James Bay's first ever guitar. He captions his Instagram photo, "#Tbt to the first guitar I ever bought. Hand painted when I was 14 and still hanging in my room at my parents house" The body shape, pickups configuration, knobs, switch, and rosewood fingerboard match those of a Epiphone Les Paul Special II electric guitar. James Bay's is of course hand painted by him. James talks about selling his Yamaha Pacifica to buy the Epiphone Les Paul Special II https://youtu.be/3DQJSkYl5rY?t=13m31smore
I have a black model. Stock everything, though I'm planning on replacing the pickups and adding some custom electronics - built in fuzz circuit, built in octaver, you know - the usual.
I use this guitar for 2,5 years but I found the original pickups a bit too thin, and I decided to put a set of Johnny Elca pickups but it was not all my sound yet. I received a package from my father's friend with Semour Duncan SH-4 pickups a week ago and that $ 100 guitar sounds really cool. The SH-4's have a pretty dull sound, but it certainly sounds really good. The neck pickup has a nice, non les paul sound but very cool.
I call this guitar DJ. He is absolute crap; within a month of getting him, the bridge pickup went microphonic. Instead of wasting money fixing a shitty guitar, I did something worse.
I took a 42 gauge string that I had lying around, snipped all the strings off of DJ, and put the spare 42 gauge where the D string should be. I tune it down way low and use it to sort of djent when I'm super bored.
Obviously, it doesn't work well. It's just a shitty guitar that I can't sell and don't want to throw away for sentiment.
This guitar taught me the value of setting the intonation and working on the bridge. I also replaced the bridge pickup with Reilander Reverenb humbucker to get some definition and clarity of sound from the bridge position. This guitar can be a solid work-horse, just needs attention paid to it.
Updated the pickup set with a pair of Gibson 59's, updated bridge piece from a SG custom shop, and Kluston Machine Heads for stable tuning. The neck plays and feels great, and very light.
Highly recommended to start playing, still has a great sound. Affordable. My second one in 3 years i've been playing. Really comfortable, goodlooking, amazing clean sound and nice distortion.
I have that guitar for 3 years. So I changed the bridge pickup to the seymour duncan JB and it sounds awesome! Also want to tell that I have the wine red version of that model
Very nice sound for a guitar that cost me around $350. May not be very reliable, as the pickups stopped working due to disconnected wire within about 8 months of use, but was an easy fix with a solder. Very nice looking guitar, and very portable, as you don't need to treat it like a diamond (unless of course you are romantically attached, like me).
This is an amazing first guitar. Had it for over 9 years and it still plays very well. You can get great heavy sound and is very comfortable to play on. Definitely needs set ups and intonation checks to play shows with it but for practice it is outsanding. The only upgrades done from the original was the tuners as getting standard Fender tuners seemed to help a lot of the strings stay in tune longer
I don't play guitar too much except for my Bass VI, so I keep this around to record with when I need a bass... after about 10 years, the electronics are starting to fail, and I need the pots and connectors replaced.
Idk about you but this guitar provides a fat full body tone with a smooth hand feel definitely a good buy for the price although mine is modded with PRS pick ups this guitar will give you exactly what you need
So I was moving my now wife in with me back when we were dating and during a purge of junk we did not need to the trash bin, I open the bin and find a guitar case, and in that guitar case, was this black 2008 Epiphone Les Paul Special II........with all six strings still on it, and some kind of rock glued to a hole on the top. It gave me a conflict of conscience for most of the morning.....
Well, I left and went to drop some stuff off at my place and came back to find said guitar now sitting in it's case, outside the bin, with the case open - a-ha! An Omen. I talked to my girlfriend (now my wife) and she said "Go get it! Are you nuts! Free Guitar!" - so I got the Epiphone and brought it in the house. That evening proceeded with a teardown and cleanup of the Les Paul.
Now here we are, 7 years later and I've been using that same guitar off/on when I feel like something omre "Gibson-ish". To understand my tastes, I'm more of a fan of bolt-on necks - that's one thing I have an issue with on most Les Pauls or pretty much anything Gibson - being a techie and being the kind of guy who sets his guitars up to a certain level of perfection, I prefer bolt-on necks - who needs that much Sustain anyway? I get just as much out of my Paul Dean, and this guitar is almost the same in that category as well.
The Epiphone Special II Les Paul, as it was in 2008, was a maple necked, basswood bodied Les Paul Special style guitar with 2 humbuckers, a 700R in the neck at around 8.4K Ohms, and a 700T in the bridge at around 14.6K Ohms resistance, very very hot pickups. Despite these crazy values and a bolt-on neck, it really does deliver a rather official sounding Les-Paul-Like tone. Everything is stock.
About my only complaint about this guitar is the machine heads. They don't hold tune very well live and tend to slip, which is probably why it was thrown out. I have plans in the future to put on a brand new set of Kluson Revolution machine heads to fix this issue, other than that, it plays extremely well, with action on par with a Les Paul Custom worth about $3400 more than what I paid for it, which is hilarious considering I got this thing drenched in beer and probably vomit from a dumpster for the best price in the world - FREE.
The only upgrades this guitar really got was a pair of chrome pickup rings, some stickers, and a new set of strings.