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Epiphone Les Paul

lespaulThe Epiphone Les Paul features similar specifications to that of it’s Gibson cousin albeit lower quality components.
The Epiphone Les Paul guitar features two humbucker pickups, set neck, two tone and two volume controls and a three way pickup selector switch. The current edition guitar features mahogany neck and body with a maple top. The guitar has a 24.5″ scale length


The Gibson Les Paul is all about that rock tone and the Epiphone Les Paul is no different. The guitar has a lovely deep sound with lots of bottom end with the humbucker pickups producing a warm big sound.

The Epiphone Les Paul has a wide range of sounds and is suitable for a range of styles from jazz guitar or heavy rock. The tonal range is further supported by the 3 way pickup selector allowing you to mix the sounds from the neck and bridge pickups. It could be argued that the major difference between the Gibson and Epiphone models are the quality of the pickups and Epiphone users are often found to be replacing the factory fitted pickups for more expensive quality units.

These guitars betray tremendous value for money. It’s important to try the guitar as the Epiphone Les Paul’s vary considerably from guitar to guitar. Play close attention to variations in the neck (thickness and shape) and some hardware.

The versatility, sounds and price make the Epiphone Les Paul a superb choice for the beginner guitarist on the hunt for a bargain.

For more information and detail about the various editions check out www.Epiphone.com

Epiphone Elitist

The Epiphone Elitist are a range of guitars that attempt to bridge the gap between their more expensive Gibson counterparts and the standard Epiphone range. They Endeavour to do this by using select tone woods, top-end components and details that are more at home on more-expensive guitars.

The Epiphone Elitist comprises of several Guitars. They are:

Elitist Sheraton

The Epiphone Elitist Sheratorn features a laminated maple top with cream binding, a vintage sunburst finish, gold Tune-O-Matic bridge, stop tailpiece and covered Gibson Mini-Humbuckers. The guitar feature the standard array of controls including a three-way toggle and separate gold dust-colored volume and tone knobs for each pickup.

The 24.75-inch scale C shape neck is one piece mahogany, and features a 22-fret rosewood fretboard. The headstock comes with, imperial-style 24-karat gold Grover tuners and mother-of-pearl flowers on a deep black background creating an Asian style motif.

Tonally the Sheraton has a lovely acoustic resonance, the humbuckers produce a smooth tone that’s ideally suited to a heavier sound, whilst still being able to encompass more jazzier overtone.

The guitar has many fine features that make it stand out from the crowd and has the looks and style of a more expensive instrument.

Elitist Casino

The Elitist Casino features a natural finish, cream binding, nickel hardware including Grover tuners a Tune-O-Matic bridge and a trapeze-style tailpiece.

The Casino’s comes with a mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard featuring Parallelogram inlays. Like the Elitist Sheraton, the guitar has a 24.75-inch which is comfortable and playable. The pickups are P-90’s.

The guitar has a lively tone with a beautiful acoustic response delivering a lovely range of lows and highs. The P90 Pickups deliver a robust tone reminiscent of what made the original Epiphone Casino a true classic.

Elitist Les Paul Custom

The Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Custom is made with premium woods (African mahogany and book matched maple) using superior construction methods.

As with the Sheraton the Les Paul Custom includes 24-karat gold hardware featuring Tune-O-Matic bridge, skirted strap buttons and large Grover tuners, as with a standard Les Paul the Guitar comest with standard three-way toggle and individual volume and tone pots.. Gibson has provided, two 24-karat gold-covered humbuckers , specifically for the Elitist Series.

Tonally this Epiphone Les Paul features a chunky low-end, and a clear top end. When distorted the pickups still produce clarity whilst not betraying their rock heritage.


For more information on the Epiphone Elitist series – visit the Epiphone guitar website

Tokai Guitars Part two – current models

Over the years Tokai have produced a wide range of guitars appealing to varied tastes and requirements and these days is no different. Without a doubt Tokai produces a large range of guitars – appealing to a range of musical styles and requirements.

The current Tokai Range includes:
als* The ALS models reminiscent of the Gibson Les Paul – featuring Maple/Mahoganny bodies, twin PAF humbuckers standard 2 volume/2 tone controls with a 3 way pickup switch.

* USG range – similar design to a Gibson SG – Mahoganny body and neck – twin PAF Pickups and rosewood fingerboard.

* Hollowbody Jazzboxes including the ES range the FA70 reminiscent of an ES175

* FV Range – Flying V style guitar features include arched maple tops, mahogany set neck and rosewood fingerboard
* Talbo range – Aluminum bodied guitar featuring unlike anything you’ve seen or heard before!

So whether your looking for a rock guitar or something a little more Jazzy there are lots to choose from – check out your local Tokai dealer now!

Eric Clapton Crossroads Gibson ES-335

clapton335These day if you ask which guitar Eric Clapton is famous for – most would respond with the good old Fender Stratocaster – however EC hasn’t always donned the Fender guitar throughout his long career. In his early years, with bands such as the Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Cream – a lot of his fantastic tone came from Gibson’s in particular the ES-335.

