Epiphone Joe Bonamassa 'Lazarus' 59 Les Paul Standard Owners Thread

Lightmanager

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
48
Reaction score
103
A few people jumping in here are doing their darn-dest to say that the Lazarus guitar is "ordinary" and "not worthy" of being mentioned with a "real" Gibson...

I have an Ebony 2004 Gibson Standard and owned a 79' Cherry Burst which I sold when I needed the cash, and had my 1960 Goldtop Deluxe stolen out of a studio...the Lazarus not only looks as nice as all three, but it's up there in playability and sound. It needs to be played, a lot, in order to get the neck to feel as nice as the Gibsons. The 69' was the greatest guitar I ever owned (I hated losing that), and the 2004 plays like a dream. But the LAZ is right there with the 79 Custom. Different neck and feel, but sound wise and looks wise...how can you beat $899?

So for those trying to bring down some happy 59' Lazarus owners, do me a favor and remember something, you don't have to buy one, lol.

I think we should look at the Lazarus in a realistic way:

1. is the Lazarus a good guitar - YES
2. are the specs comparable to some higher priced Les Pauls - YES
3. is the quality out of the box at the Epi on a comparable level with Gibson, Tokai, whoever? - NO
- sharp fret edges an dull frets is a no go from my perspective as we are talking about a guitar which costs around 900 $. My 250 € Harley Benton Accoustic came with perfect fretwork and polished frets.

4. are there significant differences between Lazarus and higher priced Les Pauls - YES
- Lazarus and most probably all other Epiphones do have a body which is less thick than the one of an original Les Paul (I measured a difference of approx. 5 mm)
- the maple cap is much thinner - usually you can see the maple cap when looking at the cutaway where it is not fully covered by the binding. At least at my Lazarus I cannot see the maple cap.

5. does the Lazarus have the announced AAAA-Top? - NO (in most cases)
This is not really an issue as I have seen plenty if nice looking tops but I think it was not the best idea of Epiphone marketing to promote something that they are not able to deliver. Leaves a bad taste…

6. does the Epiphone sound good - YES (but I have guitars sounding better)
I am sure the the upgrade with Faber Hardware will make it sound better.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Is the Lazarus worth the money - I would say YES
 

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
8,240
Reaction score
6,630
The out of box quality on my Lazarus 59 is just as good as my Gibson 60's, the fretwork on both are fantastic. The body and maple cap on my Epiphone 59 Lazarus looks to be the same as my Gibson 60's. My Lazarus 59 has a AAAA top and so does my Gibson that was supposed to be a AAA. I guess I lucked out with my Lazarus being an exceptional guitar and it compares exactly to the quality of my Gibson.

I have both guitars as well as been playing both guitars for a bit now and can comment honestly on how I see/feel/play/hear them.

The truth is a beautiful thing, just like my guitars.
 
Last edited:

Surfcaster

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2021
Messages
28
Reaction score
54
I have no bias, as I like Jap Tokai better than Gibson, I own multiples of both so can actually comment on them, so I call things as I see them, and I saw a Lazarus and commented truthfully on it, as others here have as well,
I think it’s a modern day thing that truth is offensive to some
Live with it
I am NOT offended by your comments whatsoever. You are not impressed by the Lazarus, very honest. But some of these do look fantastic, while others are a bit more plain. So we get good and bad...

Many of the tops are not AAAA and a bit underwhelming, and you were probably lookin at one or two that are not attractive to you and others for that matter - that's bad marketing and a bit dishonest. But many of the tops are magnificent and definitely have wide AAAA flame veneers, and they are ALL different and have their own personality - really good. The pickups and electronics - very good. Some of the fretwork and quality control has been shoddy, I even had to level and crown a couple frets. People have had pickups falling into cavities, short springs, etc. - BAD! When you pay $900 plus for any guitar, these problems should not be a part of the consumer woes.

But overall, it's a really great LP in the end for many. It was inspired by a famous 59 Les Paul and little by little Epiphone has really improved their instruments with their "Inspired by" lineup. I have never found an Epiphone before this one that I really loved and wanted to buy. They always felt cheap and sounded lifeless to me. took a chance on this guitar because of the great feedback on the Black Beauty, and was not expecting it to look, sound as feel as nice as it does.
 

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
8,240
Reaction score
6,630
A couple of nice pictures, I love my Lazarus.

IMG-4994.jpg

IMG-4995.jpg
 
Last edited:

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
8,240
Reaction score
6,630
Last edited:

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
8,240
Reaction score
6,630
thanks for posting those!
No Problem. The measurements shown on Amazon for these are in mm not inches. I converted mm to inches and it looks pretty close measuring the Epiphone Kluson type tuners that come with Lazarus. I think I will be fine, should drop right in and the screw holes should match up.
 
Last edited:

fordfanjpn

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
71
Reaction score
115
No Problem. The measurements shown on Amazon for these are in mm not inches. I converted mm to inches and it looks pretty close measuring the Epiphone Kluson type tuners that come with Lazarus. I think I will be fine, should drop right in and the screw holes should match up.

I did the same thing. I compared the measurements in the drawing to the tuners I took out of my Lazarus and they seem to be pretty close. Not sure about the bushings, but I'll be interested to hear how they work out.
 

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
8,240
Reaction score
6,630
Will do, I will let you all know and take some pictures of the process. I remember in school when they tried to change over to the Metric System here in the USA, it did not work, and they just dropped it. haha
 

Lightmanager

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
48
Reaction score
103
She‘s back…
I really like the aged hardware and pickup covers. After professional setup and fret adjustment including sharp fret ends she plays way better.

Also the Faber parts improve sustain and attack significantly…

2FDFBAAC-ED80-408E-8710-999A57CFEB5D.jpeg
0381325C-2A77-4A00-9DB2-EBE3DCE2D101.jpeg
 

BeautyOfTheBurst

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
171
Reaction score
127
She‘s back…
I really like the aged hardware and pickup covers. After professional setup and fret adjustment including sharp fret ends she plays way better.

Also the Faber parts improve sustain and attack significantly…
Great results! Glad to hear you are happy with her now! Looks beautiful for sure!
 

Lightmanager

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
48
Reaction score
103
Great results! Glad to hear you are happy with her now! Looks beautiful for sure!

Thanks - I am really happy with the result even if I still like the Tokai a bit better. I guess it‘s mainly because of the „hotter“ pickups. The Lazarus sounds more vintage and the Tokai like a Lazarus on speed… :dude:
 

fordfanjpn

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
71
Reaction score
115
So true - I also have the MK2s…these PUs kick ass

I find it interesting that you guys like the MK2 pickups in the Tokai's. I'm finding them to be too hot and bright and not very well balanced in my new LS196, so I have ordered some pickups to replace them. I don't use much gain for my tone, staying mostly in the clean to slightly overdriven area. Maybe that's the difference.
 

Latest Threads



Top