Joe Pass Emperor II review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (41 votes)
Epiphone: Joe Pass Emperor II

Sound — 10
I play anything from metal to jazz, and this guitar can play anything that isn't heavy distortion. I use a Behringer UC200 chourus pedal with it, along with a Behringer 15 watt V-Tone. It has a full sound, and my only complaint is the buzz from the bridge when you play without an amp.

Overall Impression — 10
This was a good match for all my styles, except metal, but it's not ment for metal so what do you expect. I have been playing for 4 years, and this is the best guitar I have played. I have an Epiphone SG Special II(sucks), and a Burswood Electric(sucks), and this blew them out of the water.If it was stolen, I would track down the theif and get it back, or save up and get a Gibson ES-335. I copared it to an Ibanez AF75TDG Artcore Hollow Body Electric Guitar, and the Joe Pass model was 100 times better, and it was cheaper than the Ibanez. I just wish it had 22 frets.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have only had the guitar for about a day, but since it's a 1992 model, it definetly is reliable over at least 17 years. I wouldn't use a backup with it, because it is good quality. The strap buttons were very solid. The hardware does lose it's color over 17 years, but what do you expect.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I got the guitar used, so I'm not sure if it's factory, or if it was ajusted, but it has good action. The pickups are great. It has no flaws in the finish. It had a bit of a bridge buzz, but that's it. It's a little hard to bend but that's alright. It has a noisy pup selector, and the pups are WAY sensitive.

Features — 9
I have one from 1992, made in Korea, and it plays amazing. It only has 20 frets wich kinda sucks, but it has good clear pickups(Gibson USA), gold hardware, and an amazing finish. The only thing that could have been better would be a figured maple top. It came with a case.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    krauser92 wrote: dude, i have an epiphone, but its a les paul model
    congradulations. the only thing that had to do with the review was that you have an epiphone, lol.
    thinking about buying one of these , but the only problem is finding one left handed anywhere in the UK. I'd love one of these in natural finish and left handed. Any ideas where to look? because they are now discontinued in left handed?
    I am the proud owner of 1995 Samick made Joe Pass with Genuine classic 57 in neck position...awesome tone. For the tarnishing golden hardware..well I got rid of it. Grover tuners, metallic harp tailpiece painted black, custom made wooden pickguard. That is a keeper. I also got an Emperor Regent highly modified and a Sheraton is on its way..I gues I am an Epifan ;
    The problem with this review is that it's based on a 1992 Korean model. There are a lot of craftsmanship issues on these, and even on higher end Epiphones, such as the Broadway, nowadays, that weren't there in 1992. When these were made in South Korea, they were simply cheaper versions of what used to be made in the west. However, today greed has driven Epiphone/Gibson into China. The Chinese made Epiphones such as this will arrive completely messed up, fret buzz everywhere, massive cracks in the finish, and Epiphone inspectors will pass them and have them shipped to you anyway. Other commonly reported problems are screws falling out of new guitars and strange, annoying vibrations from inside the guitar that cannot be identified. So, unfortunately, your review is now somewhat irrelevant. Epiphones made in China or Indonesia are not simply cheaper versions; they are ripoffs. Unless someone is shopping for a 90s-era Korean-made Joe Pass Emperor, I would strongly suggest they ignore your review.
    I bought this guitar new 2 years ago and will have it the rest of my life. I LOVE it! I never played a guitar with more versatility. I play jazz, standards, country, and some old rock and roll. This guitar measures up in every way to the Gibson 335 that I played for many years.
    Of the 6 guitars I own, I rate this as a serious keeper piphone SG Hot Rodded, Fender Acoustic, Eko acoustic Elecric. Each one is different to be sure but each brings its own personality just like your friends do and I would not trade out any of them.