Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II

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Joe Pass Emperor II, Hollow Body/Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitar from Epiphone in the Emperor series.

18 user reviews

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Epiphone
  • Model: Joe Pass Emperor II
  • Series: Emperor
  • Category: Hollow Body/Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitars
  • Added in our database on: 12/18/2006

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Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II user reviews

Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 18 reviews )
 9 reviews50 %
 6 reviews33 %
 1 user review6 %
 1 user review6 %

MGR/DaveyK's review"Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II"

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Guitar Center $599.00

I bought my Joe Pass a few months ago. I had been in the market for an archtop to play rock-a-billy songs while jamming with friends and jazz sitting around on the couch. Of course I first looked at Gibbie's and Gretches (both WAY too expensive for my budget)and Ibanezes (nice to look at but seemed very cheapy made when taken off the rack). When purchasing a new guitar I first play them all without being plugged in. The Joe Pass sang sweetly like a bird. I was at Guitar Center where about 15 guys were testing various guitars - all doing the usual noodling and shredding - and when I plugged into a Fender Bassman and played a Delta-Blues tune - everyone in the place stopped what they were doing and looked over - not at me - at the guitar producing this sweet tone. I held onto the guitar while I looked around the store a bit more and two guys followed me around - hoping for me to put it back on the wall so they could have their crack at it! Needless to say I bought it before leaving the store. It was set up wonderfully right out of the box.

The only thing I dont like about this guitar was the pick-gaurd. The tortoise shell and multi-binding are beautiful, but the Joe Pass signature is silly and makes it look cheap. Since the signature is burried somewhere in the multilayers, I couldnt figure out how to get rid of it. So I took the pickguard off. It was IMPOSSIBLE to find another pick-guard, and I looked around quite a bit including some swap meets and still havent found a replacement that fits. So in the mean time I have a cheap Les Paul pickguard on there ($7 from Sam Ash) and have that on there for now. Doesnt fit or look right but looks a lot better than the cartoon signature one. Joe Pass (RIP) was an exceptional guitarist and his memory is deserving of better than a phony signature on the pickguard of his name-sake instrument. The guitar is a wonderful tribute and and exceptional instrument for the price. The goofy pickguard is an insult. I did save it though in case I ever decide to sell the guitar (very, very unlikely) and the purchaser wants it "stock".

But, like with all guitars I get from the "Super Stores" I took it in to have it proffessionally set-up. And believe it or not, the guy who does all my set-ups told me it didnt need a full set-up! Very rare for a guitar from Guitar Center or Sam Ash and other places where its out of the box and onto the wall. He filed the nut a bit, made one tiny crank to the truss rod. I told him I noticed a slight "buzz" when I played on certain parts of the neck and it turned out to be simply due to a loose pot wire inside the body and the pick-up covers also needed tightening. So he charged me $10 and sent me on my way.

Great guitar for the price - and as many others have commented - quite a head turner. Wherever I go, everyone wants to "try it out". If you want a quality jazz box for a doable price. This is it.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

MGR/gary's review"Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass"

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
I bought it used for $399 (with fitted hard Epi case) at Guitar Center Hollywood Fla.
Its striking looks dragged into the small room it was in. Once I picked it up and
played it I couldn't out it down,

TWO other shoppers in the store followed me around the place (like two cats
following someone with fish in his pockets) waiting for me to put it down.

While on line waiting to pay for it, one offered me $100 more than I was
paying for it :-) BOTH were there wanting to play it, and lamented not walking
into the store 10 minutes before me.

I should get a commission, one wound up buying NEW ones in stock.

1. Looks

2. Sweet amplified sound.

3. Better than expected "unplugged" sound.

4. Feel, it really fits my chunky short fingers very well.

In a Fender Ultimate Chorus amp it sounds great, in my younger days,
I didn't much like wide bodies because solids offered more versatility
being able to play them with some watts behind them. The wide bodies
always fedback, and vibrated too much when you tried to get a rough

Modern amps make all that vibration a thing of the past, and with that in mind
the "Joe Pass" is far more flexible than a LP, Strat or even an ES335 class body.


I've played and owned just about every high end hollow, and semi
hollow from the 50's, 60's and 70's this box stands shoulder to shoulder
with them. It may not have the "I broke my bank account" status behind
it, but that's cool. I can buy other more sensible luxury items that really
do make a difference when comparing price versus features.

