Bad Cat ES-LP Style Kit


Feb 10, 2021
Eastern Oregon
I don't know if this is going to milk anyone's guernsey here on TDPRI, but I thought I'd document my experience with a cheap ES-Les Paul style kit from Amazon.

A couple first impressions: The flame maple veneer, and really the whole thing, feels a little brittle. It's extremely light, being a hollow body, and I estimate it will ring in around 5-6lbs all said and done. The body is 3lb, 11oz.



Fretboard is 1 5/8" at the nut, 2 1/4" at the end. Controls are 1/4". It has, instead of a scarf joint at the headstock, a two piece heel with a long tenon that reaches into the neck cavity.


Back is two piece mahogany... maybe. It feels like the back has been sanded to 220 but not very well. The binding is proud of the body near the heel of the neck, and proud of the neck end as well. The whole neck joint could be cleaner. If you're familiar with PGK, who's set necks fit so well they feel glued during dry test fitting, this one comes out of the neck pocket with zero resistance.

Fretwork is a little chewed on, although it's honestly better than the rosewood WD neck I just bought for my wife's Thinline. The frets are level, and look to be about a medium. The neck showed up bowed enough to need about a 3/4 turn of the truss rod, which did indeed work!

The plan here is to chuck most of the stock hardware for a set of "Black Beauty" style hardware, with a Gibson 57/57+ combo in gold with matching tuners and bridge.