Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II

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

All user reviews for the Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II

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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

gtrphil's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" unbeatable value for money"

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Mine was made in Korea in 2011
I wanted a hollow body of good quality for a budget of less than 500 €
Attention all models are created equal, try several!

the table is made of spruce and rosewood floating bridge, nice finish and beautiful hardware for this price range, alnico pickups that sound really good.

In my opinion better than ibanez same category (175 a little cheaper and AK 95) that seem a little cheap ...
must depend on the periods and manufacturing plants since these two brands are very good products throughout

I put 9 out of 10


it looks like a real nice jazz guitar (like L4 or L5, or Italian), in terms of grip, balance, weight, etc ...
I mean by this that it is easy, pleasant, intuitive, what it all ...
So nothing very original and needless to extend

9 of 10


It's really a jazz guitar
Epiphone sought roundness, vintage ... this is his big quality and big flaw

it sounds very sound, even with volume Jouage battery, which requires attack (especially with a big pulling flat net rigor to exploit its capabilities)
and it may have its limits ... it was not a monstrous momentum, but of course compared to the guitar between five and ten times more expensive.

is fine to play swing, bop, but just for a little more modern things sound palette (you attack it sounds, you attack is not lost in the mix)
it difficult to effect as a 135, 137 or 175, for example

I feel that it comes from spruce which is less rigid and dense than maple, or even plating a 175 for example.
and accentuated by the microphones in very serious tone, and rosewood that has not bounce a ebony fingerboard (I mean do not dream it's worth € 450 new ...)

So great guitar to keep a very acoustic sound. Many musicians use the swing, it may look like a gypsy guitar and stimer, especially in central position and two microphones

8 out of 10


I kept two years, then I bought an Ibanez 70's model 2355 has much more harmonic, which is ultimately more neutral sound, which allows the amp to work and lamps. This guitar is also very well made (japan 70)
the rosewood handle is super hard and dense, ditto for the floating bridge.
However it is plated but in the end it is much stamped.

I played with a lot of jazz guitars. (All current production bigger, L5, 175, George benson signature Aria vintage guitars luthiers to 3000 € or more)
to play jazz I preferred my Howard Roberts fusion at gibson for example.

As stated above less than 500 € is what I found best, even if there's other good things

but the fact is that ultimately an arch top less than 500 € it still limits a musician, especially for professional use where it seeks to assert a touch, a truly personal sound.
This guitar sounds great but lacks intrinsic qualities (violin and acoustic) to be really good in the sense that it does not meet all the requirements of sound effect, dynamic precision.
That said it is also the case for many current guitar brand I will not mention, including at prices up to five times higher.

morality to buy without a second thought, unless you have at least 1500 € budget and take the time to find a good secondhand!

Comprehensive Review 8 out of 10

ChalotMartin's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Great!"

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Guitar made in Korea, bought there by the previous owner in 1992.
Channel 20 frets, which are now a bit worn (a bit too much for only 20 games)
It is thinner than on many other Archtops!
Two pretty standard humbuckers, I plan to change one day ...
The rest is the standard selectors has 3 positions and 2volumes / 2 tones.


Handle very nice, access to acute is average, but not all need the latest notes when playing jazz! (Although you can play other things)

Very light guitar, I love AC and its overall size

I'm not a great amp (roland cube 30x) but the "clean" channel and pushing a little treble button was a very nice sound to play melodies.

For support, switch to the middle or top, both agree very well!
The acoustic on the other hand is only used when no amp at hand. Anyway the sound is not catastrophic.


It is therefore perfectly to jazz on a roland JC50 ca makes very good!
The sound is fat enough with the neck pickup, but ar example you can put very little volume and play almost in behind the microphone with acoustic: ca makes fine grids to play!


I use it since 2007, so it's been 6 years (already!) And I'm just beginning to get tired (in sound)
I could compare with other guitars: those that sound better are more dear. Very good quality / price ratio so.

Wood, especially the back, is beautiful: beautiful well developed by the sunburst on my model that takes on a beautiful orange (which they gave me compliments neaucoup) veins
The gold plating is unfortunately gone because I have not taken care of (too much exposure to cold)
The famous "vine inlay" is beautiful and the finish is good.

I recommend this guitar to any beginner in jazz! She brought me a lot!

reminoucho's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" A Why spend more?"

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Manufacturing Korea.
Case 16 inch too thick. For me the ideal shape to play sitting and standing.
Easel: the guitar is just perfect!
Very soft mechanical, guitar is very good agreement.
2 pickups EPIPHONE including acute that good to me.
2 volume 2 tone


Nice sleeve, not tiring. Not as fast as a solid body for Shreds and fortunately!
Because the ergonomics of such a guitar is that the neck and the spacing of the strings, is between an acoustic and an electric.
When you play with your fingers (Joe Pass style), it is better that the strings are not too tight, and it is also valid for the left hand, because when playing complex chords JAZZ, better have enough boxes large.
Frets to re acute. Fairly easy access to acute with the cutaway, but again it is not the purpose of this guitar.
We get a good sound with the neck pickup. The bridge pickup ... blah.


