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1996 Les Paul Elite


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1996 Epiphone Les Paul Es




Hi guys,

New to the forum, but been playing guitar since I was 9 (43 now)....

I was laid off in 2008 as was a lot, and with a wife and three kids, lost my guitars one by one by one...till none!!!!.....

Well long story short, I'm back on my feet and after cruising sites, I found the Epi on craiglist...I almost didn't buy it because the bonehead who owned it decided it would be a good idea to, wetsand it to relic it out, which ment he sanded the finish to flat color and in some places to bare wood...thank god he didn't gouge anything, but he also gutted the electronics and put Zakk/Hetfield EMG 81/85 pick-ups and pots and solder less board in, he also replaced the tuners with black grover mini's and the bridge assembly with black VS the gold....But I couldn't leave her to his demise any longer, so I bought it for 250 bucks...Don't get me wrong the pick-ups are high quality, but I just don't play that style of music, so I am going to restore her back to her original glory....


I just need info and help about electronics, and help on how this was released back in 96...pick guard, tuners all that kind of stuff.

I may also entertain possible trade for the pick-ups and black hardware and tuners, for original hardware and pickups.

I took her home relieved the neck, adjusted the bridge, and let her set(for a week) and just strung her up today and she plays like a EFF-ING DREAM,one of the best necks I ever played on.




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It's a shame someone messed up that guitar, and he took a huge financial hit for it. EMG's and relic'd...what a genius. Go to StewMac and get the replacement hardware you need. Doubt you'll be able to trade for what you need, probably wasting your time there. Unlikely you'll find someone with what you want, that wants what you have. Just sell your parts online and put that towards replacement parts.


For PU's, I'd highly recommend Duncan Seth's and Gibson Burstbuckers (not Burstbucker Pros). Both excellent PAF's made like the 1950's originals. StewMac carries Parsons Street PAF's, which are very good; authentic vintage specs (I have a set with A2 magnets). The original PU's in Elitists are made by Gibson, okay but nothing to get excited about; there's much better out there. BTW, I wouldn't get Gibson '57 Classics; in LP's they tend to be a little muddy and have a very rounded top end. I had two sets I ended up selling. Just couldn't get good tones from them.

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You got a good canvas to start with.


Since she is already in the state she is, and not being fond of black guitars, I would try to bring her down to the wood.


From there I would go either Vintage Sunburst (if you can do the sprays) or just leave her natural.


I would replace the black hardware with either gold or nickel.


As for the Pups, I just bought an Epi LP Custom from 2000. It came with EMGs that sound great.


Not much into shredding, but through a Fender Blues Jr, it sounds great.


Good luck and keep us updated.




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