What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Affordable Jazz Guitars #2

by Doc Dosco
http://www.docdosco.com

The second guitar I am going to do in my feature on affordable jazz guitars is one I record with and play on gigs some of the time. It is the Epiphone Emperor Regent.

The Epiphone Emperor Regent is a laminate spruce top with maple sides and back - the archtop model with the floating pick-up. The Emperor Regent that I own is a Korean made guitar, (circa 1996 I believe), that I found at Norm's Rare Guitars here in LA used for $600 (...it is certainly not rare, but that was where it was being sold). It had only been there one day and I rushed home, got some cash and rushed back before anyone else could buy it. It is one of those strange quirks of nature where an inexpensive production guitar has a warm, rich 'quality' tone and wonderful action.

The one I have one is blonde, although they come in sunburst also. The neck is pretty beefy for a 1 11/16" end nut, and I like that. I still have the stock pick-up on it. I never felt the need to swap it out. The hardware is cheap, but sufficient. The tuners stay in tune, and the bridge is fine. It has one volume and one tone control. I rarely use the tone control.

I would recommend this an inexpensive jazz guitar with one caveat. I have heard that particular attention had been paid to constructing these guitars during the mid nineties, as they were a new product and they weren't churning them out like they do now. I have not played a new one and don't know if the quality control has suffered, although this may be the case. According to the reviews I've read, there was one person that reported he got a bad one. All the other reviews seem positive though.

I did a couple of rough mixes of 2 solos from a CD I am working on which feature this guitar. The guitar is dry and mixed way out front on the second cut. As you can hear, the guitar has a woody quality, but is not dull. If I am able, I will post some recordings with some of the other guitars I am going to feature in this column.

http://docdosco.com/Centipede_Solo.mp3
http://docdosco.com/Infusion_Solo.mp3

(or go to http://www.docdosco.com and play the first 2 audio cuts)

There are several pages of reviews at Harmony Central, and getting user feedback can sometimes be helpful in learning about an instrument

http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/Epiphone/Emperor_Regent_Deluxe-1.html

Epiphone Emperor Regent.
Street price new: $699 (case $60)
Used: $500 to $600.

All in all, if you can find a good Epiphone Emperor Regent, it should prove be a very serviceable guitar, and it won't break the bank.

Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in
Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com,
where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar'
columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc
endorses Heritage Guitars and is a featured artist on their website. He
also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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