I bought this guitar to play jazz with the fingers, as well as group play, where I mostly solos. The principle is that we like to accompany find the sound a bit dry and clear, lowering the volume a bit, and solo knobs thoroughly put on, and we have a more electric sound.
I plugged in different configurations:
1) Mesa Boogie: The Best of the Best
2) Acoustic Marshall: great for its clear well
3) PA (with small multi purpose) it still does not sound bad, but with less dynamic.
I love the sound of the neck pickup, even with a slight saturation on the mesa, and once again I find the sound of the bridge pickup dispensable. That may be why so many jazz guitars have only one serious microphone.


I for 8 months and I am VERY satisfied.
In fact when I bought it was incorrectly set. I returned to the store, and after a good adjustment (free), and a mounting plate rope net, I found this wonderful guitar.
I must say that I dream for years to acquire a U.S. JAZZ, but lack of money, I bought this guitar 439 euros in the meantime ... Well of course it is not solid wood, and two bolts are loosened, I screwed back in 2 minutes. And after ... Well, I can not find him no fault at the moment. If this guitar is aging badly, in any case, it will not ruin me, AND it sounds both in studio and on stage.
A great value prices.
Per Secula12/02/2010

Per Secula's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" range Epiphone "hollow body""

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Manufacturing Korea.
Wooden easel.
2 humbucker Pickups Epiphone


Channel super nice, flat head, slightly curved in acute.
Access to the latest correct frets.
His net a little hard to get on the bass on the 6th string. It sizzles quite easily question may be a hoop, you have to work the touch.


Classic Jazz, its OK with different amplifiers, neck pickup only (Rhythm)


I have benefited greatly from the forum to get advance information I needed.
It's my turn to return the favor and provide some information.

Subject: find a jazz guitar that sounds pretty good for working in acoustic "unplugged" in different parts of the apartment.

My teacher advised me Epiphone guitar for the price / quality ratio, it remained to choose the model of:
ES-175 Archtop - Reissue 3 / 4 body 2 Alnico V Classic humbucker
Emperor Regent 3 / 4 body 1 floating humbucking micro mini Epiphone
Broadway 3 / 4 body 2 humbucking pickups Epiphone
Joe Pass Emperor II 1 / 2 body Bridge: Alnico Classic Humbucker, neck: Alnico Hot Humbucker
Sheraton II 1 / 2 box girder Neck: Alnico Classic HB Bridge: Alnico Hot HB

Test its acoustics:
Sheraton II, little more than his guitar to full bodied, probably because of the beam.
Joe Pass Emperor II, a little less than my old guitar that his study first prize, but it was something.
Emperor Regent Archtop: sound of a folk guitar midrange.

Microphones criteria:
I did not have insurance but it seems to me that this is the same for all models, except perhaps the Regent. The Epiphone neck is quite correct, it does little jazz bridge pickup. The model allows Regent to the economy of the bridge pickup.

Attention to their own. Could not see a single ES-175 across the street from Douai and its environs (November 2010). Having a single Emperor Regent and one Broadway, sold well above the posted price by mail order - from suppliers who do not stock and do not delay ... The real market is much smaller than the market catalogs. Purchase Period, the sake of better prices and resale potential activists to choose a current model.
Nothing found on occasion in Paris and the provinces posted prices unattractive.

U.S. Market
A look at mail-order sales in the States gives a price range rather different from France. Là_bas the ES 175 is oddly very expensive, it is perhaps why we do not find in France. For others it is 75% of France without the port, without after-sales and with the unknown customs, I do not think the game worth the candle.

I noted the board to select Korean, exposure is found equally Korean and other countries (Malaysia, China) and mail no way of knowing, he must buy a pig in a poke.

I took a Joe Pass Emperor II exhibition, available in stores, labeled "Korea" set by the seller, of course with confidence in its possibilities after purchase, with new ropes for 10 € more than The cheapest market in mail order, to carry on. I did not choose the color ...

I'm stoked, handle great, good mechanics, good sound with jazzy neck pickup, no blemishes.

Tchavolo1's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Good price-quality jazz sensations"

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Made in Korea I believe (I quickly removed the sticker!)

20 frets, Gibson type bridge

2 pickups (one humbucker + 1 severe acute Made in Epiphone) with each volume + Tone
Slecteur 3 positions

Thin neck and not too wide


Ergonomics are good, easy to handle, no worries

For sound, well you need a good amp and well rgler namely, the microphones are not more exciting than tell the truth but the guitar is damn good.
As usual in models of the series, if the wood is good the guitar sounds good, it's just a lottery but I am happy with mine.
She does a lot play it must be said, the wood has worked well.

It has a curved body and not too ;-) pais really very comfortable.

The hardware is the price range, even when we see that this is not a guitar are: Mechanical 3000 however, it is true, very reliable. It's rare enough to be will appreciate


made for jazz guitar.

