Holy Diver Les Paul Outfit is actually impressive
What I like best about this guitar is how it delivers the goods in a civilized way... but with a monster lurking beneath the hood.
Forget the fact the Epiphone Holy Diver Les Paul Outfit is a Vivian Campbell signature model. Don't even think about it, because the guitar on its own doesn't even need rock star power to show off how good it is.
Firstly, I'm very glad this guitar isn't in-your-face with its appearance. The Black Aged Gloss finish looks great. The black-and-white motif with just a hint of gold on the knobs totally works here.
Second, those pickups. Those are DiMarzio X2N. This is what makes the guitar worth getting (aside from the fact it does come with a case).
Those two large bars on each pickups aren't just for show. I'll explain to you what the big deal is with these.
Yes, they're "hot" output. Very hot. But that's not the selling point. The sell is that there is absolutely no note drop.
No matter how hard you bang those strings or how far you bend notes, the string physically never leaves the magnet's range. The end result is that note drop never happens.
Where tone is concerned, this means super-ballsy chords and solo notes.
Is this a new technology? Hardly. DiMarzio has been making these bar magnet pickups since 1979. But it's a good type of old tech. This Les Paul delivers a sound where you're never wanting for more. It's pretty much the ultimate power chord guitar. Yes, it can solo very well, but it's the power chords where this thing really shines.
If you've never played a guitar using bar magnet pickups...
It's a different sound. Not crazy-different, but does have its own character. It's absolutely not Gibson PAF nor Fender Strat sounding. You use bar magnet pickups when you want to rock out.
Yes, you can play clean with bar magnet pickups, but in my experience that's not their best use. Electric guitar pickups with bar magnets are designed to push amps harder. It's probably true the first thing you'll do with this is turn your overdrive/distortion effect down once you strum a few chords on this 'Paul.
Does this mean this 'Paul is unmanageable with its output? No. Like I said, it's just different. A good different.