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Date a Joe Pass emperor


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I'm a huge fan of Epiphone, especially pre-Gibson. I own a 1935 Zenith I found in a second hand store. It's awaiting me to perform a neck re-set and install new binding.


My current question involes my more modern Emperor II Joe Pass Lefty. It is blond, has the orange label inside but the serial number line is blank. The pick guard has the Epi "E" but no name or signiture. The truss rod has says Joe Pass. I bought it off Ebay about eight years ago. What is your estimate of the date of manufacture?


I replaced the pickups with Gibson Classic 57s which markedly improved the tone. This is a good thing as the pickups cost roughly what I paid for the guitar. I removed the pick guard which also improves the tone. This is pretty safe for me as I play with a fairly light touch. I use 12s flat wound and it has a really nice tone for what it is. I realise it is not an L-5 but it surves it's purpose which is to play jazz with my music buds. Now if I could just afford an original Fender Deluxe B)

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To date it more accurately, a few details would help:

1) Is there a serial number stamped into the back of the headstock, or a sticker with a serial number there?

2) Is the pickguard "E" stenciled on in white, a flat foil "E" sticker, or a raised metal and plastic "E?"


The pickguard could be a replacement, or could have had the signature removed. If there is no serial number anywhere, it's likely a Samick-built model from the mid to late 90's.

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