Climb ropes flat nets, play, do not change your strings unless they break and of course the sound of the neck pickup is round, even jazz!

By putting a little distortion can be a kind of sound Django 47/53

I prefer the neck pickup!

I played with a transistor amp Ibanez Tone Reverb 25w (not bad) and a Roland AC60 amp (too cold for my taste play with electric guitar).

It's a guitar plugged into a Peavey Classic or Fender amp!


I use acoustic or branch for very long.

It sounds enough to acoustic work time and a branch is a jazz sound.

In the hands it is over, I find it rather beautiful (non musician friends also find it beautiful GENERALLY) and easy to play.
However, with the exprience, we feel that we are far from the sound of a fine guitar maker, the feeling gnral is a bit "rustic"

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

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
Neck: Glued
Number of cases: 20
Number of Strings: 6 String
Body Style: Half body 70 mm
Body type: Type ES175
Body material: Maple and Spruce
Handle Material: Maple
Colour: Vintage Sunburst
Configuration microphones: Humberking
Number of microphones: 2
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Pickups: 2 humbucker
Position: Right
Hardware: gold
Mechanical: Oil bath


Guitar bought in 1998 without trying it. I wanted this model and no store Montpellier had not in stock. So I bought to order.
I saw right away that the violin was perfect and flawless finish. I think that in 1998 the quality of the instruments was better. The setting against a real cata. Towards the maker of the corner which I tweaked a setting top. I changed the cover plate by transferring the Epiphone logo and painted black.
Recently I changed the neck pickup with a Gibson 57 classic


I play mostly jazz and bossa. I played in various forms of the duo to big band. Currently I'm playing a trio two guitars and a bass with an occasional drummer, and with a formation of four brass bass guitar piano and drums. I use a Roland cube 60 w.
In use I find it more enjoyable to play. Whether agree or handle chorus is outstanding. The quality of the handle has always been a major asset of Epiphone. And we feel the key Gibson in the finish of the instrument. The treble is easy to play until the break 17. The bridge restores the sound good to the table and the harmony is perfect. The size of the box is nice especially when standing


Of course it's a late notice because the guitar has 11 years and has enhanced over the years. Personally I do not want to change it because snapping over € 2000 to tell you I saw a Gibson!
I solved the small vibration problems, I changed a microphone. It is followed by a luthier because you should never tinker with a device when you're not at work.

Although it is set to a guitar that has nothing to envy to the great and the memories must be above that this is not because we play on a guitar to € 2000 we will

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

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II
See previous opinions, however, a detail the handle is in parts, it's cheap, we know why
Mine is solid and does not fall apart as some people say is opinion but a matter of luck I think. Price ranges on these inequalities in a skyscraper to another it happens


Nothing to say except for one detail that is not one, the frets are absolutely crap. As with all Epiphone I tried, if you press too hard it makes up the note and the coup is wrong. Donors Council contends that good I do not play enough "fine" but when you are full and flared one piece does not always "fine".
It is frankly difficult and it requires to shrink by a luthier fret
Pulling rope light improves the problem but that kind of scratch likes thick rods. Obviously it will be in disto tape clean but it's a real worry.
The feedback is also insane. Impossible to work with a clean thick of the gain on my engl thunder.Sur against a hot rod with it very well, without feedback, but the sound is very fine.
In disto again the problem of feedback is less cumbersome and can make it last notes ever. Do not let go of the strings between songs.
So to jazz on my amp is pretty poor, even with a hush, for the big rock by the cons that's fine.


I totally agree with the previous opinions on the sound. This is an exellent guitar, with a serious dose of breathtaking. The sound is open, full, distortion in it directly affects the internal organs with a lot of infrastructure. Microphones origins are not bad for once a spike, unless it is who loves me are drooling is also possible.
The microphone sounds like the micro acute severe a lot of other guitars.

Obviously it's a matter of amp, a fender is more acute than on a engl
By adjusting the height of the microphones and screws (no it is not allowed) I think everything should be possible. With a high gain ceramic micro it must be surprising and effective for the big sound metal, funk to be its only limit

Clean typed jazz, smooth and full fat
devastating crunch like "the Apocalypse is near"
thick, fat distortion
lespaulien enough in my view, more open, less dense and fatty

Unplugged it's not worth a folk but you can still work with, and without peter ears because it does not sound still not very strong. The sound is "decent" at best


Good scratch, but the frets are a concern, I know it's hard to flog stuff is but it must be objective. The mechanical origins are also dismal, the feedback can make life (hush inevitable but does not solve the problem so far)

Knowing that it still requires many qualities but the costs for improvement. At this rate it is well worth a scraper which prices are three times
attention to the stuff to use with it changes at all while the final result

I tried gretsh the same price, unless personality
The non-Ibanez, sheer snobbery
The rest too expensive
the other half body type epi sheraton, dot, casino or other frets avaint problem much more serious than this one, as to make me forget the frets of the emperor at the time. paid 400 euros it's worth OCCAZ