Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II

The Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II is a semi-hollow body electric guitar based on Epiphone’s Emperor guitar and named after late jazz legend, Joe Pass.

The Joe Pass Emperor features a distinctive trapeze tailpiece, twin humbuckers, and a laminated maple body with spruce top. All the hardware, including tailpiece and pick-up covers is gold. The 3-piece set maple neck has a rosewood fretboard with block inlays, and the tortoiseshell pickguard has a reproduction of Joe Pass’ signature. The guitar is available in antique natural or vintage sunburst.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0002CZUPQ” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415ge3A47JL.jpg” width=”204″]According to Wikipedia “Joe Pass previously had a relationship with the Ibanez guitar company, but in the late 1990’s Epiphone released the Emperor II, claiming Pass had a hand in the design of the guitar. Epiphone had previously issued the guitar as just the Emperor and with Pass’s endorsement some subtle changes to the guitar were made (such as moving the pickup selector switch). While Pass endorsed the Epiphone he was more commonly seen with a Gibson ES-175?

It’s certainly true that Pass was more often seen playing an ES-175, but the Joe Pass Emperor has more in common with the Epiphone Broadway than it does with the other Emperor in Epiphone’s range, the Emperor Regent, which features a single mini-Humbucker. Both the Broadway and the Emperor Regent have Frequensator tailpieces, while the Joe Pass Empereror 2 has a trapeze tailpiece, similar to the one on the Nick Valensi Rivieria P94.

In the words of one proud owner the Joe Pass Emperor II is a “warm, smooth and silky affordable Archtop that delivers rich, smokey tones from jazz to blues.”

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Epiphone Sheraton

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0002GZQGU” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41xwGHv01zL.jpg” width=”224″]The Epiphone Sheraton was one of the first Epiphone electric guitars to be made following the purchase of the company by Gibson, appearing a year after the Casino in 1959. The Epiphone Sheraton is a double-cut thinline, semi-hollow-bodied guitar with twin humbuckers.

Check out the Epiphone Sheraton II Archtop Electric Guitar at Amazon

The Sheraton’s body was based on Gibson’s ES-335 and had the same twin rounded horns and the electronics in the same place. One key difference between the ES-335 and the Epiphone Sheraton was the tailpiece. The Gibson used a stop, or sometimes a vibrato, tailpiece, while the Sheraton employed a Frequensator. The Frequensator allows for longer bass strings and shorter treble strings, though this arrangement is sometimes reversed by guitar players. The other difference was the fretboard inlay: the Sheraton had a block and triangle inlay.

Later, the company introduced the Epiphone Sheraton II which swapped the Frequensator for a stop tailpiece. This version became much more popular than the original Sheraton. Both guitars were notable for being played by blues legend John Lee Hooker. Epiphone introduced a John Lee Hooker signature model shortly before the great man’s death in 2000. This guitar along with Epiphone’s other Sheraton II models now has a black on orange/yellow sunburst colouring rather than the black on deep red colour of the original Sheraton and Sheraton II.

Other notable Sheraton fans include Oasis’ Noel Gallagher, and the guitar which Epiphone custom-made for him, the Supernova, is closely based on the Sheraton and the Epiphone Dot.

The Sheraton II is still in production but the original Sheraton hasn’t been made for several years and is now pretty rare. The current Sheraton II has a laminated maple body, three piece maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard. It still features those lovely twin humbuckers.

Know anyone who has an original Sheraton? Ever played one yourself? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add the details to the article.

Check out the Epiphone Sheraton II Archtop Electric Guitar at Amazon