NGD: Joe Bonamassa 'Lazarus' + 1959 Lemon Honeyburst

mjbarefo

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Hi all - longtime lurker here. I saw some comments on the larger 'Lazarus' thread about potentially polishing the guitar and what it might look like, as well as some questions about how it feels/sounds compared to the 1959 edition, and felt like this might help some people that are on the fence!

Overall, I feel like 'Lazarus' is a higher quality guitar - but only by a small margin. I think this is largely due to the top and the fact that my 'Lazarus' is lighter, which may not be the case for everyone. As far as the finish differences for each - Epiphone's website/Sweetwater list the finish on 'Lazarus' as Aged Gloss while the 1959 is Satin Poly. I couldn't tell the difference between either when they were delivered - and didn't really love the way either looked. With that in mind, I followed some of the advice on here regarding polishing the 1959 and hand polished each with the Meguiars Scratch X kit. After polishing 'Lazarus' feels much more premium - I think it is much closer to a VOS finish now than it was when it was delivered. The 1959 is also much nicer now, but I am just not as in love with the finish and top as I am with 'Lazarus'. (What can I say, I am a sucker for anything that resembles Dirty Lemonburst..)

I think 'Lazarus' sounds just a hair better, and would say that it feels more resonant - maybe due to the one piece neck? The 'Lazarus' neck is also more comfortable and is slightly thinner IMO to the 1959. 'Lazarus' also came set up just a bit better, but that is personal preference and not as big a deal to me as the other qualities, since I would probably tweak the setup anyways. The electronics, wiring, and case mirror each other, so not much to discuss there. I do like the COA that comes with 'Lazarus' more, just because it feels a little more specific to the model rather than the medallion that can be installed on the 1959 or any other Les Paul you might have.

For me, 'Lazarus' is a better guitar and I am extremely happy I ended up pulling the trigger on it, even though it is very similar to the 1959. I would say if you are interested in the specs and want a color that isn't Dirty Lemonburst, then go with a retailer that you can see the top and weight of the 1959 before purchasing, otherwise 'Lazarus' is a killer guitar!

Lazarus in case 3.jpg
Lazarus in case 2.jpg

Epi Lazarus.jpg

Lazarus in case.jpg
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Lazarus Left Angle.jpg
Lazarus Right Angle.jpg
1959 case.jpg
1959 in case.jpg
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1959 Left Angle.jpg
Epi 1959.jpg
 

noodlingguitars

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Looks really nice polished! Almost wished they could've given us slightly aged/less glossy hardware if they wanted to go for the aged look. glossy finish /w shiny hardware makes a lot more sense
 

rjwilson37

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Very sweet, thank you for the rundown on the two guitars. I wanted to get a 59 when they came out, but after playing a couple at GC and seeing them in person they just did not wow me. When I saw the Lazarus pictures, I called Sweetwater and had them reserve a couple for me, so I could choose which one I liked better for the top. I just hope everything else on the guitar when I get it, is as awesome as it looks. I really like the fact that you say the neck is slightly slimmer on the Lazarus than the regular 59, because I do like the medium C neck to be on the thinner side more towards the 60's neck.

Congrats again, you have a nice example of the Joe B. Lasarus 59 Les Paul Standard! :jb:
 

joseph07081

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Congrats on your new guitar. It looks great, definitely the look I want to get with mine.
Thanks for the great pictures.
 

mjbarefo

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Looks really nice polished! Almost wished they could've given us slightly aged/less glossy hardware if they wanted to go for the aged look. glossy finish /w shiny hardware makes a lot more sense
That was my thought! I think it would have looked much better that way. Part of me wonders what it would look like with Gotoh aged hardware and the satin finish - but I wanted to leave mine stock, so opted for the polish to even it out!
 

mjbarefo

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Th
Congrats on your new guitar. It looks great, definitely the look I want to get with mine.
Thanks for the great pictures.
Thank you so much. Definitely loving them both! I have only seen one top that didn't look 4A, so I am a lot more confident with these sight unseen than other Epiphone models!
 

mjbarefo

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Very sweet, thank you for the rundown on the two guitars. I wanted to get a 59 when they came out, but after playing a couple at GC and seeing them in person they just did not wow me. When I saw the Lazarus pictures, I called Sweetwater and had them reserve a couple for me, so I could choose which one I liked better for the top. I just hope everything else on the guitar when I get it, is as awesome as it looks. I really like the fact that you say the neck is slightly slimmer on the Lazarus than the regular 59, because I do like the medium C neck to be on the thinner side more towards the 60's neck.

Congrats again, you have a nice example of the Joe B. Lasarus 59 Les Paul Standard! :jb:
I definitely agree with the 59 comment. It just seems like 'Lazarus' was a more immediate 'wow' whereas I have had to really tweak and try to get to know the 59. Hope your 'Lazarus' comes out like you want - you'll definitely have to post some pictures! The neck on my model is definitely thicker than that slim taper 60's style, but retains that chunky 59 profile - just not as chunky as the 59. I have been able to play an Epiphone 50's Standard and it feels more like that neck shape!

Thanks so much for the kind words! Am excited to see some other models come in - love seeing the new tops and am hoping someone picks up a vanity inlay edition...
 

omm

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Are any of these available from Joe's site?
I've left messages and e-mails, with no one answering - what a way to run a company.
 

Roshy Boy

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Congratulations. That looks fantastic shined up like that. I just picked mine up yesterday from GC and thinking, I may need to do the same thing. I may be on my honeymoon with it, but the Lazarus is every bit as good as the Gibson 50s Standard. It's what Gibson could do if they ever decided to make Gibsons overseas like PRS has done.
 

dc007

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Both guitars look very nice to me. Enjoy!!!
 

darkvoice

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Are any of these available from Joe's site?
I've left messages and e-mails, with no one answering - what a way to run a company.
yes, JB site has both versions in stock (signature inlay and regular inlays). As far as calling them - I called couple days ago and talked with a service rep, she was guite helpful.
 

darkvoice

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Your polished guitars look superb!!!

That wood texture on Lazarus is how Epiphone Slash Appetite was supposed to look like, instead of plain looking yellow-orange version they released.
 

omm

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You must be one of the lucky ones - no reply from them for days.
 

rbraad68

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Looks really nice polished! Almost wished they could've given us slightly aged/less glossy hardware if they wanted to go for the aged look. glossy finish /w shiny hardware makes a lot more sense
I picked one of these JB models up from a friend waiting for it to ship now. I agree with you on the bridge pieces. I never use their stock bridge pieces I always replace the bridges on mine. I was thinking the other day that I was going to go with the aged nickel pieces for this one.. Should help the aged look alot on this thing.. Here is a pic of the aged nickel pieces i used on another guitar.
 

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