Epiphone Slash Les Paul Goldtop
Turn off Guitar Hero. Put down the fun-sized Les Paul. Stop kidding yourself that pressing five plastic buttons constitutes 'playing' Welcome To The Jungle!
If you really want to know what it feels like to be Slash, strap on the great man's Epiphone Les Paul Goldtop. Hands off this one, though!
With a worldwide production run of 2000 units, this Epi might just be the coolest and rarest signature model of the year.
Slash is a purist at heart, and his idea of a "great-playing, great-sounding and great-looking guitar" is essentially in the Les Paul tradition:
An axe with a fat mahogany body, carved maple top, set mahogany neck and 22-fret rosewood fretboard all prompting nods of familiarity.
Mind you, this being a signature model, it needs to offer some kind of 'Slash factor', so we get a bespoke neck profile that combines the feel of a rounded 50s LP with a slim 60s one, the same Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro-II humbuckers used by the man himself, and enough Slash picks and photos to keep his stalkers happy.
It's an impressive package for £600 – especially when you consider Epiphone's claim that each Slash model takes 21 days to build.
We're all familiar with 'signature model syndrome' whereby a cynical luthier sticks a novelty paint job on an otherwise stock model. If anything, the Epi Goldtop swings the other way, offering little evidence of the VR man's involvement until you dig in.
The masterstroke here is the Slash neck profile; it really does feel different to other LPs and its palm-filling shape is perfect for his sneering bends and chunky pentatonic solos. It's not for shred, but it is fast enough to pull off the Paradise City outro.
The Goldtop is associated with P90s, but these Seymour Duncan 'buckers offer the dual personality that makes the LP a winner in any context.
Select the neck (back off the gain and treble) and you've got a dark, creamy, mellow tone that sustains for ages. Crank the gain and that cream starts to curdle, the tone growing ragged round the edges and finally breaking into filth.
The tone from the bridge cuts like an industrial laser; add a wah and you are the man himself. For a signature, it don't get much better than that.
Good value, cool features and classic vibe.
Slash fans might want more visual cues. Top hat not included.
With just 2000 units available worldwide, you'd better be quick!
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.
2 x Tone 2 x Volume 3-way Pickup Selector
Solid un-chambered mahogany with maple top
Guitar Body Material