Barracuda Les Paul Model Reviews 4

I have been playing guitar for about 30 or 40 years but only as a hobby and once in a while with some of the guys in a "garage" band. I play a lot of 60's and 70's rock and roll - just about everything from the Beatles to ZZ top. I started with a Yamaha Pacifica (Strat copy), moved up to a G&L Legacy (Strat), and now own a Gibson Les Paul Standard.

I was looking for a guitar that I could throw into a case and check it as luggage on an aircraft and not have to worry whether or not it got trashed by the baggage handlers. I wanted a Les Paul knock-off and didn't want to spend more than $150 - so that ruled out a new guitar. I found a used Barracuda Les Paul locally, tried it out and bought it on the spot for $140. It looks like it might be about 5 or 6 years old. There is no serial number on it or country of manufacture - but I am assuming that it is made somewhere in Asia.

Now for the fun part - I ran it through Peavey Delta Blues 30 watt tube amp and this guitar sounds incredible. It is very close to my Gibson Les Paul. Doesn't have the sustain or the true Les Paul sound - but it is close enough that unless you played this knock-off and then a Gibson right after - you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.

The only thing I did not like about this guitar was the rather small strap pegs. I had a feeling that my strap might come off - so I solved that problem by forking over $6 at the local guitar shop for some heavier pegs.

This guitar is a "heritage cherry sunburst" copy. It has a rosewood fret board and is bound with cream-colored plastic. The fret board has "Gibson" style inlays and they are inset perfectly with no gaps. The neck is dead straight and there are no high frets. I adjusted the neck for just a bit of relief and then set the action as low as I have on my Gibson - and it does not buzz. The tuning heads are no-name but they are sealed, can be fine adjusted and they hold tune. I adjusted the pick up heights to my liking and that was about it as far as setting up the guitar. The rest of the hardware on the guitar seems to be quite good. The pickup selector switch appears is good quality - I pulled it out to look at it and it is not a cheap switch. The volume and tone controls are very smooth and there is ample adjustment available. I have no idea what kind of wood the body is made from - but it is definitely not plywood and it is about the same weight as my Gibson. The fit and finish on this guitar is above average - something I certainly did not expect. I played a lot of Epiphone Les Paul's when I first started my search for an inexpensive "travel" guitar and this Barracuda is as good as or better than the dozen or so that I tried out. The only thing I might do to it is change out the pick-ups for some Gibson or Epiphone pickups but I will only do that if I can find some used ones for less than $50.

I may have lucked out and got my hands on a good Barracuda guitar because some of the reviews that I had read before I went to look at this used one - led me to believe that I would likely not end up buying this guitar. However that soon changed once I played it. If this guitar is representative of Barracuda guitars - then I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to fork out a couple of thousand dollars for the "real thing".

Scatman rated this unit 4 on 2007-11-25.

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