"Nice guitar, but needs some improvements in quality."
Has very nice sustain. The bridge pickup needs more "bite".
Guitar seems to be constructed very well, however, there has been some lack of thought in components. The pickup selector switch is noisy. The Grover pegs need to be a higher ratio.
I hate to give sucha low rating, but Epiphone needs to get on the ball with Q.C. Like every review I have read, the input jack is loose. A drop of loctite on the threads fixed that. After the first hour of play, I noticed the strap pin on the tail was loose, so I tightened that up. I didn't check the neck pin. Big mistake. The pin came out and stripped the hole in the process, luckily I caught the guitar before the big crash. I fabricated some nylon inserts for both holes, now they stay nice and tight. After about 10 hours of play, it has developed an electrical "buzz" in the bridge pickup, that changes pitch when the volume knob is turned. The pickup selector switch is getting noisier.
Gibson was great on the phone, gave me the name of the closest Warranty Service Center and told me to take it in, they'll fix me up. Still waiting for completion of repairs, it has only been there one day, so no bad feelings yet.
The potential of this guitar is worth the selling price, but the uitar in it's actual state from the store is not up to par for the price. I have bought guitars that cost half as much that play almost as good, and do not have noisy switches or fall apart while playing them.
The Wow Factor:
I like the guitar, I like playing it, I like the sounds. I don't think it's a "must have", but it is a very nice addition to my arsenal.
I'll keep it forever, because that is what I do. It is not the first axe out of the woodshed, but it will get used, I'm sure. If it got stolen or lost, I would probably replace it with a Les Paul copy, probably even an Epiphone, but I doubt it would be a Black Beauty.