Exclusive Ltd. Ed. Signature Models through the year!
Epiphone continues its 60 year anniversary celebration as part of Gibson Brands with the new Premier Artist Signature Program, a new series of limited edition artist signature models. Look for the first announcement this summer. Up to two artist signature models will be announced every month throughout 2017 and into early 2018.
Epiphone artist signature models are designed in collaboration with the world's top guitarists and bassists and Epiphone's luthiers in Nashville. And each release has been acclaimed by fans and critics alike for making custom features and expert quality affordable to players everywhere.
Many of Epiphone's artist signature models have become just as famous as the artists who designed them. Today, the Jack Casady Signature Bass --which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017-- is considered the premier electric hollowbody bass and has been heard around the world on tour with Paul McCartney, Jack White, Dave Grohl, Echosmith, the Stone Roses, and of course Hot Tuna. "The workmanship that's coming in on these instruments is just super," Casady told Epiphone.com. "Every year I get two new instruments that I take out on the road. No ringers. I have none that are set up a special way or anything like that and they are great."
Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance helped design the Wilshire Phant-o-matic. Today, the Phant-o-matic is not only a staple of Iero's solo concerts and recordings but is also the main stage guitar for Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and FUN. "It's a versatile guitar that can take a beating and sounds huge when you want it to," said Iero. "I was using the Les Paul Elitist for a while and I loved them. Now after playing my Wilshire Phant-o-matic, I don't think I could ever go back to the 'Paul full time."
Epiphone's most legendary archtop, the Casino, was the inspiration for Gary Clark Jr.'s Ltd. Ed. "Blak & Blu" models featuring both a trapeze tailpiece and a Bigsby --a first for a signature instrument. "I absolutely love these guitars," Clark told Epiphone.com. "I like putting them on stands and chairs and just looking at them." Paul Riario of Guitar World presented the "Blak & Blu" with the coveted Platinum Award and noted: "I have played quite a few Casinos over the years, including new models as well as prime vintage examples, but I have to admit that the Gary Clark Jr. "Blak and Blu" model is by far the best Casino I've ever played."
Two of Epiphone's highest profile signature artists --Tommy Thayer of KISS and blues legend Joe Bonamassa-- have each made several Epiphone signature artist models and count on the "House of Stathopoulo's" expertise and fine eye for detail for recreating their treasured vintage guitars while also making subtle improvements that often make the difference between a good guitar and a great one.
Joe Bonamassa first entrusted Epiphone with recreating one of his favorite late 50s Les Paul Gold Tops. The Ltd. Ed. Joe Bonamassa Signature Les Paul was called "excellent" by Premier Guitar and was released in two limited runs by popular demand. "It retails for a fraction of the price of a top-of-the-line Les Paul from Gibson's Custom Shop but plays and sounds superb."
In 2016, Bonamassa brought Epiphone perhaps its most unique model yet, a rare 1963 Firebird. The new Ltd. Ed. "Treasure" Firebird-1 Outfit is a flawless time-machine-worthy instrument that exceeded the expectations of self-described vintage devotee Bonamassa. Epiphone even recreated the Firebird's unique pickup as the new ProBucker™ FB720. "The guitar is called 'Treasure' as it's based on the '63 Firebird that was graciously gifted to me 4 years ago," said Bonamassa. "We A/B'd the new Epiphone with my two original '63s. The Epi's play and sound better! Ugh... I just paid $12,000 for one!"
Tommy Thayer of KISS has been a lifelong fan of Epiphone guitars and the limited runs of both of Thayer's Signature Les Pauls--the "Spaceman" and the "White Lightning" --were both scooped up fast by fans. "I never would have imagined that one day I would have my own Epiphone Tommy Thayer Signature Les Paul," Thayer told Epiphone.com. "I wanted my first signature guitar to be an Epiphone. It's a truly professional guitar for real musicians but available at a price that's affordable for everyone. I'm playing my Epiphone signature models onstage with KISS now and I couldn't be happier with the sound, the look and the performance of the guitar, it's outstanding!
Jeff Waters, whose guitar clinics and concerts are always jam packed with fans of all ages (including fellow artists) also recently returned to Epiphone for a new version of his iconic signature axe, the Annihilation-II Flying-V Outfit.
"People seemed to really like the first one. It was affordable and it was a great guitar and I used it on stage. When that ran out, (Epiphone President) Jim Rosenberg and I talked about doing another guitar. Jim said let's reduce the cost slightly but keep the quality up and really offer Metal guitar players something great. When you find people who know what they're doing like Epiphone, you just let them do it. They threw me the guitar back and I'd say 99% of it was just perfect from the start."
Epiphone's artist signature models are usually made in limited runs and are rarely available for more than a few months. But what matters even more than the great reviews by critics and fans is the praise of the artists themselves. "When Jim Rosenberg delivered my Marcus Henderson Apparition Signature guitar," remembers Marcus Henderson, "he knocked on my door with my Apparition in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other. And that just typifies Epiphone. There is so much heart in everything they do. You won't find that anywhere else."
Visit Epiphone.com for regular updates on the new Premier Artist Signature Program and get ready for more 60th anniversary celebrations from the House of Stathopoulo!