Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 08/24/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93
The warm, clear tone of the Riviera electric guitar makes it a perfect instrument for jazz, blues, or country.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.7
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (1) 44 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Reviewed by: Hdog69, on june 08, 2009
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Body Wood: Laminated Maple Top wood: Laminated Maple Scale Length: 24-3/4" Neck Joint: Glued In Neck Wood: Mahogany Fretboard: Rosewood Neck Shape: C Frets: 22 Nut Width: 1.68" Fretboard Radius: 12" Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic Tailpiece: Bigsby Pickups: three P-90 dog-ear single-coil Controls: Bridge Volume, Neck Volume, Bridge Tone, Neck Tone, 3-way Tuners: Grover Hardware color: Gold Pickup selector: 3-way Toggle Finish: Polyurethane Included: cable and tuning Tool // 9

Sound: This guitar is great for Jazz, Rock (classic), Blues, and I even play some country on it. I mostly play rock though and other songs that have a blues sound or just a clean sound but this guitar can do a ton but I also play all the other genre's listed above and it works well. With it I use the Line 6 Pocket POD and it sounds great and better than my other guitar using it but I have tried using it with the crappy amp my Squire came with and it sounds pretty good but usually I run the Pocket POD through our BOSE system and the sound cannot be beat. The guitar is never very noisy (unless you want it to be and it has a clean/ bright sound to it that sounds great. The guitar is great for what I use it with but the only thing it might not work with unless you have the Line 6 Insane amp/sound is metal. And it isn't very good at making a Strat's treble sound. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar when I got it was perfect. (And it was shipped to my house through 6 states) Everything was great and it was already tuned! The only thing I had to do was plug it in and play. And the Wine Red finish and the Gold hardware looks great and really bright. Lets just say this guitar looks like it is worth over $1,000 or so. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very durable and dependable and the finish I think will last forever and everything is great. And the finish is a great/bright Wine Red that looks great and I've hit it against a few things a no dents are on it. And everything on it seems like it was well crafted and someone took time and effort in it. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this is a great guitar and I found this better over a Strat, Gibson 335, and a Normal Epiphone. I have been playin for a few years and this is just great! And if I lost it I would buy another! The only bad thing is that a case for it is rare and a case costs about $150 if you can find one. But if you are lookin' for a new guitar and you play stuff from the Eagles, John Mellencamp, Steve Miller, Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and others you NEED to get this guitar. // 9

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overall: 8.2
Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Reviewed by: xyz66, on september 09, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Specs: Body Wood: Laminated Maple Top wood: Laminated Maple Scale Length: 24-3/4" Neck Joint: Set Neck Neck Wood: Mahogany Fretboard: Bound Rosewood Neck Shape: C Frets: 22 Nut Width: 1.68" Fretboard Radius: 12" Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic Tailpiece: Bigsby Pickups: 3 P-90 dog-ear single-coil Controls: Bridge Volume, Neck Volume, Bridge Tone, Neck Tone, 3-way Tuners: Epiphone tuners? Hardware colour: Gold Pickup selector: 3-way Toggle Finish: Wine Red finished in polyurethane // 9

Sound: I play various styles of music ranging from jazz to metal to blues and various genres of rock. The pickups are kind of dark sounding for p90's. But if you mess with the 3 volumes and tone, you could easily make it brighter, or if you're handy with guitars and soldering, you could change the tone cap, that helps it alot. Also what I've found out is that if you turn off the middle pickup, it makes the neck and bridge sound brighter. I play it through a Vox Valvetronix 30 watt, and can pretty much get just about any sound I want out of it, so with the p93 and my vox, I can get a variety of sounds. The only downside is that when playing distorted, like metal for example, the guitar gives alot of feedback, but it goes away if you turn on the middle pickup on along with which ever other pickup you're using, I believe the middle pickup is reverse wound. But all and all it sounds pretty good. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Now this is the part where I've seen in other reviews that the guitar is in crap condition and there are a bunch of finish/hardware/other flaws and whatnot. Well for me, this wasn't the case. But then again most guitars need a set up when new. I got to play it new out of the box, and it wasn't bad, the action was as high as they normally are on semihollows, but I got used to low action, so I lowered the action and then got some fretbuzz, but a simple setup(dressing frets) got rid of that. Also, the bridge buzzed alot, to a point where I ended up replacing it with a $26 GFS roller bridge(it needed one anyway, because of the bigsby) and that really helped it alot. Also I changed the tuners, there wasn't anything wrong with the stock ones, but I replaced them anyway, and now with the new tuners and the rolling bridge, it stays in tune better(not that it doesn't stay in tune with stock hardware). // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is very reliable, and it seems pretty durable. I've hit it against a couple things accidentally, and not a single dent/chip. The hardware and the guitar itself seems pretty durable. However, the little aluminum "e" sticker on the pickguard seems to come off easily, not that it really matters, but some people like to keep that on the pickguard. Its a good guitar to play live with, but you'd most likely want to invest in some straplocks, afterall, you wouldn't want to have such an amazing guitar to hit the floor. // 8

