Alright, let’s get honest with each other. We all know that a good guitar is loved by many a musician and many a fan. Yet there are not many guitar players with enough cred to put their name on a guitar and certify it as good. There are a few though and Slash is one of them. Which is why the moment Slash slapped his name onto this instrument, or more like I found out that Slash had slapped his name on some instrument, I decided to check it out. So, let us take a closer look at the Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul and figure out what makes it Slash worthy.
The first thing we are going to get real about is the design of the guitar, since it is also the first thing you will be noticing about the instrument. The manufacturer obviously has learned something from the years of producing instruments and picked one of the favorite guitar designs out there for this one. The Les Paul is magnificent and loved, and in the case of this guitar it does a great job of feeling authentic and beautiful. Known for comfortable playability and its light weight, the Les Paul is bound to inspire you to keep playing. The coloring, yellow, is reminiscent of one of Slash’s very own Les Pauls. This means you get to feel like slash for a fraction of the price that it takes to be hum!
The body of the guitar is made out of mahogany. This tonewood, is famous for many things, one of them being that affordable guitar like this one are usually not made out of it. It does have some other qualities though, qualities which should make you jump at the thought of buying the guitar. Mahogany has a nice tonal quality, resonating with the lowest tones in a satisfying manner. As a result you get some nice sounding lows out of the guitar and overall warmth for the entirety of the instrument. The hardwood is also known for having a rather heavy weight, meaning you will have to spend some time adjusting to keeping the instrument on your shoulders. Something that can seem a little annoying. All of this comes at a trade off though, as the tonewood has the quality of being very sturdy. It won’t be breaking any time soon, with dents and scratches being a distant nightmare. You could potentially break an amp or someone’s hand before the guitar starts denting. I am not saying you should be hitting people with the guitar, just saying it could withstand it. You definitely shouldn’t do it. Be nice to your guitar. And people too, sometimes.
The guitar also has a flamed maple top, which provides a nice design detail and changes the sound up a little bit, lending its brightness to the higher tones of the guitar.
The neck of the guitar is built out of mahogany as well. This is good news, great news even, since we all love ourselves a sturdy guitar. Mahogany is one of the sturdier materials out there, which means you won’t be struggling with the guitar having an unstable neck, denting or random breaking. The joint between the guitar and the neck is bolt on, which is not a bad thing and is frankly to be expected at this level of price. The fretboard of the guitar is made out of rosewood.
The bridge of the guitar is of Tune-o-Matic fixed design with a stopbar. While the tune-o-matic design is always nice, even it suffers from some quality fall off at lower priced guitars. Here this can be encountered too, but it is not something that gets in the way of your playing. The action is decent and the string stability just fine.
The nut of the guitar is made out of plastic, which is never the best option. As a result of the material choice you get a little bit of string buzz, but the harmony of the guitar is not damaged.
The tuning machine of the guitar is where I wish the guitar was a little more expensive. You see a lot of affordable guitars suffer from tuning stability issues, and this one is one of those guitars. Maybe an extra 50 would have done the guitar good?
The guitar is equipped with a set of double humbuckers, one at the bridge one at the neck of the guitar. The Ceramic Plus humbuckers are not something I, or anyone else in the business, will be raving too much about. Still, these are powerful enough and sound good enough to be acceptable at this level price. Don’t expect them to surprise you, or to last too long though. Eventually you will outgrow them, before they end up going flat, and then you will be looking for an upgrade.
The guitar is also equipped with a fairly standard set of controls. Two knobs, for volume and tone, as well as a lever for pickup configuration. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Soundwise the guitar is surprisingly adequate, which is why Slash slapped his name across it. Or maybe because Slash slapped his name on it the manufacturer had to keep the sound quality adequate? Whatever it is, the combination of mahogany and maple results in a versatile tone, while the double humbucker build allows for decent power and character to be enjoyed by most untrained ears and hands.
This is an adequate guitar. I, and you probably, have seen better guitars. But judging how it comes as part of a bundle, has a decent sound and is fun to actually have, I’d say it is well worth the money you would be paying to own it.