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NGD: Epiphone Les Paul ES


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. . . . another new guitar! Wow, Epi just keeps 'em coming.


The Les Paul ES is a new release modeled after the 2-3 year old Gibson version of same. A few key differences - 60's slim taper-like neck, genuine Grover 18:1 tuners, poly finish and, of course, Epi pups and electronics. And, at about 20% of the Gibby's price ($600 vs $3000)! Similarities include full ES construction (maple ply top, bottom & sides, center-block - looks to be only to the bridge rather than full length, 24.75" scale, weight about 6.5-7 lbs.


The ES is also similar to the Epiphone Les Paul Florentine release of a few years ago - differences are mainly in the body construction - the Florentine has a carved mahogany, semihollowd out back with maple top. Kinda like a Gibson Cs-336 vs Es-339. Looks very similar from a few feet.


I've tried the Gibson version at various retailers over the years but could never get comfortable with the thick necks - really wanted to own one but could never pull the trigger. I've actually owned many flavors of Gibson & Epi ES-339s, ES-335s and even a Gibson CS-336. My favorite tone machine for my playing (soft jazz, 50-60s blues/rock) is the '335, but at a height of 5'7" they are just too large for my frame. The '339s fit better and were a close approximation of the tone I was looking for, not all the way to the '335s fullness, but close.


The Epiphone Les Paul ES is perfect! Small, lightweight, and with every bit of ES tone a '339 brings. To me, and a few friends who have helped me compare, they are indistinguishable in sound (played clean, slight tube break-up, neck and/or both pick-ups). Never ventured into high gain as that's not my style.


I have found a new #1!

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