Blog Archive

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Joe gets a budget Les Paul in his name

GEAR IN REVIEW - Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Les Paul

Epiphone is catering to the many Joe Bonammasa fans out there that might not be able to afford the more expensive Gibson models.
This is in no way a guitar with just a name stamped on it. There are some amazing features on this guitar that you normally never see in a guitar in this price range. Signature guitar fan or not this guitar is a serious step above any other Les Paul style guitar in this price range. Lets see what sets this one apart.

The first thing we noticed was the pink lined vintage Lifton style hardshell case. Beautiful features and rugged construction make this an amazing case for this guitar. You could not ask for a nicer looking case for this guitar. It looks like a case a 4000 dollar Custom Shop model would come in. Yes it is included.

More wood....

The long neck tenon extends the neck into the body past the neck humbucker. This gives the guitar better sustain , tone and makes the guitar as a whole a more one piece experience. This also makes the neck much stronger Normally only found in high end Les Pauls this is a great feature on this JB model and quite impressive in any guitar under 1k.

High end USA pickups....

The pickups are USA Burstbuckers and nail vintage Les Paul tones. Smooth buttery sustain out of the neck pickup  and biting full rock tones are had with the bridge humbucker and leave no reason to replace them as you might in most guitars like this. Testing with various Fender and Roland amps a bunch of different tones are possible. Searing rock to warm neck solo tones ooze from this tone machine. This is an amazing sounding guitar. 

Vintage fat neck....

The baseball bat neck is a treat for vintage Les Paul fans. This neck is amazing! It fills up your hand yet still plays fast , comfortable and feels great. This profile is made to Joes specs just for this guitar. Rosewood board , 22 frets , custom shop bound. All the appointments found in the higher end models.

Fit and finish....

This guitar came setup perfectly out of the case. Even with the fat neck it felt fast and played amazingly well. Fit and finish seemed perfect. Binding looks great, really clean fret work and nut. No issues. She weighed in around 9 lbs. Perfect weight for a Les Paul. I had to remind myself this was a budget model. It really is that good.

14:1 Grover tuners keep things in tune. Epiphone really addressed the features that are changed out in alot of guitars and upgraded them on this model. This is a lot of guitar for the money.

The Mahogany body , maple cap and upgraded features on this model make it a homerun value for well under 1k. No upgrades needed would be a great title for this review. A killer guitar that is attainable to all players. 

Joe fans and fans of hot rodded Les Pauls need to check this one out at your Epiphone dealer today. 

From Epiphone

Just like Les Pauls built since 1952, the Joe Bonamassa Les Paul starts with the hallowed tonewood combination of a select solid mahogany back with a carved hard maple top. The body is made from solid (not chambered) mahogany for depth and resonance, and capped with a hard maple top for superb clarity, cut, and definition. A solid mahogany neck is glued in with a deep-set neck joint for superior resonance and sustain, and carved to Joe's preferred rounded 1959 "D" profile for a full yet extremely comfortable feel in the hand. Its select rosewood fretboards carries 22 medium-jumbo frets, and a synthetic bone nut provides long life and unparalleled sustain. 

To maximize all this tonal splendor, Epiphone loads the Joe Bonamassa Les Paul with a pair of Gibson U.S.A. BurstBucker™ humbuckers, a BB2 in the neck and a hotter BB3 in the bridge. BurstBuckers™ are Gibson's most accurate recreation of the legendary PAF ("Patent Applied For") humbuckers of the late '50s and early '60s, and include magical details like unpolished Alnico II magnets and unequal turns of 42 AWG wire on each bobbin, which results in the added "edge" or "bite" for which genuine PAFs are famous. To combat microphonic squeal at high volumes, however, these BurstBuckers are double vacuum wax potted, a must for the high-gain guitarist. 

To maximize resonance and sustain, the Joe Bonamassa Les Paul carries Epiphone's acclaimed LockTone™ versions of a nickel-plated Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, two further ingredients in that legendary Les Paul sustain, along with premium Grover tuners and a pair of straplocks to keep it secure throughout the gig. And while your wailing with supreme tone, the guitar projects supreme style, too, with Joe's preferred Metallic Gold finish, black body-back and neck, black plastics, black truss-rod cover with "Bonamassa" inscribed, and mismatched set of two amber top-hat knobs and two gold top-hat knobs with inserts. 

All guitars include a replica brown Lifton-style case with pink lining, a numbered and hand-signed Certificate of Authenticity, and Epiphone's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Support. But production of the Joe Bonamassa Les Paul is strictly limited, with only 1,000 guitars available worldwide, so act now to avoid disappointment.