Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II Guitar Review :: Electric Guitars Reviews

a quality jazz box for a doable price.

musical instruments image

The Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II Guitar has the standard Gibson style layout of two humbucker pickups, two volume, two tone, three-way toggle on the bass side of the upper bout, above the fingerboard, trapeze tailpiece and height-adjustable “ebonized” bridge. This 16” archtop jazz box, hollowbody tone, comes with 20 medium frets, a good compromise between speed and slide capability. The tonal pallette on these musical instruments could be compared to the woodier acoustic vibe of a semihollow guitar. Through the amp, the tone of this electric guitar ranges from a rich mellow from the bridge pu to surprisingly bright from the neck pu. You get the looks, feel and sound without buying into some of the overpriced electric guitars currently on the market. Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II is quite a head turner, if you want a quality jazz box for a doable price then this is it.

Pros of Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II Guitar

  • sweet tone, with just enough twang and punch to really make blues riffs sound full, great for jazz and blues, a bee-bop sweetheart, can do for country, christian worship styles;
  • this epiphone electric guitar has a neat, rich look;
  • the top is spruce, doesn’t have much of a pattern, lighter on the sides beautifully showing up in the light and top, sides and back are nicely matched flame maple;
  • nice action, very nice build quality, excellent fit and finish, fit over all is very good;
  • balance is perfect on the lap;
  • holds tuning very well;
  • medium frets, a good compromise between speed and slide capability;
  • you simply cannot beat the deal you get with this extremely playable and dependable epiphone guitar.

Cons of Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II Guitar

  • some owners complain about the signature on the pickguard or the truss rod cover;
  • some people complained about loose screws, buzzy pickguards and such;
  • the gold might come off the pickups;
  • a few some reported the amplification sound to be a bit of a problem, feedback when played with a little fuzz or a little distortion but it also depends on the amp and its settings;


  • some report that playing it with a Fender Pro Junior amp sounds best;
  • the Seymour Duncans installed opened up the tone on the electric guitar more ;
  • stringing it up with Thomastik-Infield Jazz Swings;
  • upgrade the Emperor II to D’Addario medium Flat wound strings, they add a smoothness and mellowness to the basic sound;

Amps used by users – Fender Pro Junior, all-tube Laney, Marshall AVT-275, Tubeworks Tube Driver Combo, Tubeworks TD-752, Hot Rod Deluxe, Vox solid state amp, acoustic amps, Mesa Mark I, Line 6 Duo

Features + Technical Specs
Pickups2 Humbuckers
NutWidth 1.68″
Neck JointSet
Neck MaterialMaple
Body MaterialLaminated Maple
TopLaminated Maple
Also AvailableLeft-Handed
FinishesHeritage Cherry Sunburst, Natural, Vintage Sunburst, Wine Red

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