If you dont know who Joe Bonamassa just think about this. Everyone knows who John Mayer is, just think of Bonamassa as the John Mayer of 15 years ago and you will get it. Bonamassa was a child prodigy blues player back in the day and he is still going strong today. He literally grew up in a guitar shop. He was jamming with the best when he was like 15. Gibson recently made him a signature guitar with all his specs and it is a great guitar and the right way to do a signature guitar. Now Epiphone is making a more affordable one seeing how the Gibson one is like 5000 dollars. The Epiphone one is what most Bonamassa fans will be able to get. The guitar has great features and you can really tell that it was designed by someone who knows what you need live and on tour. It isnt just a normal guitar with a silly paintjob on it, it has real useful attributes that you will not get on a normal Epiphone Les Paul. The guitar at its base is a 50s style Les Paul Gold top. It has a mahogany body and neck with a maple top and rosewood fretboard. The back of the guitar is painted black whereas the old Gold Tops would have a natural finish on the back. The pickguard and pickup rings are black also. It has upgraded 14-1 Grover tuners. The knobs are a mixed style with 50s top hat knobs and 60s reflector knobs. The great Bonamassa features are; Gibson Burstbucker pickups the same pickups the 5000 dollar Gibson model has. There are also straplock which are pretty rare on factory Les Pauls. There is an Epiphone branded locking bridge so the bridge does not fall off when you take the strings off.
Even being made in China the quality on this guitar is very good. The fretwork on my example was great and the nut was properly cut. The action was nice and low out of the box. The binding was all correct also. The guitar has the long neck tenon and the 50s style neck so be careful if you have small hands. The 50s neck profile Gibson necks are called the baseball bat necks for good reason. They are very big around and some people have problems playing them. The advantage of having such a large neck is that helps the tone of the guitar. The bridge that locks in place is something that every Gibson and Epiphone should have there is no real excuse not to have it. The upgraded tuners are nice and are a good alternative to locking tuners another thing I think all hardtail guitars should have. Strap locks also are another thing every guitar should come with. Everyone uses them live why bother putting bad strap pegs on the guitar to begin with.
This guitar is nice and meaty and has a nice meaty tone to it. The guitar is like 10 pounds so you can really feel it. The guitar comes with Burstbucker 2 and 3 pickups. A 2 in the neck and a 3 in the bridge. With Burstbucker pickups the higher the number is the hotter they are. The 2 pickup is a little hot and bright for the neck position. I had to roll off some tone knob to get a neck pickup tone I liked. Once you did that you can get nice smooth leads with the neck position. The 3 is good in the bridge. The 3 has great bite and clarity. It might even be too bright for some people depending on what kind of amp they are using. I think they used a 2 in the neck to compliment the 3 in the bridge. I would have preferred a 1 in the neck and a 3 in the bridge. With a 1 in the neck it would have no problem getting smooth neck tones.
The worst part of this guitar is that they are only making 1000 of them. That shows you how Gibson feels about making Epiphones with features that block away 75% of Gibson Les Pauls. They dont want too many people to get them. With the Gibson pickups, locking bridge and Strap locks on it this guitar is pretty much perfect out of the box. If you want a good sturdy gig ready Les Paul and can find one of these guitars you should grap it.
Handcrafted in China
Gibson USA pickups Burstbucker
Channel Profile 59.
Comes in Hard Case Epiphone, straplocks removable and certificate of authenticity (mine is 073, there are 150 in Europe)
Everything else is a Les Paul finish Bonamassa (goldtop + Black, 2 types of buttons)
Channel profile 59, not too thick but rather round. This is not a lumberjack handle, it is close enough to handle asymmetric Les Paul Tribute 60
Otherwise it's heavy as a LP and access to acute as LP, normal for ... LP
The sustain is long, very long. The
Burstbuckers are dynamic, warm enough (but a bit more modern than the Classic 57), full of harmonics.
Some adjustments Marshall amp type:
- Vol 10 Tone Micro Channel 3 for sound a bit choked full of harmonics
- 2 Channel Micro Flight 5, Bridge Flight 10, to 10 tones for a lead sound that is both powerful but alive and warm
- Micro acute Tone Vol 7 9 for a conventional lead blameless
and many more!
it's on all amplifiers without losing the grain Gibson BB
I just have it and I'll revise my opinion after having tested in rehearsal but I see what you can not really blame him for this award.
In my opinion, much better than a Gibson Les Paul Studio, much better than a Custom 77 LB CS4 (which I took a long time), finishing easier and less flattering that my Hagstrom Select Super Swede but its clearly more dynamic, warmer and more rock.
Brief violin LP flawless
Electronics and microphones perfect
Flawless finish very correct but relatively simple (no table flamed, binding way).
Value for money but virtually untraceable EXCELLENT!