What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Affordable Jazz Guitars #6

by Doc Dosco

Affordable Jazz Guitars: Epiphone Joe Pass

I guess I couldn't do a feature on inexpensive jazz guitars without including the Korean made Joe Pass Emperor II Epiphone, which is one of the cheapest decent quality jazz guitar available. In addition I will cover the new Epiphone ES-175 re-issue.

The Joe Pass is a 16" body with maple sides and back and a laminate spruce top. I bought mine as a traveling guitar, one that was expendable should something happen to it on the road. The model I have is from the mid 90s. It plays great, and has a dark, woody tone. The hardware is cheap, but serviceable. I rarely play this guitar anymore as I have so many others, but it is well built and sounds passable amplified. (the acoustic sound is weak though). If you are short on bucks, this guitar is certainly an option, especially as you can pick up a used one with a case for around $400.

I don't have pictures of this guitar, however it can be seen on the Epiphone website, and is also pictured on Musician's Friend with the current street price new.

Epiphone website:


As for reviews, there are lots and lots of them on Harmony Central:





The new Epiphone ES-175 reissue has a laminate mahogany body with a maple top and is a copy of the world famous Gibson 175. I don't own this guitar, however it looks promising for another ultra cheap jazz box.

Harmony Central doesn't have any reviews yet, however it can be seen on the Epiphone website at:


Musician's Friend has a better picture of this guitar and lists it's current street price new:


In closing I will just say that you can always get a decent guitar from Epiphone and sometimes the quality is surprisingly good for the price.

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 featured artist on their website. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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