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  1. #1

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    I had a Gibson ES125TC once - but it was beat-up and faulty, so it had to go. Also a thinline full-hollow Epiphone Sorrento once - but despite vintage status, it was poorly built, so it had to go. So this full-hollow thinline interests me too much - any thoughts or perspective are welcome.

    Epiphone Limited Edition John Lee Hooker 100th Anniversary Zephyr Outfit Pre-Order

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Hi, I'm mostly a lurker on this forum (since I don't really play jazz - but mostly rockabilly, 1940s country/hillbilly boogie Western swing, bit of jump blues) - but since I own one of those rare Epi JLH Zephyr reissues, I might finally contribue.

    So, what exactly do you want to know about it?

  4. #3

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    Difficult to go wrong with these specs, if the build quality is ok. If this sells out quickly, they should follow up with a non-commemorative, somewhat less expensive version. Mahogany neck, looks like the sides are mahogany as well. Skimming the Probucker opinions, most seem related to rock&distortion. "Not X but ok." Anyone with experience on their jazz sound - whatever that means?

  5. #4

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    This one seems very cool on paper.

    If they made the pickups anything like the originals, there's lots of possibilities for jazz with them, especially if you dig stuff like old Kenny Burrell and Grant Green, guys who weren't afraid of a little "grit" in their sound.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  6. #5

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    i had the elitist version of this but with a stop-tail. It also had a once piece neck heel instead of the splice. It was great for jazz. Not sure how this will compare though

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RomanS View Post
    Hi, I'm mostly a lurker on this forum (since I don't really play jazz - but mostly rockabilly, 1940s country/hillbilly boogie Western swing, bit of jump blues) - but since I own one of those rare Epi JLH Zephyr reissues, I might finally contribue.

    So, what exactly do you want to know about it?
    I guess just a general review: does it play well, what gauge strings seem best, does it have a full-sounding clean tone, is there a general sense of solidity about the instrument, do the frets seem small or large, does the nut width feel good, etc. Thanks for whatever positive or negative impressions you can impart.

  8. #7

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    OK - I did a write up right after I got it on the Gretsch forum - here's a link:
    NGD: Epiphone Ltd. Ed. JLH 100th Anniversary Zephyr Outfit | Gretsch-Talk Forum



    Summary:
    The guitar seems very well made - no finishing flaws; came with a good setup.
    The fretboard and bridge have a rather light color (not like traditional dark rosewood).
    The neck, while not being a super-chunky baseball-bat, is a bit fuller/thicker than on most contemporary guitars of that style (Gretsch, Ibanez semis, etc.) - about 22mm at the first fret. The profile is kind of between a very soft V towards the headstock, and a C towards the body - not flat on the back like a D, but not half-round, either. The nut is listed at 1-11/16" - I personally like 1-3/4" nuts, but this one doesn't feel cramped. (I always keep dreaming about getting an Eastman one day, an AR403 or 503, or a T64 - I have played those, and in comparison, the neck feels chunkier, but not that much narrower; the necks on most Gretsch guitars I have tried feel quite a bit thinner). Frets are definitely smaller than contemporary medium-jumbos, but aren't super-tiny vintage types (like those on my Loar), either. I guess you could call the whole neck feel "vintage-leaning", but nothing too extreme - kind of middle-of-the-road.
    The hardware has a slightly tarnished look - no extreme relicing, but not shiny new, either.
    Unplugged sound is surprisingly loud and lively, but of course, being a laminate-top guitar, slightly boxy, not a lot of bass and overtones.
    Plugged-in: I have never had a guitar with mini-humbuckers before, and I generally prefer single-coils to humbuckers (Dynasonics being my favorites); I was pleasantly surprised how useable these pickups are for "my" music (as mentioned, rockabilly, and late 40s/early 50s country music, jump blues, etc.) They are relatively bright and clear, even have a semblance of twang on the low strings (not like Dynasonics or Fender single-coils, but at least as much as lower wind P90s). While you CAN tame the treble with the tone pots, these pickups never get very full/rich/dark, a "generic" clean neck-humbucker jazz tone is NOT what they are good at - a slightly raunchy, bluesy 40/early 50s jazz/swing tone is more their thing, and I think they would also work great for anything in a funky RnB/soul vein, as well as for early blues tones and rockabilly. Oh, and to mention it specifically - even plugged in the guitar feels very lively and acoustic, very unlike a solidbody or even a semihollow like an ES335. You can really feel it breathing, and it has got that plunky attack (and lack of sustain) typical of this type of guitar.
    I have mine strung with GHS Boomers, 11s, that's what I use on most of my electric guitars, not a fan of flatwounds. Because of the unwound G string, I replaced the stock bridge with a generic ebony one that doesn't have the compensation for the wound G. I briefly tried an stainless steel Compton bar bridge, and an aluminium rocking Bigsby bridge, but either of those killed the acoustic/hollowbody vibe, and made it sound more like a generic Gretsch-y rockabilly box (and did increase the sustain quite a bit!)
    Oh, and I replaced the tailpiece with a Bigsby B6 with the Duane Eddy handle.
    The case it came with looks a bit cheap on the outside (apparently that's "vintage-correct") but is actually well-made, the strap that it also came with is useless (very thin and stretchy).
    Only problem so far: the toggle switch sometimes cuts out if I haven't played for a while, I guess it needs some deoxit spray, the contacts might have oxidised...

    I already mentioned it - but once again: I doubt that this would make a great "typical" jazz guitar, it's too bright, not full enough - but for anything that needs a bit of raunch and bite, but with an acoustic - anything from jump blues or Chicago blues, to 50s/60s RnB & soul, to rockabilly, to classic country, to 60s garage rock, to jangly indie guitar rock, it should be perfect. And also emphasized - for an Epiphone, and for similar guitars in that price range, it seems very well made!

    BTW, if I figure out how to post pictures, I'll post some of my guitar (I already tried, but they didn't show up...)
    Last edited by RomanS; 11-13-2019 at 07:15 PM.

  9. #8

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    OK, figured out the picture posting - here's when I got it brand new:




    No scarf joint (unusual for that price range):




    Bigsby B6 with DE handle mounted:




    ...and with the non-wound-G-compensated bridge (hanging next to my modded Loar LH300):


  10. #9

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    mini humbuckers tend to be bright in the upper midrange...similar to p90's..but minus any hum..they can be great...tho not exactly warm...to compensate try pure nickel strings and drop the pups ino the body a bit...the epi hooker is a nice guitar...also epi had a limited ed 62 sorrento model that was great..much better than the standard epi sorrento reissues...actually one of my fave epi reissues ever


    cheers

  11. #10

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    Thank you, RomanS - you have gone above and beyond with this excellent review and the fine pictures - really well done. A beautiful guitar, and thanks to you we know a lot more about it.