I would like it to be, but is isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. With that said, it produces a much smoother sound if you are playing a solo. If you enjoy playing metal or heavy punk, then this is a guitar that I’d definitely recommend, purely based on comfort, sound, and workmanship. Plus, for $299 for the standard version, you can’t really go wrong.

The Verdict

Overall, the Epiphone EM-2 Prophecy custom is a guitar that is brilliant in its own right and is worthy of consideration for anyone looking for a guitar in this price range. It is a good all-around guitar, but it is especially suited to punk, metal, and heavy rock. For those looking for a guitar to use primarily in those genres, I would definitely recommend this, and double recommend spending the extra $100 to get the Floyd Rose version.

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Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The guitar is probably the most widely played instrument in the world. Every day more and more people want to learn how to play. However, with this in mind, how do you know what sort of guitar to get to start with? Obviously, you are not going to want to get the most expensive Fender or Gibson. Instead, you should aim for something a little cheaper. In order to facilitate this effort, I’m going to give a brief rundown of some of the best guitars under 500 dollars.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Electric Guitar

What best guitars under 500 dollars list would be complete without the Epiphone Les Paul? The answer is none. Perhaps I’m a little biased — I play an Epiphone Les Paul regularly — but I think the Epiphone Les Paul is one of the best guitars under 1000 dollars and this version is under 500. It has the traditional Les Paul styling that is famous around the world, a sleek and high quality mahogany construction, slim neck with a rosewood fretboard, and Alnico Classic humbucker pickups. This is the guitar that I recommend the most to new guitar enthusiasts. You can check out my full review of the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus or buy it here.

Ibanez ARX320

Ibanez is one name that comes to mind when most people think about good guitars. However, a lot of people mistakenly think that these are not affordable for the beginner. This is not true, as you can get an Ibanez ARX320 for about $450. This guitar not only has a unique and classic look, but the sound produced is fantastic too. The majority of Ibanez ARX320 owners have been highly impressed with the workmanship that has gone into this model. There are a huge range of tones that can be achieved with this guitar, which is a definite plus point. In terms of money, this guitar is affordable and an incredibly good value for money. Check out my full Ibanez ARX320 review or buy it here.

Dean Evo Special

For the beginner, this guitar is definitely one to be considered. It is not a well-known guitar, but the Dean Evo Special electric guitar not only offers great value for money, but also brilliant workmanship. The thing that appeals to many people where this guitar is concerned is the fact that it not only looks like a Gibson, but it also has the same rich notes of one as well. In addition, the styling is very reminiscent of the Les Paul and for $420, you really can’t go wrong here. You can read my full review or buy it here.

Epiphone Vintage G-400 Electric Guitar

The Epiphone is highly popular, largely due to the many famous guitarists that have played them in the past. The great thing about this particular model is that it is only a highly affordable $299. For a beginner, this would be the perfect guitar. The rosewood fret board is incredibly easy on the hands and eyes, as is the solid mahogany base. This is one guitar under 500 dollars that a lot of guitarists are raving about, and it is definitely one that should be considered if you really do want to get into playing the guitar.

So, there you have it, four incredibly good guitars for under 500 dollars. Of course, there are so many more. You can get many different Stratocasters for under 500 dollars if you look in the right places. Happy playing!

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Review

Buy The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus

Guitar Center: Buy for $549
Amazon: Buy for $549

My Review Of The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Electric Guitar

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus is a guitar based on the legendary Gibson Les Paul, which is arguably one of the greatest electric guitars of all time. The Gibson version has been used by famous guitarists for half a century and continues to remain a mainstay used by some of the greatest guitarists to ever walk the planet including the likes of Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton. While the Gibson Les Paul has a sticker price of upwards of $5,000, the Epiphone is much more reasonable with the baseline model starting at about $200. The first thing that you notice about the Epiphone Les Paul is the fact that it looks like the Gibson and this guitar is stunning. In my opinion, the cherry sunburst Les Paul is the most beautiful guitar in the world and I own two, both an Epiphone (this model) and a Gibson.

While the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus, a mid range version of the Eiphone Les Paul costing about $550 bucks for the cherry sunburst version, does not sound quite as good as the Gibson, it does sound fantastic. It has a really rich, crisp sound that is wonderful. Holding it feels really good, you can feel the quality in the mahogany wood of the body, the knobs feel nice and sturdy, and the 22 fret rosewood fretboard is great; everything about this guitar is very very high quality. The differences between the Epiphone Les Paul and the Gibson Les Paul are not that extensive.

The Verdict

This is the best electric guitar under $1000 in my opinion and reviews by almost all industry professionals are nothing but glowing. It has all of the phenomenal traits that make the Gibson Les Paul one of the most legendary electric guitars in history at less than 1/4 the price.