Review of: Epiphone Les Paul SL Guitar
by Brian Lamacraft
This guitar is a bit different than a typical Les Paul copy as it features single coil pickups. These pickups sound different than the traditional humbuckers found in other guitars. These pickups make this guitar unique and it sounds great. The guitar is an entry-level instrument that anyone can afford. If you have always wanted to play, Epiphone makes it easy with the Les Paul SL.
Full Detailed Epiphone Les Paul SL Review
The Gibson Les Paul is one of the most iconic guitars ever created. Many famous players have picked it up such as Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Duane Allman, Slash, and countless others. This guitar is an icon, but it’s very expensive and few can afford the high cost of this instrument.
That all changes with Epiphone as they are the lower cost Gibson guitar brand. They feature different Les Paul style guitars that have a lower cost anyone can afford. You will feel like a rock star with the Les Paul SL. Here is my Epiphone Les Paul SL review to see all that this guitar can do for you.
I rated this guitar in several categories including tones, playability, hardware, and value. A breakdown of this rating is below.
The first thing to note is that this guitar isn’t a typical Les Paul style guitar. The guitar features single coil pickups as it doesn’t have humbuckers. This isn’t a bad thing but it’s a big change when compared to similar guitars. You get two single coil pickups in this design. You will be able to product country, rock, blues, metal and other guitar tones with these pickups. The tones produced by this guitar are decent but they are not stellar. The lack of humbuckers is why this guitar has a lower tone rating. It would also be nice if it had three single coils and not two as that would open up the guitar to more robust sounds.
This guitar is well-suited to rock, blues, and country-style playing since it has single coils. I would not recommend this guitar for metal style guitar. It lacks the bigger sound of the humbuckers which are popular in metal.
This guitar is very easy to play as it has a smooth and responsive neck. You get 22 medium jumbo frets which are easy to play. Other similar guitars in this price range only have 21 or even 20 frets so it’s nice that this one has 22. It features a cutaway which gives you clear access to the higher frets. It has simple controls so there is no confusion for the beginner that is getting into playing guitar. The simple controls make it a guitar anyone can pick up and play right away. You will feel comfortable as you play this solid guitar from Epiphone. In my Epiphone Les Paul SL Review, it gets full marks for playability.
This guitar has some simple hardware so its ratings are a bit low in this category. You get a single tone, volume, and a 3-way pickup selector switch. This makes it easy to control the sound of the guitar but it lacks the full sound of other guitars. You flip the pickup selector to the pickup that you want. The bridge is a stop bar which keeps the tuning stable and this is standard on many guitars. The bridge also makes it easy to change your strings. I would go with 9s as they are easier to play for beginners but the guitar will handle 10s if you prefer those.
The pickups are a ceramic single coil with one in the bridge and the neck positions. These pickups do sound nice and give this instrument a good tone at this price. You can always change them to something a bit better if you like.
The machine heads are a standard nickel type which helps keep the guitar in tune. it also comes with two strap buttons for your guitar strap. I would like to see another tone and volume as well as another pickup as it would round out the sound of this guitar more.
You get solid value when you buy this guitar. It’s a lower cost instrument but it still sounds great. If you’re on a limited budget and want a decent guitar with a Les Paul style body, this one is a good choice. if the instrument had a few more features it would get full value marks. Epiphone has a winner here with this solid beginner style guitar that you can pick up and play right away.
Build and Finish
This guitar comes in several different colors. The colors include pacific blue, ebony, sunburst, yellow, vintage sunburst, and turquoise. I like the fact that it comes in different colors as you can showcase your own personality with the guitar. The finish on the guitar is nice with no noticeable blemishes at least on the guitar I tried. You may see a few blemishes as these guitars are low cost but there shouldn’t be many if any at all. the simple design means that you don’t have much to worry about with this guitar.
The slim Taper D profile neck is comfortable to play and easy on your hands. Some necks are harder to play and this can be a problem for beginners. You will find playing a breeze with the D profile style neck. The headstock features the Epiphone logo and the words “Les Paul.” This is an added touch so you feel like you’re playing a Les Paul. The dot inlays make it easy to locate the fret positions as you play.
Feel and Action
This guitar feels great and it’s easy to play. I like the neck on the instrument. You should be able to move up and down the neck without problems. The action is set up well form the factory but you may need to change it a bit depending upon your own preferences. I find beginner guitars play a bit better if you spend a bit of time setting them up. You can do this yourself or have a guitar tech do it for you. Beginner guitars often need intonation but a tech can do this as well during setup.
The sound of this guitar is decent but not amazing. You shouldn’t expect an amazing sound as it’s a beginner guitar. This instrument will sound better if you use a good amplifier. You can improve your sound with a well-shielded guitar cable. You may also want to get a distortion or another type of pedal to go along with it. I find that pedals can make the cheaper guitars sound a lot better. The pickups will hum a bit but most single coils do anyways even the expensive ones. You should have no problems getting the sounds that you want out of this guitar and having fun with it. This guitar is perfect to learn on and practice.
Who is the Epiphone Les Paul SL Guitar Suited For?
This guitar will work for anyone but beginners will get the most value out of it. The guitar lacks a few features that intermediate or advanced players will want. The controls are simple so it’s a good option for the player that is picking it up for the first time. If you want to play chords, learn to solo, or pick up your first song, this guitar has everything that you’re going to need to play. This is a solid and a dependable guitar for any beginner or intermediate player.
This ends my Epiphone Les Paul SL review. This is a solid and dependable beginner style guitar. You should be able to produce a wide range of sounds with this instrument. It’s a lower cost guitar so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank when you buy.
It could use a few more features but you’re getting good value when you buy and this is important for beginners. You don’t want to spend too much on that first guitar but you won’t have to with this Epiphone. Epiphone makes great guitars and the Les Paul SL gives you that Les Paul feel that you crave as a beginner. This is one guitar that you will enjoy playing and owning.