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MF MD HG 17 Off Accessories Sale1 Day Only 12-23-14
Product 515624

Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar  

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The Les Paul Ultra-II is a truly different hybrid guitar combining a real Les Paul Guitar with a fingerboard-mounted NanoMAG Samarium/Cobalt pickup a...Read More

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OVERVIEW

A hybrid Les Paul that also goes acoustic.

The Les Paul Ultra-II is a truly different hybrid guitar combining a real Les Paul Guitar with a fingerboard-mounted NanoMAG Samarium/Cobalt pickup and electronics to produce shimmering acoustic tones with ultra-wide dynamic range. It is crafted with the same acoustic chambers as those in the regular Les Paul Ultra. Comprehensive NanoMAG controls are discretely incorporated into the back cover. True Stereo outputs capable of both mono and stereo with a regular cable.

The NanoMAG is a magnetic pickup with an air coil and a composition of different samarium cobalt magnets incorporating active electronics in a minimum of space. The pickup is protected by an epoxy layer, and the silver-platinum shielding, together with the active electronics, provides a low impedance, hum free output signal. The NanoMAG pickup provides an acoustic sound, but can also produce sweet blues and jazz tones. It is very resistant to the feedback and offers incredible dynamics in all positions.

Based upon Epiphone's top-selling Les Paul Ultra, the Ultra-II adds a proprietary NanoMAG low-impedance pickup embedded into the fingerboard and custom electronics to create a Les Paul that is not only capable of blistering, electric guitar riffs but also shimmering acoustic-like tones and when combined, greatly expanded frequency range and tonal capabilities.
The goal of the Ultra-II was to create a more versatile guitar that was capable of not only real Les Paul tone, but also acoustic-like qualities but without adding a lot of controls and changing the overall appearance of the Les Paul. Unlike other instruments that attempt to create a completely new guitar design, Epiphone went about this differently by starting with a proven, electric guitar design and adding to it.

The Ultra-II is all Les Paul. Its pair of Alnico Classic humbucking pickups combined with traditional LP design let's you rock like famed Les Paul players. However, the Ultra's body is strategically chambered to not only reduce the weight, but to add subtle acoustic overtones. Taking advantage of this design, Epiphone teamed up with the premier German acoustic pickup maker, Shadow to take the Ultra to the next level. The result is the Ultra-II.

At the heart of the Ultra-II is the NanoMAG pickup. Referring to its small size and its composition, the NanoMag is a completely new kind of magnetic pickup that combines 3 Samarium-Cobalt magnets with on-board, active electronics to produce a low-impedance pickup with absolute linear response and an uncharacteristically wide frequency range. Voiced specifically for the Ultra-II, the NanoMAG is embedded in the fingerboard after the 22nd fret. Positioned at this harmonic-rich sweet spot, the NanoMAG is able to capture all the harmonics - from the lowest to the highest - with incredible accuracy and all with ZERO noise or artificial coloration. This again is different from all other acoustic pickup technology.

Front mounted controls for the Ultra-II remain in the standard LP locations. However, function is changed to Neck Volume (magnetic), Bridge Volume (magnetic), Master Tone and NanoMAG volume. Controls specifically for the NanoMAG, as well as the 9-volt battery compartment are discretely mounted on the back of the instrument on the control cavity plate. Using the back controls, you can set the treble, bass and gain of the NanoMAG. Once you find the settings you want, you generally won't make many changes to them. However, the control is there if you need it.

The Ultra-II also adds true stereo outputs that allow you to either combine its Alnico Classic humbuckers with the NanoMAG output or, separate the two for mixing possibilities. Both options allow the use of standard 1/4" instrument cables. With this, the player can route the magnetic pickups to a standard electric guitar amplifier and the NanoMAG to an acoustic guitar amp or the PA. Using the front mounted volume controls, unlimited blending and mixing of the two signals is possible.

If you want a versatile, professional instrument that's capable of both Les Paul crunch and real acoustic-like tones, the Epiphone Ultra-II is it!


Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

FEATURES
  • Body: Mahogany, strategically chambered
  • Top: Quilted maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Neck Profile: SlimTaper, satin finish
  • Neck Joint: Glued-In
  • Truss Rod: double-action, 2-way
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12"
  • Frets: 22 medium jumbo
  • Scale Length: 24-3/4"
  • Nut Width: 1.65"
  • Neck Pickup: Alnico Classic
  • NanoMag Low-impedance
  • Bridge Pickup: Alnico Classic Plus
  • Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic
  • Tailpiece: LockTone Stopbar
  • Front Controls: Neck Humbucker Master Volume
  • Bridge Humbucker Master Volume
  • Master Tone
  • NanoMAG Master Volume
  • 3-way Toggle (Humbuckers)
  • Rear Controls:
  • NanoMAG Treble
  • NanoMAG Bass
  • NanoMAG Gain
  • Tuners: Grover, diecast
  • Outputs: 1/4" Mono, 1/4" Stereo
  • Power: 9V battery
  • Hardware: Gold
  • Binding: Body, Neck
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneLes Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar
 
4.7

(based on 63 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (46)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Chambered Honker

This is a well-made instrument. I've had none of the issues that I've seen in other reviews related to hardware or finish. This may not be the instrument for you if you plan...Read complete review

This is a well-made instrument. I've had none of the issues that I've seen in other reviews related to hardware or finish. This may not be the instrument for you if you plan on playing with a lot of high gain intensity; however, for country, jazz, blues this guitar sounds and looks great with lots of sound options to choose from.
I love the acoustic pup though I prefer to run it through something besides my amp to get the best sound. The std pups sound good, too.
I had no quality issues with the guitar per se, but do have a problem with the guitar feeding back uncontrollably at higher gain settings. So if I want to play at any gain levels above a good crunch, I can't due to the FB problem. I can't get far enough away from my amp to alleviate the issue.
For an extended range instrument, I think the guitar is a good value. Despite the feedback issue I previously described, this a great playing & sounding guitar. I had some minor setup things done but nothing beyond that.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

The electronic suck!

I bought the ultraII because I wanted a hybrid guitar to play both accoustic and electric. My ultra had problems from the git-go. The "mono" output picked up a local radio...Read complete review

I bought the ultraII because I wanted a hybrid guitar to play both accoustic and electric. My ultra had problems from the git-go. The "mono" output picked up a local radio station and then stopped working altogether within a couple of months. The nano pickup was functional, but the guitar volume knobs never worked. In short, the electronics were a disaster. It's in the shop being fixed. Made in China, 'nuff said?

Reviewed by 63 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nothing else like it.Great combo sounds.

By Rick Holly

from New Jersey

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      I have a regular Les Paul already as well as about a dozen other guitars so I was looking for something with a unique tone. This is it. At first I was only using it for a few songs a night but little by little as I got use to playing with the combination of tones from the tree pickups, I started keeping it on and playing it longer during sets. This past weekend I probably used it for 80% of the time. It throws you at first but with a little patience the reward is some great tones. Does the Nanomag pickup sound like a real acoustic? No, you won't think you are hearing a real acoustic but it sounds very "acoustic like" mixed with the neck pickup. For me it's like listening to a recording where there is a bit of acoustic guitar playing in the background behind the electric guitars. It gives the guitar a "lighter" more open tone but you can dial in a decent acoustic sound then easily crank into a very dirty, sustained Les Paul lead tone and very quickly get back to that nice open/acoustic rhythm. This guitar gives you sounds that you just cannot get out of any other single guitar period. If you turn off the Nanomag pickup and just go with the Les Paul humbuckers it does have excellent sustain and a nice bottom end. It is not quite as fat as my normal Les Paul but with a little EQ (and I mean just a little) very close.

      Just a note on what I run this through for your own comparison. I use a VOX VT-30 amp miked through the P.A. and I have a BBE Stomp pedal that is always on and set about 1:00 on both controls. The Nanomag seems to respond well to the BBE Stomp.

      The finish on mine is perfect, a beautiful quilted cherry red finish. I have no tuning issues. I did my own set up when I first got it and the action and intonation have held perfectly. I also have not experienced the electronics problems others have mentioned (maybe that will be an issue at some future time. One last note: the Nanomag is a piezo pickup and has the same 60 cycle hum that any single coil pickup has under similar conditions. In the club I played in on Friday there were no hum issues because I was not near any "beer" lights or dimmers. On Saturday, the club I played in had lots of lights and TV screens near the stage and there was a hum that was only noticable when we stopped playing. The normal humbuckers of course are dead silent as expected.

      I am quite happy with my Ultra. I would buy it again and highly recomend it.

      Comment on this review

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Love it!

