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LP Traditional Pro III Plus LE ??


Randy99CL
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Hello All

First post here.  

Epi has so many models of LPs it's almost hard to choose but after making a spreadsheet I decided on the Trad Pro 3 Plus LE.  I'd like to see some reviews or any info on this model but a search found nothing.  Anyone playing one, like it?  Any opinions at all? 

Currently on sale at a decent price and I ordered one to be delivered in a couple of days.  It's different than most because of the satin finish back and neck (love it) and the US Gibson 57 humbuckers.  

 

Comments?  thanks, Randy

epiphone les paul traditional pro iii plus.jpg

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OK, I picked up this guitar yesterday.   It's incredible, I love it.

First, let me say that right now I am more of a collector than player.  I'm just a beginner and can't comment on the playability or sound as I don't have the playing experience or "ear" yet.  I live in a duplex and can't crank my little Fender Mustang LT-25, I normally wear headphones.

I also own an Epi SG (new 1966 G-400 Pro) and Squier Tele and knew that eventually I'd get a Les Paul.  Not planning on buying one now but last week Guitar Center had a few of the Epis on sale.  I wanted a "premium" model so researched them and decided that this is the best bang for the buck.  Retail is $699 but currently $599 (or $579 for other colors).

The appearance is fantastic.  Build quality is flawless and I can't find an imperfection anywhere.  I like the Trans Black color as I didn't want one that looks like a burst Gibson copy, I wanted an above-average Epi LP.  Pictures showed that the front is high gloss (mine has beautiful wood, better than the picture) but the sides, back and neck are satin black.  I'm surprised that the wood wasn't filled and you can see open pores but it looks great and I really like the feel of the neck; it's slicker than the high-gloss SG.  I don't like the look of the traditional gold knobs and will swap them out for the black modern ones.  I've seen pictures of "blacked out" guitars and like that look, I may replace most of the cream and chrome pieces with black.

It sounds fantastic.  My untrained ears can't hear a lot of difference over the Alnico Classic Pros in the SG but the Gibson 57s sound great in every configuration.  Bright but full bodied, clean, well defined.   I've found a couple of places that sell the US Gibson 57s separately and they are around $150 each; I'm amazed that my $600 guitar has $300 worth of pickups.  The phase-switching is a fun effect but I'll take the battery from the boost as I don't need it for practice.  I knew that LPs sustain well but didn't realize that they can ring forever, just strumming unplugged this thing never stops vibrating til you deaden the strings.  Amazing!

Overall this is a great guitar and really worth the money.  I'm retired on SS and have to pinch pennies but this model seems (to me) to be as good as anything Epi makes and I don't know that paying more for a signature (or whatever) model buys you a noticeably better guitar.  This level is high enough that you might have to upgrade to a 2x+ priced Gibson to get something better?  I don't know, just my opinion and I'm not an expert.

Edited by Randy99CL
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had this guitar for a week and really do love it, I couldn't be happier.  The sound is amazing compared to my other guitars; they sound really good but when I switch to these Gibson 57s the difference is immediately obvious with a fuller bottom end, very clear and defined mids and a beautiful, smooth (not harsh) high range.  To my (again, untrained) ears they do sound amazing and well worth the price difference.

But the push-pull boost knob didn't feel or sound the same as the others, not a solid click.  So yesterday I got my new knobs and when I pulled that one the whole shaft came out of the pot.  Not a big deal, I was going to replace them all (cheap small imports) eventually and this just speeded up the need.  Amazon has sets of 4 CTS full-size for about $35.

And I'm buying the pieces to black out the guitar.  I'll post pics when I'm done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not exactly the same but I have a 2010 Gibson Les Paul Trad Pro (the first run of the Gibson Trad Pro Line was 09-11).  It seems this is a similar spec to those guitars.  Gloss top w/ satin back/sides/neck, uncovered Classic57&BB3 pickups w/ coil taps, 60s neck.  It is a great player configuration.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mission Accomplished!  It took me a little while to collect all the parts but I'm really happy with the new look and the new  locking tuners work great.

For anyone interested, I got the 3-way switch, knobs, pickup mounting rings and black plastic kit (pickguard and bracket, poker chip, truss rod cover, rear access covers), from Amazon.  The Grover tuners and metal jack plate off ebay.  I returned a couple different painted bridge/tailpiece combos from amazon that looked good in the pics but were all beat up IRL and was lucky to find a black plated set at GuitarFetish.  The strap buttons come with black Dunlop strap locks.

It's funny that I picked this color because I partly didn't want a Gibson clone but I've discovered that GC now shows 3 Gibson Les Pauls that are blacked out.  Mine looks close to those but they don't have zebra pickups.  They each cost over $3000.1003990592_Front2A.thumb.JPG.935a59f9f034fc830ebc2846f71dd3ef.JPG658169087_Front1B.JPG.10918ebd6fc19d284925a42f7f0141f4.JPG1806403508_Headstock1B.thumb.JPG.a957eceed62fa6f924184c0d1b3debe3.JPG

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

The Plus models have the transparent quilted maple tops in one of 4 colors.  The sides and backs are satin painted.

The Plus has a booster amp built in so there is a 9-volt battery box inset into the back.  Others had no amp and no battery.  All four pots are P-P, two coil split, one phase reversal and one turns on the booster amp.

The most important difference is that the Plus models have the US-made Gibson '57 pickups and sound fantastic.  Unfortunately they are not marked.  Gibson sells those pickups separately for over $300 for the pair and I got the guitar on sale for $600.

AFAIK they were a special run, only made in 2018 and have that date and Limited Edition on the back of the headstock.

Guitar Center still shows one in stock, a light blue color that I don't care for.  But this shows pics and specs:  Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO-III Plus Limited Edition Electric Guitar | Guitar Center

Edited by Randy99CL
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