Epiphone Les Paul Junior Special Electric Guitar Review
The Epiphone les paul junior special is an affordable electric guitar. But is it any good? Let’s find out.
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There are a number of features that immediately stand out when looking at the instrument. If we compare it to a standard Gibson Les Paul then here’s what we notice:
- There’s only 1 pickup and it’s located at the bridge.
- The pick guard is a different shape and is screwed on tightly.
- The body is made up of a single slab of flat wood.
- The inlays on the fretboard are dots rather than trapezoids.
These differences might not all seem like a big deal, but they actually affect production costs a lot which in turn contributes to the instrument’s affordability. Especially by only having a single pickup, which removes the need to carve out additional cavities in the body for the pickup, volume & tone controls, and a pickup switch (which would be needed if there were more than one pickup). Additionally, we notice that the body of the guitar looks pretty flat. Normally Les Pauls use two pieces of wood for the body and the frontal piece is carved in an aesthetically curvy way which adds to manufacturing costs. We can see that the Epiphone Les Paul junior special electric guitar only uses a single slab, and there’s not much done to it except for the sanded down edges. Lastly, the inlays on the fretboard are dots rather than the classic trapezoids which contribute the iconic Les Paul look. It’s much easier for them to install dots, and they use less material. So it’s done to decrease costs once again.
As you can see, this instrument is very economical and a lot of thought was put into finding ways to keep the costs down. This doesn’t mean it’s a horrible instrument though. On the contrary, it’s actually quite impressive for what you pay.
Is the Junior Spcial easy to play & does it sound good?
When picking up the instrument, as experienced guitarists we immediately notice that it feels cheap. The body’s single slab of wood has a way of reminding you that it wasn’t made by an attentive luthier (instrument craftsman) when the body sits on your lap, or when the edges lean in against you as you stand. Another thing we feel right away is that the neck doesn’t feel quite right. There’s something off putting to guitarists about holding a neck that doesn’t the way it’s supposed to. Fortunately this is something that we can get used to. Having a guitar that feels cheap isn’t the worst thing in the world, what matters is that it’s comfortable to play and sounds good. But is it & does it?
When we play the Epiphone Les Paul Junior Special, we feel that the guitar does its job. It holds notes reasonably well for what we expected. We’re forced to pay close attention to how we place our fingers on the fretboard, as we noticed that the strings can buzz. This can be frustrating for a novice guitarist but it can also force a student to learn good practices, to an extent. To elaborate, sometimes entire frets seem to buzz no matter how you place your finger, and in cases like this a student might think they’re at fault when really it’s just the instrument. Instrument’s that buzz can be taken in to a guitar shop to be looked at. But this can cost you a little money, so ask beforehand.
The actual tone of the instrument when plugged into an amp is pretty bad. Though to be fair, our standards are incredibly high when it comes to tone, but this guitar just isn’t very tolerable to us in that regard. Personally we’d recommend upgrading to better pickups before thinking about using this guitar to perform or record music.
Who is this guitar good for?
This is a fantastic guitar for beginners. It’s a great introductory point in terms of instruments for a student. It’s a good instrument for getting to know the guitar. It’s incredibly budget friendly which lowers the risk of any potential monetary loss if you happen to lose interest. It also makes it easier for you to invest in a better guitar later on without feeling guilty about already having less economical guitar.
This Epiphone Les Paul Junior Special electric guitar review should give you a realistic idea as to what to expect with this instrument. The price may seem too good to be true, but it’s affordable for reasons which don’t necessarily make it a bad instrument.