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      Had feedback now its gone!
      I've have guitar for about 6 months now and it took sometime getting it right! It played very well and to keep it playing well I had to keep neck clean. Once montly I get cleaner and whip down neck. It had alot of feedback, I bought foot petal I forget name now there's no feedback at all. I'm very impressed! It please like my other plays now. It's has great action, after effect box no feedback even when I'm right next to Amp. Not to empressed with acoustic sound, so I use my Takamine. Great guitar if you know the tricks!
      Great
      Love it

      Comment on this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      not your grandma's les paul

      By Thom

      from Albuquerque, NM

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      In spite of the problems this guitar has, I enjoy playing it and I'm glad I have it.

      The odd finish on the neck seems to be based on an old practice used on Frankenstrats of stripping the finish off the neck and working talcum powder into the bare wood. Feels a lot like that. The objective is to reduce friction so your hand moves faster. Works for me. The color of this finish matches the back of the guitar on my Ultra II but I've seen some where it was an ugly mis-match.

      When I first got the guitar, I had the common complaint of wanting more switches to control all the options available from a three pup guitar. While I still think LPs need a five position switch or two three position switches in the same place the pup selector is now, I'm getting used to the stock setup. I've been leaving the pup selector in the middle position and using the volume controls to select instead.

      When I replace the pots, which has to be done, I will be adding pull switches to let me isolate the standard LP set up from the nanomag.
      Light weight LP with acous pup.

      Because of the chambered body, the Ultra sounds more like a 335 or SG or Wilshire -- heard the tone from Woody's Wilshire on Maggie May coming out of this.

      I love the ergonomics of the Les Paul but wanted more tonal range and this does it. The standard pups sound light and open relative to my Epi LP Custom. The nano mag sounds acoustic when it is amped that way. Wired mono and mixed with your electric sound, it can add single coil highs and even a Tele snarl.

      If you are looking for the "tradional" deep, heavy, thick LP rock tone, you should get one of the other models. If you love playing a Lester but you love to listen to your Leo, this may be the axe for you.

      (Or put a Lace Dually on your LP. The Blue-Gold and Red-Silver Dually's ARE strat pups you can load on your HB style guitars with no mods to the wood. Love mine.)
      The jack plate breaks. Should have been made of metal or much thicker plastic. Virtually universal problem that Epi has failed to fix.

      The tone and volume controls are garbage -- might as well be three position switches: off/on/loud. They are molded into a circuit board. Because the nanomag preamp is mounted in the same hole as the regular controls, replacement pots must be minis. With a chambered body, the nanomag preamp could have been mounted somewhere else.
      Installing a quality jack plate and the same pots found on other Epi LPs would substantially raise the value rating -- and lower the agravation.

      Except for those factors, a beautiful, well made guitar.

      But I won't give high marks to any guitar that lists over $200 and needs repairs out of the box.

      Comment on this review

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Chambered Honker

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      This is a well-made instrument. I've had none of the issues that I've seen in other reviews related to hardware or finish. This may not be the instrument for you if you plan on playing with a lot of high gain intensity; however, for country, jazz, blues this guitar sounds and looks great with lots of sound options to choose from.
      I love the acoustic pup though I prefer to run it through something besides my amp to get the best sound. The std pups sound good, too.
      I had no quality issues with the guitar per se, but do have a problem with the guitar feeding back uncontrollably at higher gain settings. So if I want to play at any gain levels above a good crunch, I can't due to the FB problem. I can't get far enough away from my amp to alleviate the issue.
      For an extended range instrument, I think the guitar is a good value. Despite the feedback issue I previously described, this a great playing & sounding guitar. I had some minor setup things done but nothing beyond that.

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Les Paul Ultra II

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      Some Areas Of The Guitar Are Stronger Then Other Sound The Best Quility But Craftmanship And Quility Low.
      Pretty Good Guitar Sound Wise
      Not The Best, The Neck Pickup Died After 1 Year Of Use. The First Jack Came Out After A Few Months Of Playing
      A Good Starter Guitar

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Not bad, but perhaps overpriced

