I haven't seen any posts about this model yet so I thought I'd add info on the new one I just received. Amazing sounding guitar out of the box, I'll play it a while before I decide if I want to change the pickups. Added comparison picture of my Gibson LP headstock and the new Epi, back plate was shielded, confirmed CTS pots included. I didn't check pickups cavity yet. So far the only thing I may change out is the tuners. Pots possibly as they are not as smooth as the Gibson's pots. Sounds great clean, unplugged and dirtied up through my amps. Would buy again, as the Gibson version of the model is over $4,500. I'm not paying that when I didn't "need" this guitar, but always wanted a black custom SG.