What is it about most elitists?

[Guitar] - Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Standard Plus

Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Standard Plus in Faded Cherry Burst

The somewhat longer search for the "right Les Paul"
(Users who want to go straight to the hard core may skip this)

As in every Les Paul lover's life, there comes a moment when you say to yourself: It's time for a beautiful, high-quality Les Paul. At that time I owned a simple Epiphone Les Paul Custom - which I still own - but as good as the price-performance ratio may be (yes, the famous Tokai fans are about to come and write something about it ), it only comes close to a high-quality Les Paul.

So the question was: what kind of Les Paul and in what price range? Of course, the Elitist series from Epiphone, which is always raved about, was an obvious choice. But Tokai and Gibson were also shortlisted. Around September last year, I started following auctions on Ebay with the aim of finding a nice Les Paul.
Unfortunately, I noticed that the Elitists are quite rare in various second hand markets, and after a deal didn't go through, I was very close to giving up and moving away from the Elitists. A new one would have been financially possible, but somehow it was a little too much for a "copy". At that time, Lightmanager approached me and through a friend was able to offer me a Tokai Les Paul in a very nice color (a nice blue, which for most Les Paul fans is probably in the direction of blasphemy, but I found it quite pretty). In the end I decided against this Tokai after discussing it with many users here in the forum.

So it turned back to Elitist or Gibson. At Gibson, a wide variety of studio models were in vogue, such as the Smartwood series. But I didn't like them so much when I had them in my hand. I found the studios in Wine-Red to be visually appealing, but they were also at 1399, which I found very steep.
In the back of my mind was always the voice that said: Don't buy an Elitist, for the money you get you get a used Gibson Les Paul Standard. But then I was deterred by the fact that on the one hand there are a lot of China fakes floating around on Ebay, and testing is not so easy either. In the end, that would only work regionally, and there wasn't that much choice.

Around November-December a few elitists came in on Ebay, which I also found quite appealing. Both in Faded Cherry Burst. Well, one went out for 950, the other for 1150. For a moment, the idea of ​​a US import came into question, because I think Honey Burst is pretty nice, which is very difficult to get here (eh, m ~ Daniel )

Well, with the prices that seemed to rise to a considerable level - it is probably not entirely innocent that the guitars are no longer produced and only remnants are sold. So I thought to myself, maybe it would be advisable to go to some shops and see what they have. Then in January I phoned an employee of a large music store who said they still had an Elitist LP Standard Plus, an exhibit. After some haggling, the price was reduced by around 10%, so I bought the guitar.

The first impression

After the money was transferred, I nervously waited for the guitar to finally arrive. Whenever I was at home, I kept looking out the window to see the delivery man. When I was at university, it was torture to sit there until 8 p.m. or longer without knowing whether the guitar might have arrived.

A week after ordering - I had just come from university and was having lunch - I saw a huge box with a parcel post passing by the kitchen window. That the food was irrelevant should be understandable. So quickly to the door and happy to receive the package. Immediately into the dining room and unpacked the box. The Elitist case came out under a lot of packaging material, which is a special feeling when you have been buying your guitars all the time in the store or have bought them used and picked them up straight away. Opened the suitcase and then it was there in front of me.

The color was a little more orange than expected, but it was beautiful. I was particularly amazed by the ceiling, as it was - massive - exposed to the most varied of light games when you held it in your hand and "moved". The grain seemed almost organic. The inlays fit perfectly. No sticking out, no wobbling, as it was recently reported here. Fingerboard and frets perfectly processed, binding never slipped. No scratches whatsoever, neither on the ceiling nor on the back. You do not notice that it is in an exhibit. After a few days, I noticed a single, tiny manufacturing defect, but it didn't bother me: The cover of the toggle switch on the back is not 100% parallel to the body. On one side it is maybe half a mm higher than on the other side, which you just notice when you run your hand over it. Compared to my LP Custom - I checked it out there - the cover is lower - not at the same height as the flat body - but a little lower, but not 100% at the same height. But as I said, that's really minimal, you can only see it from a certain angle. The picture is attached. The settings such as octave purity and string position are also great, you can tell by the octave purity or compliance with it, a difference on the two instruments, albeit minimal. The Elitist is just a bit more precise. But that could also be due to the fact that the Epi needs new strings again, so I don't want to present that as a 100% fact. It was definitely a first impression, but that doesn't mean that the Epi sounds totally wrong

