Up for sale, a 2001 Epiphone Les Paul Custom in excellent condition and in perfect working order with upgraded Gibson USA pickups. Crafted in Japan at the Fujigen factory in the years immediately following the retiring of Gibson's "Orville" line (also a Japan-only brand), this Epiphone was the result of a partnership between Gibson USA and their Japanese distributor Yamano Gakki, featuring Gibson's distinct "open book" headstock shape, which was exclusive to the Epi models produced for the Japanese domestic market.
The guitar visually evokes Randy Rhoads '74 Custom with distinctive visual cues including a polished brass switch surround, a quartet of gold speed knobs, and gold metal button tuning machines. The classic Les Paul Custom platform includes a solid maple top, mahogany body and neck with a long tenon joint, and a rosewood fretboard. Tonally, the upgraded Gibson USA 490R and 490T humbuckers provide growl and power in the bridge position, with a meaty, round neck pickup that doesn't lack clarity. Weighing 10lbs 4oz, the instrument has plenty of natural sustain and punch, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The mahogany neck has a slender C carve at the nut with more shoulder and heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and .980” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard is a particularly dark cut of this tonewood featuring pearloid block inlay and the original medium jumbo fretwire. The frets are practically perfect with plenty of meat and well-rounded crowns, playing cleanly in every register, and the neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The guitar conforms to traditional Gibson spec with a 24 3/4" scale length and 1 11/16" wide carved bone nut. The headstock features Gibson's distinctive "open book" shape, something only offered on Japanese-made Epiphone instruments, along with multi-ply binding and the distinctive split diamond pearloid inlay. The original tuning machines with metal keystone buttons turn smoothly and hold pitch well with clean gold plating.
The electronics function as intended, with the upgraded Gibson USA humbucker pair and long tenon neck joint visible in the neck pickup cavity. The stock ABR-1 bridge and stoptail shows some surface patina, and plastics include the gold speed knobs and black pickup rings which each have one small split on the inside edges of the rings, not affecting their mounting stability or adjustment in the slightest. The Alpine White gloss is a factory yellowed shade, simulating years of gentle aging, framed by lighter colored multi-ply cream binding. Cosmetic wear includes some isolated finish checking adjacent to the bass side of the neck joint, pick scuffing across the guard, and just a few small dings on the body as a whole with some additional localized finish scratches adjacent to the bass-side bridge thumbwheel. The gloss on the neck profile is clean and smooth.
A hardshell case with a zippered vinyl exterior is included.