Epiphone Jerry Cantrell Signature Les Paul
Verdict and Review Summary
This is a very smooth-sounding guitar, outpacing its price tag, in typical Epiphone fashion. It produces a heavy sound at higher gain levels, especially with that 98T Pro humbucker at the bridge, which I know nothing about, other than it's really aggressive.
I've had a lot of electric guitars in and out of my care over the past few months, including a PRS SE McCarty 594. For all of them, I've used the same setup - an Amptweaker TightMetal distortion pedal and Boss Katana 50. I've also thrown in some reverb for testing clean tones. But nothing has been quite as heavy, or sounded as good as this Les Paul. I was very surprised at how good heavy distortion sounded and how little noise issues I had. Aside from my 2005 CE 24 PRS (which has Fishman Fluence humbuckers), this is the best-sounding guitar in my arsenal.
Let's kick things off with some Tool.
Read more: Best electric guitars overall
My Full Review of the Epiphone Jerry Cantrell Les Paul
BEST FOR: High gain levels (distortion), sustain, percussive power chords and palm muting, versatile music genres (classic rock, modern rock, metal, grunge).
- Dark red, gold, and black somehow work really well together
- The bridge pickup is hot, but sounds great
- Very smooth at high gain levels with a lot of percussive chunk
- Grover tuners
- Maple top piece (cap)
- I'm not crazy about Les Paul neck heels, especially a set neck
- Strap connection on the upper bout is precarious (kept letting the strap go)
Humbuckers and tone
Neck heel and playability
Headstock and hardware
Hardshell case included
Pickup selector and preferred sound
Aesthetics and colors
Pickup positioning and string height
Broad appeal and musical style
Summary of my Epiphone Jerry Cantrell Les Paul Review
This guitar can absolutely handle the heavy stuff, and bridges a gap between early '90s grunge and the modern, percussive rock style. The punchy palm mutes and smooth sustain power chords are just a lot more than what you get from a Kurt Cobain sound, or even Soundgarden. If you play any of these styles and you want a solid intermediate electric guitar, that can last and be useful long term, this is a very high-value option. Epiphone rarely fails with this type of instrument.
If you have questions about my review or experience with this guitar, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
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Price updated Thu, February 29th, 2024.
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