The only "imporvement" I could make is to make the pearl
in the head stock more delicate. This inlay looks rather "FAT"
I'd prefer a simple gibson crown type of inlay. But what's done is done,
some people really like this ornament... perhaps they were hookers
in a previous life ? :-)

I could only find one minor flaw... and that after examining if for several
minutes in the store. Visually its top notch. It must be pretty durable because
I found out that it was made in the late 80's , possible early 90's

I'd like to own one in every color combination :-) I really could considering
the ridiculously low retail price of less than $600 Hey, my wife does it
with shoes, why not a guitar?

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/James Chen01/15/2002

MGR/James Chen's review"Epiphone Emperor II Joe Pass"

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
I own PRS, Gibson, and Jackson solid-body guitars, and needed a jazz-box type of guitar to explore jazz and blues music genres. In trying out various affordable jazz boxes, I came upon a nautral-finished Emperor II Joe Pass model that was clearly superior sonically to anything under $1,000 (actual price: $649 w/Hard case). In fact, I found it comparable to $2,000 to $3,000 big name jazz box guitars such as the Gibson ES-135 and ES-175.

Soundwise, the Joe Pass model is somewhat boxy sounding acoustically, but really comes alive when plugged in. Amplified, the Emperor II brings to the table the full, mellow, and rich sound one expects from a top quality jazzer.
The guitar is very easy to play, with excellent access to all frets.
It is quite a beautiful guitar, with gold hardware and tortise shell-like pickguard, spruce top with flamed maple sides and back. The fit-and-finish is very good.
The new (2001) Gibson-designed pickups are surprisingly good, and do not need ugrading at this time.
A lot of guitar for the money!

Besides the very slight flaws in the binding finish on the neck, this is a very well-made guitar.

As I said before, this is quite a beautiful guitar, with gold hardware and tortise shell-like pickguard, spruce top with flamed maple sides and back. Very solid construction for a hollow body. The fit-and-finish is very good, with the only slight filing flaws seen in the neck's bindings.

Highly recommended for a budget jazz guitar.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Epiphone emperor 2 "joe pass."
My guitar ISSUE of a series starting with "s" which would mean that it is of better quality than those of n series commanant by another letter of after a notice seen here.
The caractrisiques are known, so I spend later.


The neck is super enjoyable, quivalant, it is my opinion gibson.Sauf moche.Les repres not pearl but plastic imitation (spleen). Mount with flat files, the action is very low and ideal playing comfort.

sound with the original pickups is very average.


I mount above the "seymour bam 59", and all became top. Super sleeve, great sound, a true jazz guitar, ugly and without prestige, but a formidable efficiency.
I'm on the vir sign skid plate "Joe Pass" becaufe ca was a bit stupid, and I did not (for now) replaces. I finally found nicer like this.
I play jazz and blues on a Peavey classic 30 (great amp) and I get stack the sound I have in my ears. when I have to play more rock, I take my strat us 89 (a wonder), but sometimes rhythmic, I do not take the Epiphone hesitates for large saturs sounds good fatty exellent quality e (Seymour and all-tube amp forcing).
But for BB King solos or Steeve Ray, I return to my Start up finer
(Bends with large flat file, ca kills fingers)


I bought it (pigale) when I lived Cayenne (French Guiana, the Guyanese Hi !!)
there are now 6 or 7 years old, I do not know.
All that is above mtalique svrement rouill.J'envisage change the tailpiece and mcaniques one of those 4, but there's no hurry. I had paid in 4500 francs at the time, and I do not regret it when you see the price of Gibson guitars or luthier. I played with a guy who had a're 175, and frankly, with seymour sound was far from being ridiculous, and comfort of the very close round, the prestge less ....
I have not had the opportunity to try the new Ibanez and Peavey of the same style and I'm curious to see what it gives over my Epihone.
Anyway I do not regret the emperor purchases + seymour bam 59

Added 05/08

I changed the mcaniques for KLUSON MD33N, tailpiece, I put microphones caches, everything chrome. I changed the microphone slecteut, the pots and the pots buttons. I changed the bridge for a Fishman piezo for archtop. This guitar has become superb and very effective and polyvalante.
But I ended up falling for a gibson es 175 ...
That fact that I am disposed to sell this piphone.
If your intersss contact me.

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