      By KcMsterpce

      from Seoul, Korea

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      Once again I say "in my opinion" - the Epiphone LP Ultra-II comes off as a guitar that has great conceptual design, but when put together feels like an overpriced gimmicky instrument. I wish the neck was more refined, the NanoMag wasn't so harsh and brittle and adding the light weight of the body - which should be a big PRO and not con - it just wasn't my bag, baby. Your mileage may vary, but I recommend to try before you buy.
      There are some really great features for this guitar, as stated in the description. It's nice to have a piezo - excuse me - "NanoMag" pickup to play tones similar to an acoustic. However, I found that with even the treble all the way down and the bass all the way up for the NanoMag, it was very brittle and harsh sounding with too much top end. Thankfully, you can "round out" the tone a lot by adding in the neck pup into the mix. However, playing on an acoustic amp straight through with the NanoMag, it took some tweaking and sounded "ok" - but there are better pickups out there for an acoustic-like tone.
      As for the stock pups... they are lower in volume than I'm used to, but with raising the volume a little bit you shouldn't have many complaints. Clarity is good and when kicked into distortion, chords come out clear and concise; there's very little muddiness. This I think is in part to the lower output of the pickups. Overall the SOUND of the guitar isn't too bad
      I give a "7" here due to minor finish flaws, and most especially to the neck. I like a satin finish, but this neck is not comfortable to play on. It feels more like a piece of plastic than wood to me. I have not felt so unnerved and uncomfortable playing on a neck before. It feels almost as if I could use my fingernail and pick out chunks of the neck contour; it's that kind of texture.
      It played smoothly right out of the box; my complaints are more about personal preference than overall quality.
      I will also add that this is a VERY lightweight guitar. This is great for a Les Paul body! However, adding the headstock-heavy light weight in conjunction with a plastic-feeling neck, I personally feel that the guitar feels like a big toy. If the neck was nicer, I'd be less inclined to feel silly about the weight. I don't have this problem with my Gibson SG.
      I think if this was priced a little lower - it would be a good buy. For the asking price, I do not feel it is worth it.

      Comment on this review

      (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      over-all great guitar! sounds amazing

      By strungup420

      from OREGON

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      I recently picked up one of these guitars and automatically love it. you can play around and find so many different sounds just by using the knobs. if you dont have any effects its totally fine! the guitar kicks some serious ass, you can go from the classic les paul sound right to an acoustic sound. The pick up system is pretty sweet, the nanomag technology they put into it sounds great for all those acoustical songs you play, and the humbuckers are just a raw and powerful sound. over all it is a great guitar and an amazing guitar for the $$! definitely pick one of these beauties up for yourself!

      Comment on this review

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Fantastic Sounding Instrument!

      By Unnamed User-wYXK3

      from New Delhi, India

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      I have had this for over a year now and its been one of my main guitars during this period. The stock pickups are really good (and I habitually change pickups in all my guitars!). The bridge pickup is great for distortion (authentic les paul tone, this guitar can scream!) while the neck pickup excels at clean tones (its a little muddy with distortion). The nanomag brings a lot to the the plate in terms of sonic variation. Dial this in with the neck pickup and you can almost see the bells ring! I love the fretboard, have always found the 12'' radius comfortable. I also play an Epiphone les paul custom and this guitar is about 10-15% lighter.The finish of the guitar is quite good all in all barring a slight paint smudge near the neck. The nanomag pickup on my guitar however does not sit completely flush with the fingerboard - I'm not sure whether this is a manufacturing defect or occurred during shipping. Returning the guitar was not an option for me and since it worked great the cosmetic blemish does not bother me much. The pots are just about okay but cannot be changed (see below). The pickup selector switch lets pickups not in the circuit bleed through but this has been a common problem with a lot of the epiphones I have played. Will probably change it someday.Lastly a note for the tinkerers - you cannot change the pickups on an Ultra II without extensive rerouting work and even then the nanomag will have to be taken out of the equation since it requires a PCB in the control cavity.

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      The Most Useful Guitar Under $1,000.

      By J. Bone

      from Northern California

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      This guitar achieves what countless others have tried and failed....which is to produce a useable acoustic tone from a solidbody guitar at a reasonable price.Highly recommnded for someone who wants to start giggin but can only afford one guitar for now.Much has already been said about the great look and feel of this guitar, no need to add to that.All agree that the plastic jackplate has got to go. My nephew's broke immediately, I made a new one from .063 brass and polished it. Looks great and will NEVER fail.Since it's no more difficult to make 100 than to make just one on the waterjet, after seeing how many fail, I just might make up a batch.-J. BoneNorthern California

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      I love it!!!!

      By mike73

      from Sactown

      Comments about Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar:

      I love the nano mag acoustic sound, very realistic. I simply plugged straight in to the PA where my acoustic electric plugged in, then plugged the other cable into the my fender amp, and tada! 2 guitars in one. No problems, just the normal little adjustments a new guitar always needs. Love it!!!

      Comment on this review

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