Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

The Jazzbox Club

Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by goonie, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

    Dec 20, 2011
    Like we need another owners' club ... searched many pages but couldn't see a club devoted to jazzboxes -- usually defined as guitars with a hollow body, archtop, f holes and a floating bridge.

    I joined the club on the weekend with the acquisition of a lightly played, well looked after Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II. Let me state at the outset that I don't play jazz guitar and don't listen to jazz music, but who cares? This thing is just so sweet to play, and it puts a smile on my face just looking at it.

    I don't have a decent pic of it yet so here's one I stole off Google Image.


    Mine has the signature on the pickguard, just like that one. The current model no longer has it. I'm still weighing up if I prefer with or without.

    So welcome to all jazzbox owners and lovers. I'm sure there's some beautiful 'boxes out there in tdpriland. Let's see 'em!

  2. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Tele-Holic

    Jul 12, 2010
    Van Nuys CA
    That is sweet looking. Must ... resist ... willpower ... fading :D

  3. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2012
    Rocky Mount, NC
    I have a 2003 blonde Joe Pass with a clear transparent pickguard. I had been looking for a big body archtop electric but the smaller Emperor II size has worked out fine for me. Construction quality on the MIK and MIC Joe Pass models has been very good. My only beef is that the bridge pickup in the MIKs is a bit dull sounding, but I don't use the bridge pickup by itself.

    I recently restrung mine with flatwounds to sound "better" for big band jazz stuff. With .010-.046 roundwounds, it was a versatile guitar

  4. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Near TELE-Town (Wash. DC)
    Admin Post
    I've got two archtops currently, both Epiphones. An Epi Emperor Regent, 17" body with a floating mini-humbucker, and an Epi ES-295 with P90s. I took the Bigsby off the 295 as I'm just not comfortable using it. I switch the two guitars on and off for gigs depending on my mood.

    In recent years I've also had both a Guild Artist Award and a Gibson L-4 CES (16" body with a solid spruce top), both great axes. I miss them, but I'm pretty well set up as it is. :cool: CS

  5. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

    Dec 20, 2011
    Just went to school on Epi serial numbers and mine is MIK, Unsung plant. Construction is flawless.

    On the evidence available, Epiphone dominate the jazzbox market!

  6. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I have a 1978 Guild Artist Award which I suspect Chris S. might have owned at some point? According to a guy I gigged with years ago it was Rusty Bogart's guitar at one point.

    I changed the pickguard and the pickup. It came to me with a Johnny Smith minibucker and an L5 style guard. I put a new guild pickguard and a Kent Armstrong handmade single coil.

    Attached Files:

    ndcaster likes this.

  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    A 1949 L-5P. I got it around 1980, money from a summer job as a janitor. Will be buried in my coffin. How's that for a coffin case? :lol:

    Attached Files:

    ndcaster likes this.

  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Those Joe Pass Emperors are nice for sure, I had one as my first jazzbox. It's long gone but that's okay, here's the current line-up:


  9. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    I have 3:

    A 50th anniversary Casino.

    A sort of custom made jumbo box--was a body blank (painted) from the Samick factory and parted together by a local guitar store. It's 17" lower bout and 3.75" deep with 2 antiquity p90's.

    And a 1949 epiphone Zenith (16", 25.5 scale, raised neck joint, solid spruce top) with a dearmond guitar mic.

  10. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Near TELE-Town (Wash. DC)
    Admin Post
    Nope, mine had a replacement Guild pickguard with both tone and volume controls (the original pickguard was still with the guitar), and an original DeArmond 1100 Adjustable Rhythm Chief pickup. Really woody tone, and it looked a bit more amber than yours (but who can tell from photos? :confused:).

    Either way, yours is a keeper. :cool: CS

  11. ExiledonMainSt

    ExiledonMainSt Tele-Meister

    Feb 20, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Here's my current one. Epiphone Es-175 Premium. I spruced it up a little by buffing the finish out with Virtuoso Polish, added a repro Gibson-style pickguard, swapped SD Antiquities in and set it up with 13-56 flatwounds. I'm not thinking about any other guitars until I have enough saved for a Gibson one, but this guitar plays quite nicely in the meantime.;)

    Attached Files:

  12. grandstick

    grandstick Tele-Holic

    Oct 10, 2010
    Virginia, US
    I have two hollowbodies for jazzboxes. My first was a Dean Stylist (MIK, flame maple top, back and sides. Cherry red finish with Gold hardware). For what I paid for it, it's a good, nice playing guitar. D'Addario Chrome flatwounds really brought out the jazz tone.

    My second is an Epiphone Emperor II. It could be a Joe Pass model, but there is no indication of that. A plain trussrod cover, and the factory label inside only has "DOT" stamped on the line where the model name should be. ??? Again, gold hardware and Chrome flatwounds. I love this guitar!

    Attached Files:

  13. knopflerfan

    knopflerfan Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 18, 2012
    In the woods
    goonie - congrats. A really nice looking jazzbox. blowtorch - that's quite an impressive collection.

  14. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I've had bunches of guitars, but I have never owned a proper "jazz box".
    I was sorely tempted by an Aria Herb Ellis recently.
    The guitar sounded great, for any style of music.
    I saw Herb at Guitar Rez decades ago, when he was promoting the signature model.
    Thanks for listening.

  15. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    Kingston, Ontario
    The photos are a 1943 Epiphone Triumph, which is in not so great condition but plays and sounds amazing. The Gibson is a 1953 ES-295 and although it is a big hollowbody, I never use it to play Jazz. My favourite jazz guitar sound comes out of the nylon string. It is a bench made instrument I got in Spain and sounds amazing for fingerstyle jazz. Some of the best fingerstyle jazz tone I have ever heard has come from players using nylon string guitars.

    I am a terrible jazz player (and not a huge fan of the genre, which might explain why) but I don't think there is any guitar sexier than a nice jazzbox.

    Attached Files:

  16. 71Tele

    71Tele Tele-Meister

    Dec 5, 2014
    Paris, France
    My 1952 ES-175:


    And these following two are gone recently because I moved to another country, I was sure I would keep them until the end, but c'est la vie.

    1948 ES-350, and 1957 ES-175DN:



  17. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    Jun 29, 2012
    This is my main jazz box. I built it about 15 years ago.

    Attached Files:

  18. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

    This story is kind of funny.
    My collection contains mostly "budget" instruments. Ha Ha!
    Stagg A-300
    Bought it off cragislist for $50.00.
    In the past I owned a Gibson ES-175... So, I know what a Jazzbox needs to do.
    This guitar can do it.
    I grin every time I pick it up.


  19. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Near TELE-Town (Wash. DC)
    Admin Post
    Sorry, short thread hijack:

    Wow! I was at that performance/workshop, too. :cool: I still remember what he said about rushing/playing in the groove. (Try to actually slow down the tempo, and you'll fall right into the groove.)

    And I owned an Aria Herb Ellis model I bought from Jim. He got Herb to sign a promotional poster for me, then gave it to me as a present. :) CS

  20. dallasblues

    dallasblues Tele-Meister

    Nov 29, 2011
    Dallas, TX

    My '52 ES-125 is a no-frills work horse. I keep flatwound strings on it and it gets the job done right every time!

    For the record... These 125's can still be found for very reasonable prices. You still get vintage Gibson craftsmanship too.

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