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Joan Jett Olympic Special


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I’m loving how they have released some cool signature styles lately.  But everytime I think “OK…let me give Epiphone another try”, I get the guitar and the fret finishing is non existant, and usually some other QC issue.  Very cool though this guitar, and I am again thinking to buy one, but I know it will be the same as thenother 4 Epis i bought in 2021…

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On 1/24/2022 at 11:35 AM, pohatu771 said:

Did you know that Joan Jett plays a 1964-1969 Olympic Special? It's overshadowed by her various Gibson Melody Makers, and her multiple modern signature reproductions. It's nice to see some representation of this often-forgotten Epiphone guitar.


I think this era of Olypics were made in the US like the Melody Maker, which had several variations of body design that was shared on several different student level guitars. I had several Melody makers from the 60's era, they are great playing guitars and people weren't afraid to modify them to the extreme, usually upgrading the single coil pickups, tuners, Badass style bridge and even shaving down the neck trunnion. Joans new signature model looks to have benefitted from the typical mods that were usually done. The new Olympic should be fun to play and the price isn't bad even though its a few times high than the original cost.

Edited by mihcmac
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The Melody Maker went through four designs before being discontinued and replaced with the SG-100, SG-200, and SG-250:

  1. Single-cutaway Les Paul-style body
  2. Symmetrical double-cutaway Les Paul-style body
  3. Symmetrical double-cutaway "fish" body with beveled edges (the Joan Jett Melody Maker)
  4. SG-style body

The Olympic is slightly more complicated:

  1. Single-cutaway Les Paul-style body (same as 1 above)
  2. Symmetrical double-cutaway Les Paul-style body (same as 2 above)
  3. Asymmetrical contoured body shared with the Coronet and other models

The Olympic Special was introduced at the same time as the transition from 2 to 3 above, but was only offered with a single pickup:

  1. Symmetrical double-cutaway Les Paul-style body (same as 2 above)
  2. Asymmetrical, elongated double-cutaway, the Joan Jett Olympic Special

They were all made in Kalamazoo. This is the first Olympic or Olympic Special to be made since 1970.

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