Overall Impression: I play various types of music, and long with my amp, it works for me. I've been playing for about 4 years now, and it just might be the best guitar I've ever owned. I've had a Gibson LP Jr., a 1967 Vintage Ventura ES-335 hollowbody, a Epiphone Strat, an Epiphone Bully SG, and a 1987 Fender MIJ strat, which I ended up selling to get the Epiphone Riviera P93. If it were stolen, I'd go on a manhunt and find the whoever stole it, because these are a limited edition and don't know if they'll be sold at a later point in time. I love just about everything on the guitar, however it could have had a roller bridge, and some full sized pots. But for $500, it is the best semihollow you can get and it has the most features than any other on guitar on the market for this price. // 8

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overall: 8.8
Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 24, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 549.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is a 2011 Limited Edition Epiphone Riviera P93, made in China. 22 frets, thick, chunky neck, rosewood fretboard. Laminated top, bigsby vibrato, 3 P90 pickups, Grover tuners, 3 volume controls, 1 tone, and a limited edition white finish with gold binding and hardware. // 9

Sound: I have been itching for a guitar with P90s, and for a semi-hollow body, so this one killed two birds with one stone. I was looking for a nice open, warm tone that would get fat and fuzzy if I needed it to, and this guitar did exactly that. I play just the guitar into an Egnater Tweaker, and the clean is clear and articulate. The neck pickup is very midrange-y by itself, but gets warmer as the middle pickup in blended in. The options the 3 way toggle and 3 volume knobs give you is pretty awesome. The neck and middle, when overdriven, make a fat, fuzzed out sound that is actually very dynamic if you let off the gain. When cranked, those pickups sound huge, simply humongous. Great for Jack White-like spurts of fuzzed out craziness and thick, lush walls of overdrive or reverb. Definitely not a guitar for metal. Also a great guitar for jazz- the middle pickup is pretty great for that smoky Joe Pass tone or even a slightly hotter Scofield. I wish the tone knob was more dynamic, but that's to be expected with an Epi. Only negatives here are the pickup heights - the bridge p/u is dramatically higher than the others, and needs to be adjusted. I found the bridge pickup to be less toneful than the others overall, but it does have a bite that is useful for rock I suppose. New pickups would make this guitar sound as good or better than a Gibson, for sure. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was high from the factory, but that's to be expected. I like it a little higher than normal, just so I can dig in a little bit, but not too high that I can't do fast improv runs. After some tweaking, its a joy to play. The neck is really big, and does take some getting used to if you play speedy electric guitars primarily. Thankfully, I have been playing acoustic more often lately and it wasn't too bad of an adaptation. The Bigsby works flawlessly, which is something that was a pleasant surprise. The guitar holds tune well; the only issue is the nut, which had slots that were slightly too small on some strings, so they needed some filing. No fret buzz and the stock tuners do their job, and look cool if you like that Vintage Kluson type of thing. The finish was near flawless (the binding on the neck was slightly off in one spot, and the insides of the F holes were a little rough) and looks great under the stagelights. Definitely a flashy show guitar. // 9

Reliability & Durability: After making adjustments, this guitar is definitely gig-worthy. I mean, look at the finish; its practically made to be played on stage. At first it had trouble slipping out of tune. Fixing the nut, however, fixed that problem, and even when abusing the Bigsby, its rock solid. The bigger neck is actually more comfortable to play and reduces hand fatigue, and the solid construction gives you the confidence to rock out a little harder, play a little faster. I always bring several guitars to gigs for different sounds, but if I only needed this one, I would bring it alone for sure. I'm not worried at all about its ability to serve as a solid, great sounding and playing instrument. Time will tell if the hardware and finish will hold up. // 8

Overall Impression: I have been playing for ten years and play all kinds of things in an effort to understand as many styles of music as I can. I have been in several bands of wildly differing genres, and have owned all sorts of genre-specific gear. I now just seek to be as minimal as possible, and find guitars that can cover a lot of range. I own all kinds of guitars, such as an Epiphone SG Custom, a Vintage Harmony electric, Fender Strat, Gibson SG, etc. I have a great humbucking tone with the two SGs, and a great bluesy single coil tone with the Strat (thanks to some Lace Sensors). I was seeking for a guitar that could sound fat and soulful, yet articulate, and also enormous and fuzzy. This Riviera Custom does both and more. I suggest playing clean through a nice tube amp with a 12" speaker; a very sweet, soulful tone uncannily like that in "Reckoner" and "House Of Cards" by Radiohead. Introduce a high quality overdrive, like a Zvex box of rock, and the pickups yield a dynamically rich tone that covers a lot of bases, perfect for rock music. Finally, crank the neck and middle pickups together with a fat fuzz, like Way Huge Swollen Pickle or a green Muff, and you get purely saturated wall of sound bliss. There is no question this guitar is more than worth the money. It sounds like a guitar a thousand bucks more. The classy finish doesn't hurt, either. Trust me: put some new pickups to your liking, fix the action, and play it through a nice tube amp, and you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding and playing semi-hollow. // 9

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