Epiphone and Joe Bonamassa have been working together on signature guitar models for 10 years now. This latest model, his 8th with Epiphone, has been 2 years in the making. The guitar is based on Joe’s 1958 Gibson Black Beauty Les Paul with three pickups and a set of unique tuners. Let’s see what makes this guitar special.
Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Black Beauty Les Paul
Having 8 signature models released from one guitar brand is pretty good going. Especially as Joe Bonamassa isn’t exactly a household name outside the world of guitar, so he has to be doing something right. I’ve played a few of his Epiphone signature models from previous runs and they have all been well thought out, good sounding guitars. I’m guessing this will be of the same calibre.
“I made it a super playable instrument, throaty but clean, and the lead pick up just barks.” -Joe Bonamassa
This new Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Black Beauty Les Paul is based on a 1958 Gibson model. It has three gold-plated pickups, two Epiphone ProBucker 2 and one ProBucker 3, and uses orange drop capacitors, CTS potentiometers, and a Switchcraft output jack.
You get the traditional Les Paul Custom bound body and neck, using a non-weight relieved mahogany body. It also has a mahogany neck with a ’50s profile, an ebony fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets, Pearloid block markers, and a GraphTech NuBone nut.
The tuners, as I mentioned in the intro, are an unusual appointment for this era of Les Paul Custom. On Joe’s original 1958 they are a set of rebranded Epiphone originals which have been stamped with a G. This Epiphone recreation follows suit, and has been furnished with a similar set to match Joe’s old guitar. He states in the video that he believes they must have run out of the regular tuners back in 1958, and so used these instead.
Elsewhere you get the Epiphone LockTune tailpiece and Tune-O-Matic bridge. The hardware is gold-plated throughout, which is what you want to see on an ebony finished Les Paul Custom of this era.
The guitar ships in a classic black hardshell case with gold hardware and yellow gold plush lining, along with a Certificate Of Authenticity. You can see the full specs on the Epiphone site from the link below and hear Joe talking about his 8th Epiphone signature model in the official video below.
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