New for 2017 : Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Johnny A. Custom Outfit

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by paruwi, May 1, 2017.

  1. snowbum007

    snowbum007 Junior Member

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    Really looking forward to your review! I have one on order but it will be August before I may see mine. Don't keep us waiting too long but if so that must mean you can't put your JA guitar down.
     
  2. Artisan

    Artisan Senior Member

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    Hello all,
    So yesterday I took home the new Epiphone Johnny A Custom and last night I had a closer look at it.
    Firstly I'd like to say it seems very well made and nicely finished. So here are my observations.

    1) The construction is very similar to the Gibson version. It is a full hollow with no center block - unlike the semi-hollows like most ES models.
    The body is made from a solid single piece of mahogany with a very shallow cavity. The body is very this and the cavity is flat even though
    the back is slightly arched. This explains the shallowness. The cavity seems even more shallow that my Gibson JAS but I did not measure it.
    The neck is also a single solid piece of mahogany. Not too thick. Almost like a slim '59 Les Paul. It feels very similar to the Gibson JAS.
    The top is a solid maple carved top. The specs say its a veneered flame top but the guy at the guitar store said its a laser etch. I don't know!!!
    All I can say is it was very similar to my friend's Epi Les Paul which was made in Korea in the 90's which is a veneered flametop.
    The fretboard is ebony. Its incredibly solid and light. I did not weigh it but it's slightly lighter than the Gibson JAS whick is 6 1/2 lbs...

    2) The feel is very nice. The frets are low and rounded. The edges are also rounded and have no sharp edges. Beautifully done!!
    The body is not too big, 14 1/4 at the widest point, 1 5/8 thickness. Shallow arches on top and bottom, just enough to be comfortable.
    It's a long scale, 25 1/2 inches joined at the 19th fret and with the elongated Epi headstock it's quite long. I love that.
    The action was ok but I'm used to lower action. The pickups are set quite low and thus the output was not as loud as I like. I noticed that
    the pickups were pitched to the right istead of being flat. I tried to move the pickups but they did not budge. This tells me the springs are too tight.
    Nothing big but I think it could use a better setup. That really depends on the player.

    3) The finish is amazing. The color is a really nice warm caramel color or tobacco depending on your view point. Thick glossy perimeter burst finish...
    The back is a dark translucent red showing off the nice mahogany on the neck and back. The back of the headstock has a black stinger.
    The are bindings everywhere. Five ply binding on the top, three in the back, three on the fretboard and three on the headstock. All nicely done.
    The headstock and frets have a three part inlay made of pearloid. The truss rod cover has Johnny's signature and is a nice finishing touch.

    4) The sound is quite crisp, typical of the Gibson '59 Classics and there is no hiss or hum at all which plagues so many Epiphone's. The Bigsby is
    nice and looks like the real thing. I don't know if this is made in China. The guitar had a sticker that said "Hand crafted in China" and the box said
    Made in China so I don't know about the Bigsby, but there was a sticker that said "Equipped with Gibson pickups. The 3-way switch was nice and
    smooth with no click noise, and the Volume and Tone were very sensitive. A small turn made a big difference in loudness and tone. The overall
    tone seemed a bit muted which I suspect is because of the pickup position. I has nice and bright but not snappy, I will change the strings and
    get a setup done and review it again.
    IMG_3907.JPG IMG_3908.JPG IMG_3909.JPG IMG_3910.JPG IMG_3911.JPG IMG_3907.JPG IMG_3908.JPG IMG_3909.JPG IMG_3910.JPG IMG_3911.JPG
    Here are a few pics I took last night...
     
    Who, 1all's Pub, Benjammin and 3 others like this.
  3. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    Is that a real ABR1 bridge? I see no metric studs and screws.

    Looks great!
     
  4. daddyo

    daddyo Senior Member

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    Yorkville, Toronto! That means mine can't be far away as I live in Vancouver!!!
     
  5. 1all's Pub

    1all's Pub Senior Member

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    @Artisan....:drool::drool::drool::drool:

    Oh man... such much want!!!! I love the fact that it's not built like a laminated semi-hollow (as was/is advertised) and is instead built from routed, solid mahogany like the Gibson Johnny A. Crap I want one of these bad, but funds are super tight right now. No can do. I'll probably end up buying one used in the future for a premium no doubt. Dang it! Anyway, enjoy and HNGD!
     
  6. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    That's a good point, Pier! It would be highly unusual, no?

    The EPI shots say it do..
    [​IMG]

    But @Artisan say it don't..
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Artisan

    Artisan Senior Member

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    Hello,

    It is definitely an ABR1 bridge, but it is not a Gibson ABR1. There is some kind of locking set screw instead of a standard threaded stud.
     
    PierM likes this.
  8. Who

    Who Who is not here. Please leave a message.... Premium Member

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    That is a very nice guitar.

    Thanks for the in-depth write up!
     
  9. Takeaway

    Takeaway Junior Member

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    Lovely guitar you have there!

    I think that's a B700 vibrato, not a B70 as per the official Epi specs
     
  10. Campbell

    Campbell Senior Member

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    I went from wanting this guitar to needing this guitar! You bastard!

    "Honey, time to sell the kids."
     
  11. randomguitarist

    randomguitarist Member

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    Me too, but now mine has arrived I'm not so sure. The frets are gritty and under-polished, the bridge is badly filed with the d string too low, the nut is too high. Most annoying of all is the d-string buzzing at the 9th fret. I have some doubts about keeping this guitar, but the sound, the sound is pretty damn good.
     
  12. randomguitarist

    randomguitarist Member

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    As my last post was describing the negatives I feel I should come back and comment again after a couple of weeks of owning and playing.

    As far as the negatives go:
    The 9th fret D string buzz was a slightly high fret, annoying but a very light touch fixed it. I also only had the buzz when setting a fairly low action, which I realised in the end didn't suit this guitar so much. The bridge filing I was able to fix by deepening the slot on the E and A strings and adjusting the bridge height. The frets I got off my backside and cleaned/polished myself. The nut, yeah it is a little high but I can fix that when I get to it, with .

    And now the positives:
    The neck profile is excellent, to me it is very comfortable and plays fast. The ebony fret board is slick and delightful. The overall finish quality is very high. The guitar is very light and has a nice resonance without being prone to feedback. The tone is excellent, the guitar is capable of a range from Jazz sounds though to much more aggressive tone. Sustain is excellent as well. I know people have varying opinions about the effects of different woods,personally I think the ebony board does make a difference, in a very good way. The guitar records well and sounds great at volume. Finally, the case is very nice.

    In terms of pricing it's an expensive guitar, but the quality of wood, components and construction seem to justify the price.

    So in summary, these are great guitars. Mine had some minor issues that were actually pretty easy to rectify and shouldn't put anybody off buying one. It's definitely my number one guitar for the foreseeable future. In fact this might be my 'settle down and never buy another guitar' moment!
     
    endial likes this.

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