Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Les Paul Collection Electric Guitar, Midnight Ebony Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Thursday, October 20, 2011

Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Les Paul Collection Electric Guitar, Midnight Ebony
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I love the sound of a Les Paul, but I refused to buy one because having been a Strat player for years, I just felt that LP's were uncomfortable to play. This Les Paul addresses the two major factors in why a traditional LP is uncomfortable:

#1, Weight. Ever pick up a real LP? They weight a ton and by the end of a show, your shoulder and lower back are killing you. This thing is super light! The acoustic chambers make it essentially a hollow-body. I'm not sure what the actual weight is, but it's significantly lighter than a solid body LP, but sounds the same (actually better with the piezo).

#2, Body Contours. I don't have a huge belly, but the sharp corners on regular LP's cut into my gut and just aren't comfortable. This guy has a nice body contour in it, so it's really quite comfortable.

The neck has some kind of radical "satin" finish on it that is LIGHTNING fast to play on. It's almost like a rough finish, but it's great because your hand doesn't stick to it like it would to a traditional painted finish. You just have to try it.

This thing has that LP growl that all guitar players associate with a LP. The humbuckers are phenomenal!! In my band, we play classic rock covers with a few heavier tunes thrown in. I figured this guitar would fit right in with some of the more "mild" songs, and songs that were recorded on a LP. "Hold On Loosely", "Deuce", "Life In The Fast Lane", and a couple of Journey tunes... stuff like that. This guitar certainly covers those styles perfectly. But wait... The first time I took this to practice, we started playing "Man In The Box" with a heavy overdrive, and when I hit an artificial harmonic in "G" on the low "E" string... O-M-G!!! The rest of the band members jaws all dropped and they commented that this guitar screamed like a Zakk Wylde. It's VERY responsive!! Then I dialed it back, and tried out the piezo acoustic pickup for our rendition of "Comfortably Numb". I know, shudder at the thought of playing a LP for a Pink Floyd song... The piezo acoustic sound was absolutely incredible, but then when I turned the piezo down and the humbuckers back on for the solo's, it filled the bill again!
This guitar will get you pretty much ANY tone you want (except for the buzz of a single coil). All I can say is, try it!!

There are only 2 things I don't like about this guitar, hence the 4-stars. While the body is light, the headstock isn't, and it tends to pull on the shoulder. It's just not very well balanced, so it takes some getting used to. Also, it's still tough to get to the higher frets just like any LP.

Otherwise, you get the killer LP sound with the added bonus of an acoustic, and the unexpected bonus of COMFORT! This guitar is well worth the price and I'd say it's essential to any collection. You can cover so much ground with it!

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Product Description:
Most guitar experts would agree, it's really, really, really hard to improve on the Les Paul Model. In over 50 years, the master's design is unbeatable. However, we took a cool concept for a lighter version, our Ultra II and played up to it's surprising acoustic bonus properties by adding a Shadow NanoMag pickup system. We embedded the small, powerful, device into the actual end of the fretboard, right at the sweet spot for grabbing rich, acoustic harmonics. We also added the versatility of stereo output, and altogether, yeilding one of the most incredible, award-winning Les Paul models ever. The Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II, with internal chambers making it three pounds lighter than an average LP, still sounds like you'd expect the "King of Solidbodies" to sound with Humbuckers engaged. The comfortable contour on the back is also a plus. The carved Mahagany body features a Quilted Maple top with a set, Mahogany neck with Rosewood fingerboard and is voiced bya pair ofhigh-output Alnico Classic Humbuckers, and the Shadow NanoMag system. Add Gold Grover™ tuners, and our newEpiphone LockTone™ locking Tune-o-matic bridge and Stop-bar tailpiece for even more sustain and unparalleled versatile tone.

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