Nick Valensi Riviera P-94 Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 08/30/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Nick Valensi Riviera P-94
Featuring the same semi-hollow styling that has made the Riviera a rock icon combined with twin Gibson P-94 pickups for an unbeatable high-output tone.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (1) 25 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Nick Valensi Riviera P-94 Reviewed by: strokesguy, on november 23, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699.99

Features: A modern rock monster! Nick Valensi, guitarist from the acclaimed New York band, "The Strokes" lends his name and approval to this all new Riviera. Previously only available in an "Elitist" version, this new Valensi bring affordable, professional performance to all with it's classic, semi-hollow design powered by Gibson P-94 pickups. Exactly like the one Nick plays, this guitar has high-output capable of plenty of "bite" yet enough response to allow for subtle nuances for enhanced dynamics. A modern classic! // 10

Sound: This guitar suits my style perfectly, I play a lot of Strokes and indie rock. And this guitar nails those sounds I'm looking for. I use it with my Fender Hotrod Deville 410 and Jekyll And Hyde Overdrive, pretty much nick valensi's setup. It's very noisy with too much gain and it will feedback. So I keep it at a good level. This guitar is very versatile like I said, you can go from blues, jazz, rock and classic rock. As for punk and metal this guitar would probably be too noisy for that much distortion. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this guitar it was setup up with low action and already well intonated. The pickups seemed seemed at a reasonable level. Only flaw was there was a crack on the finish on the side, like as if it got with a golf ball or something probably from the shipping. But it's all good I got 100 bucks back. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is great for Live gigs, I'll always use this. the hardware is all chrome and seems like it will last for a longtime. Strap buttons were solid, but I replaced them with Dunlop straploks. I would recommend the same for you if you really wanna take care of this guitar. This guitar is very dependable, I've used it before without a backup and it's never failed me. The finish seems perfect, I really wouldn't worry about it wearing off or anything. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall this guitar is perfect for what I play. I've been playing for 4 years, and I own a bunch of other shit. If you wanna know just go to my profile. If this guitar were lost or stolen I'd be very sad. Also if it were stolen I'd track down the asshole who took it and beat his ass. Now if it were lost then f--k I'd have to save up again just to buy another. I love everything about this guitar, I have no complaints. Unlike the Elitist versions, I just wish they sold these in vintage sunburst as well. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Nick Valensi Riviera P-94 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 08, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 750

Purchased from: The Interweb

Features: The Nick Valensi Edition Riviera is basically an Epiphone Riviera with P-94 pickups instead of the P-90's it would normally be equipped with. Everything else is basically identical in apperance to a Dot, Casino, Sheridon II or Gibson 335. It is semi-hollow goodness! // 10

Sound: I'm a rhythm guitar player and singer, so my style and sound is very melodic and chord-esque. This guitar sounds amazing for what I play. When I'm playing clean, it has a beautiful, clear tone (I play through a Fender HotRod Deluxe (1X12) and when I go into overdrive, it rocks just right! The stuff I'm doing is classic rock-ish to modern rockish (say, CCR to The Who to Pearl Jam to The Strokes). The only potential problem for some may be that the P-94's, being high gain pickups, do hum a little when not being played. However, if you are a gigging musician, like moi, then you shouldn't care, because the din in the room is WAY louder than the incidental hum! However, if you are a basement tone freak, this may bother you. If it does, why did you go for P-94s?! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up was okay (I bought this over eBay, since I couldn't find one ANYWHERE in Canada! ) from the place that sold it to me. I brought it to my Luthier in Montreal shortly after I got it to fix it just right. This thing plays like butter. I use Jazz gauge strings (since the heavier gauge G string sounds better on semi-hollows) which is fine since I don't solo too much. This really gives the whole guitar a warmer, fuller sound. The colour is what some people may not like about this guitar. It's orange. More Orange than the pictures let on. I would go so far to say that it's a light racing Orange. When the guitar arrived, I was a little surprised at first, since it is supposed to be a 'Natural' finish (or so Epiphone's site says), but this is definitely Orange. That said, when you are on stage, this guitar pops! People freak out. It is not a colour people are used to seeing! As a result, people are constantly asking about it. Personally, I've grown to love the colour. But to each his/her own! // 10

Reliability & Durability: No problems with it yet. I've gigged for months with it, and it's still going strong! Personally, it's the only electric guitar I need, though I have a back-up Epiphone Les Paul Studio in case I break a string during a set! I can't imagine this thing conking out on me, but as with anything man made, anything could happen! I don't think it is likely though! // 9

