Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Standard Plus
Seymour Duncan SH-5 Custom & Jazz Pickups
As soon as i got this guitar, i thought I was playing a US-made Gibson. Awesome woods, Grover tuners and the stock pickup’s weren’t bad either. When I dropped in the Seymour Duncan pickups, this guitar sounds like it’s Gibson counter parts that cost hundreds more. I like it so much, I bought another in ebony.
The mahogany body on the Elitist models is very similar in weight to a Gibson Les Paul which is one of the biggest factors in it’s tone. The polyurethane finish is tinted, but you can still see the grain through the finish and see the wood is a prime species. The maple top is equally as impressive as the grain shows a slight flame and the faded cherry finish was applied very well. Even the binding was done with the same level of attention of a much more expensive guitar.
It’s unfortunate that Epiphone will be discontinuing the Japanese built Elite series for 2009 as these were some of the highest quality guitars they have produced since I’ve been playing. Unfortunately, the market isn’t there for an Epiphone in the $900+ price range that is dominated by Fender and ESP, that recently has seen Gibson introducing similar models as competition.