In 2005 Gibson celebrated this association by releasing a limited edition (250) of the Eric Clapton Crossroads ES-335 which is a re-creation of Clapton’s original 335 (now owned by the guitar center).

Featuring a maple body with the traditional 335 double cutaway design and the two “f” holes. The guitar has a mahogany neck with a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard. Binding on the guitar is cream throughout – Gibson have released the guitar in a red cherry finish.

Electronics wise the guitar features two custom Burst Buster pickups and the traditional two tone, two volume control configuration. Clapton’s tone during his “335 period” was when he invented his womantone – dark – moody and full of sustain – Gibson have reproduced the sound to a tee (think Les Paul but with more versatility)

Gibson have worked hard to make the guitar to be a close replica of Clapton’s 63 model – the paint job for example has been faded – components such as the tuners are close replica’s the neck has been digitally scanned to ensure that the re-issue is as close to an exact match as you’ll find – all this culminates in a very satisfying instrument.

Clapton’s guitar was auctioned and fetched in excess of $800,000 dollars and while the reissue won’t cost quite as much the run of 250 which sold out in double quicktime – the guitars still have a hefty price when they come up for auction and you can expect to pay in excess of $10,000 dollars. Gibson Guitars

Rickenbacker Toaster Pickups

toasterRickenbacker toaster pickups are so called because of their “toaster” look – The original style chrome pickup covers resemble small chrome toasters. These toaster pickups were fitted on Rickenbacker guitars from the mid late 50’s through to the early 70’s and were responsible for producing that classic jangle tone closely associated with iconic Rickenbacker models of the time.

The original toasters offered a bright and clear tone – although the sound was the same each pickup was unique as the manufacturing process used to wind the pickups was not uniform and the operator stopped the process when “it looked right”. Each pickup and the guitar it sat in had it’s own sound and the sound varied from unit to unit – albeit within a similar range of tone.

The pickups were re-issued by Rickenbacker recently and the company has carefully replicated the original components. The reissue toaster pickups have individual alnico pole pieces under each string in the bobbin wound with magnet wire–almost exactly the same as the originals. The new pickups differ slightly however in that the original toaster pickups resistances varied between 7K to 8K Ohms while the new Toaster reissues are around 11 ohms this higher output results in a darker tone – reminiscent and convincing of it’s older cousin but not identical.

The toaster pickup has its place in the “pickup” hall of fame – imagine the classic tones of the Beatles, The Byrds, The Who – the “toaster” had a hand in all of this and has been at the heart of Rickenbacker sound for 50 years

Check out more at www.rickenbacker.com

Gibson Vegas High Roller

vegashighThe Gibson Vegas High Roller is a new release in Gibson’s long line of semi acoustic guitars. The high roller features a new design for Gibson and whilst still being a double cutaway design the horns on this guitar are a little more angular than a 335 – the headstock is also a departure from the standard three on each side – and is more Firebird like (although we think reminiscent of a Gibson Explorer). Size wise it’s a littler smaller than a 335


Gibson have kept their eye on quality here and the looks wise the guitar is a beauty featuring a AAA maple top – it’s available in a number of different colors (all vegas themed) such as Roulette red, Felt Green and Desert Sunset.

As typical with a lot of Gibson’s the High Roller has a mahogany neck featuring what Gibson call a “classic 60’s style neck – the neck is a set neck and it’s joined to the body at the 19th Fret. The fingerboard is ebony and features 22 frets and white ply binding.

Hardware wise the controls are gold finished (which adds to the tasty looks) and it’s a typical Gibson setup of tune-o-matic bridge and stop bar tailpiece – the single volume and tone knobs are also gold topped with chrome inserts.

Tone wise the guitar comes equipped with Gibson’s Burstbucker pro pickups (one neck one bridge) these produce a really raw (somewhat trebly) sound which can produce some really great lead tones – as it’s a hollowbody – expect the normal earthy tones to shine through – it’s loud though which is a good thing! The pickups are similar to the standard BurstBucker pick up’s but with the extra oomph of an Alnico 5 magnet. These pickups get fitted to Gibson’s Les Paul’s so it’s easy to see why the sound produced here does not entirely fit what’s expected of a normal hollow body – they also feature a wax potted coil to reduce feedback.

All this adds up to a guitar that can produce some nice versatile tones – and perhaps this is the key – we can’t help wondering where Gibson is pitching this guitar – sure it’s modern looking – the pickups create a great sound – but we can’t help thinking that if you want a hollow body Gibson your more than likely to go for a 335 and if you want the lead tones you’ll have a Les Paul – the Vegas High Roller seems to offer something in between – it’s no bad thing mind – just a little modern – and while the rest of the industry is pitching themselves towards the vintage market this guitar seems to offer a little something different.

The Gibson Vegas High roller retails at around $2,000.

Gibson Guitars

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