Since the guitar was out in the cold for several days, I didn't want to risk connecting it to an amplifier, since moisture would have formed on the metal parts - especially the blade socket - which would probably not work well if you had it then connects. So I played it dry first and was very impressed. It doesn't sound louder than my LP Custom, but harder and more centered, but not dull, which you might expect from the word "centered". The playability is amazing.

Baptism of fire on the amplifier

After a while and retune a little - the guitar has to get used to the warmer temperatures - plugged into the amplifier and WOW.

The neck pick-up sounds nice and warm, but not as muddy as with the LP Custom. Just full, but with enough heights. As expected, the bridge pickup sounds more wiry, especially the treble strings sound very high, but without disturbing.
Distorted, the guitar sounds much more differentiated and "livelier" than the LP Custom, with both pickups. Potis do not scratch and, in contrast to the LP Custom, are not quite as easy to turn. By turning the heights in or out, much finer differences in complaints can be set, which is at least not evident in the case of the Epi. The input socket does not cause any problems, Toggle reacts without problems.
The sound is really like a 1, regardless of whether it is clean or distorted. You can also get out overtones very well, at least better than on my LP Custom. But worse in a direct comparison to my Delta Dragon. Well, it also consists of maple, alder and ebony

Now that I've had several days to calmly compare the two epis, there are clear differences.
In terms of processing, the Epi LP Custom is a little less clean, which is noticeable in the bindings and in the quality of the electronics. In terms of sound, there are worlds between the guitars. The Elitist sounds livelier, richer in treble, crisper, but still with enough bass. So it sounds really great and more than I expected.

You can't really write much more, you have to hear it yourself. I can now write down different adjectives, but in the end they are similar, no matter which Les Paul is presented here in reviews.


To be honest, I am enthusiastic and would like to thank all the users again who supported me via PM in the search for the right LP. SELE, Hoss, Lightmanager, helga_tokai, m ~ Daniel and Gitarrero.

In terms of workmanship, the guitar is (almost) flawless as described and its sound is also of a very high level. I like the sound, the playability, the finish, the grain. Just everything. I can only recommend it to anyone looking for a Les Paul in this price range. The price is also completely okay, even if I'll be annoyed if at some point an elitist goes out on Ebay for maybe 700 (like screamer04 with his bargain, even if it wasn't on Ebay ).

In the end, I'm happy to have picked up a new instrument. Compared to the observed elitists, the price difference with my current one (for me) is limited. The reason for buying a new one was that I can test the guitar and have exactly the one that I tested. I have the option of exchanging them if I don't like them, as well as a multi-year guarantee. Also all accessories are included and I know that the condition is immaculate (yes, hit me, but I'm not that into "fucked up" instruments
I could perhaps have waited another nine months or so and could have tried to find an elitist on Ebay who is both seriously hired (somehow I've always had it on Ebay so far that I have never received further pictures from elitists who are interested in me, the salespeople seemed pretty unreliable anyway. Nevertheless, they turned out to be expensive)

Otherwise here again Facts for those who do not know these:

- African mahogany body
- flamed flamed maple top (bookmatched)
- Rosewood fingerboard, with mother-of-pearl inlays (crown inlays)
- Mahogany neck, one-piece, glued, long tenon.
- 2 Gibson USA designed pickups
- Grover machine heads,
- bone saddle
- MADE in JAPAN, according to serial number born in 2004.
- Color faded cherryburst, including case.
- Weight: 3.7 kg

images: in the appendix
I'm not very happy with that because the guitar doesn't come across as nice there, but well. I can't get any better ones at the moment.