Overall Impression: If you love semi-hollows, classic rock, modern rock, if you love guitars this is a good one! (If you can find it) And at a good price, comparatively. It's not a Gibson, but this Epiphone has it's own charms, not least of which is that Epis are lighter! So less back trouble in the long run! I hope to god someone doesn't steal this one, because it was hard enough finding a way to get this guitar the FIRST time! I mean, I'm in a major city (Montreal) and I checked an even more major city (Toronto), why would we not have any of these in Canada? Boggles my mind. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Nick Valensi Riviera P-94 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 24, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: The Nick Valensi Riviera is out! His great looking guitar perfect as the lead for the modern rock band the Strokes. He had had his guitar customized and has had it for a while. Now he has teamed up with Epiphone to make his own Elist version. My Riviera had to be a special order from sam Ash. It took around a month to ship but man was it worth it! This guitar has 22 frets and a playabilaty span of 19 frets, which make it easier to play than a lot of other guitars. This guitar is huge. It is a weird fit at first if you have never really played or owned a hollowbody before but it's a real comfortable fit once you get used to it. The body was made perfectly and the finish looks great. The color is acatually a bit more Orange than in the pictures online. Everyone has their preferences but personally I love the color. There are four knobs: 2 volume and 2 tones. The sond this guitar makes goes great with it's custom pickups. The pickups: P-94s sound fantastic. They give such an incredibly rich sound of which you are unlikley to find on other guitars. When I bought this guitar it did come with any accesories, just a cord. Knowing this I also orded a case from Epiphone that is supposed to fit the guitar. I planned correctly. The Riviera fit perfectly! Overall the features are great and I have no regrets on buying this guitar in any way. // 10

Sound: The sound that this guitar makes in absolutly amazing. It is a very rich sound more on the acoustic side. (not saying it doen't work for ditortion) But if you are looking for a guitar that will produce a large large amount of distortion this guitar would not properly fit you. At the time I am playing this guitar through a Line 6 spider amp verison with the jekyll and overdrive pedal. I am planning on getting Valensi's amp very soon because his amp it what gives it a fifth of it's sound. A fifth is very important! This guitar is very noisy which really fits my playing style very well. I am the lead guitarist in my band so the noise works to my advantage. The only possible annoying thing is that if you try to put on a lot of ditortion is gives some feedback. Other than that there are no flaws. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar looks like it was set up and built very carefully in the factory. The pickups were very carefully installed and fitted. The finish is the best part. It looks perfectly new even after 5 moths of ownership. It looks like it will last a while. Other than that there not really anything more you can say, Epiphone: Preformance is our passion. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have used this guitar in every Live gig ever since I've got, I've had no problems, and I expect none. Like I stated before the finish will defiatly last. The stap buttons were solidly put onto the guitar, but the strap occasionally came off. Because of this I have replaced the normal strap buttons with dunlock straplokers which turned out very well. I use a white Ernie Ball strap as as Valensi which doesn't look bad at all with the guitar's Orange finish. // 10

Overall Impression: I play more modern rock type music and my favortive band is by far The Strokes. Becuse of this the Nick Valensi Riviera is the perfect match. I have been playing guitar for around 4.75 years and will continue to play for the rest of my life. I own two other guitars. One is a weird guitar(rip off of a Strat) which I just keep to play here and there whenever I feel like it. Never use it in a gig. it's not the greatest guitar so I never really use it for anything else besides practicing. My other guitar is just a simple Epiphone Les Paul Standard which I use for thing that need a ton of ditortion. You only need that ocassionally when playing the style of music I play. I denfinatly like the riviera the best out of all of them. Now if this guitar was either lost or stolen first I would hunt down and... the theif and if it were lost I'd be very angry and sad. Either way I would get another one. What I love most about this guitar is it's ability to be played without an amp because of the fact that it's a semi-hollowbody guitar. I do not have any regrets on buying this instrument and I never will. Before buying this guitar I did compare it with others like the Casino and the Gibson ES-335 but chose this one first because of it's unique P-94 pickups and second becuase of it's awesome tailpeice. And The Strokes Rule... The Nick Valensi Riviera. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Nick Valensi Riviera P-94 Reviewed by: cfoshock, on august 30, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 899.99

Purchased from:

Features: The Nick Valensi Riviera P94 comes equipped with 22 frets, a laminated maple top and body with a mahogany neck, hollow body build, grover tuners, a Gibson P-94R at the neck and a Gibson P-94T at the bridge. It comes packaged with little extras but an allen key, a few manuals and a poster. // 9

Sound: I used this guitar primarily on a Vox VT20+ but I have performed using a Fender Vibro Champ XD. The guitar has a full, rich sound which is perfect for rhythm and the occasional solo, it's not the kind of guitar you want to thrash away on too much, it sound stunning when playing genres such as Blues or Indie Rock as it has impressive tone. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: From the factory, the action was set very high, making it difficult to play much other than chords, the pickups were standard fit, the top was properly bookmatched and the bridge was properly routed although the intonation was slightly out. With some slight adjustments to the action and the pickups, the guitar was nothing other than sexy to play. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I would trust this guitar with my life. It has gotten only better since I bought it a year ago and it is aging perfectly, provided you keep it in check, absolutely no problems here. // 10

Overall Impression: There is very little I can complain about with this guitar. It plays wonderfully, ages well, sounds brilliant and looks stunning. It is the standout in my collection and stands head and shoulders amongst all other hollow bodies I have played. // 10

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