Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor-II PRO

Epiphone expand their archtop line with the updated Joe Pass Emperor-II PRO, now with coil-tapping pickups.

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor-II PRO

Related Feature:
Archtop Jazz Guitars

This updated version builds on the original by utilizing coil-tapping capable Probucker pickups, allowing for single coil style sounds while retaining the traditional HH configuration, allowing for more tone options without drastically changing the look and feel of the instrument.

The Joe Pass Emperor guitar is a staple signature instrument in Epiphone's line up, and thanks to its namesake artist, this guitar helped build the brand's reputation and recognition when it comes to archtop jazz guitars. The original was co-designed by jazz legend Joe Pass, who is considered a the “President of Be Bop Guitar”. His virtuosity, popularity and influence over modern jazz music is without question, and this prestige carried over to the signature guitar that he approved.

While the original version continues to be in demand, the company has decided that they need to update the design to make it more relevant to the needs of today's players, and the result is the new Joe Pass Emperor-II Pro. The most notable change is the use of Epiphone's Probucker pickups and the inclusion of coil-tapping circuitry, this would give the guitar new sonic textures that go beyond conventional Jazz tones, and may make the guitar appeal to non-jazz players.

Another important upgrade to the guitar is the use of GraphTech NuBone XL nut, which ensures consistent string balance and spacing. Other features remained the same, including the use of select spruce for the arched top, and flamed maple back and sides. The top is supported by hand-scalloped bracing and a carefully positioned sound post designed to produce the guitar's artist approved tone.

The guitar has a rosewood fingerboard on a hand-set 3-piece laminated hard maple neck, block inlays, and a "tree of life" inlay on the headstock as seen on Epiphone archtops from the late 30s. Other features include 20 medium jumbo frets, 1960s SlimTaper C-Profile, 24.75” scale length and 1.68” nut width.

This release coincides with another updated guitar, the Epiphone Sheraton-II Pro which will also feature the same upgraded parts. Regarding the new guitars, Epiphone President Jim Rosenberg said, "We’re so glad to re-introduce these historic Epiphone archtops, they are both great examples of how Epiphone finds new ways to bring value to our fans and make a classic instrument new again."

The new Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II PRO is now available with a retail price of just under $700. For more information, head over to Epiphone.

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