Jon's Gear: Epiphone Emperor II Joe Pass

Main Touring Guitar

Ok I finally have this guitar the way I want it. About 8 years ago I was looking for a guitar I could tour with and not worry about losing it, breaking it, but still liking it. I came across this 2001 Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass model. I picked it up and played it and loved the way it felt. Was OK about the pick-ups and didn’t really like some of the “bling” on it, ie: the pickguard, tail piece and the gold hardware. It was in my price range and is a true archtop so i got it.

The first thing I wanted to do was get new pickups but wasn’t sure where to go for that. So I went with changing that pickguard. That took me to Haymaker Guitars in Phoenix AZ where I got Don Windham to recreate the pickguard in just plain black. I began to be more comfortable with the gold hardware so I had him also put a plane tailpiece on it and went with old school knobs.

The final piece to the puzzle came when I started talking to Erick Coleman. A great guitar player and one of the repair gurus of Stewart MacDonald. He told me he was winding pick-ups and he could help me out. I figured he knows a lot more about pick-ups than I do so, let’s do it. The pick-ups are amazing and completed what I was looking for.

Thanks Erick and Donny for helping me out


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