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1990 Epi Joe Pass, made in USA?


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I thought they were all made in Korea by Samick...if there was a USA Joe Pass model, it would have been the

one especially made/set up by Gibson/Epiphone for JP when he was still living. They took the Emperor II and

moved the selector switch from the cutaway to the upper treble bout where Joe like it to be, because he

was used to playing an ES-175.


Here's a rare glimpse of Joe playing a Epi JP.



Joe played many other guitars besides this particular Epiphone guitar he endorsed..


Here's a glimpse of him playing a custom made (JP20)Ibanez.



an some more trivia on Joe's guitars and endorsements..



he also played a custom made D'Aquisto ,(the premier guitar luthier who worked under John D'Angelico),

made for him.


Since he died in 1994, it is highly unlikely that any were made in the USA. I have a '95 Korean made one.

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I bought a 1997 Samick "Joe Pass"


That guitar is now called "Annie Mae" a hollow bodied blues guitar.......[biggrin]


Just waiting for a set of GFS Mean 90s when they come off backorder........:-k


at the moment she sounds like this please excuse my bad playing


a few chords played on the neck and lead on the bridge pickup.......


recorded badly using garageband





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here Dough this may help....




very bad photo but looks weird to me.......

can you a sharp photo close up.........

I need Carverman to see this....[biggrin]



I can see it inspite of the blurry SN. Looks like a "U" preceding the number..

doesn't the U represent Unsung in Korea?

The tuners are typical Samick OEM issue. Mine had those as well.

Hard to say if the sticker is legit..especially the "made in USA" part.

Decals are easy to make and affix.


Where are the rest of the photos of it?

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A photo of the guitar: Click here. Sorry that I can't figure out how to post pics.


Note the apparent absence of a sticker in the upper sound hole. The seller has told me that there are no other markings or identifying information on the guitar.


Should the Asian guitars have a sticker inside the body?

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Interesting. That guitar appears to have a spruce top' date=' not maple like the Asian versions.


You may very well be looking at one of the rare USA JPs.




Brian, I have a 91 (Emp II) with the switch in the cutaway, and a '95 JP and they both

have spruce tops with the "Gotoh style" tuners as shown in the original posters picture.

Those came in gold as AFAIK.

Now, here's the interesting part on this one..the t-o-m doesn't appear to have a wooden

base, as it should on a "real" JP. Instead the t-o-m bushings appear to be set inside

the top..and for a thin spruce top like a "genuine" Epi LP, that will barely hold in the

bushings..unless of course the bushings have been glued in by someone.


The original Samick made ones start with an S in front the SN. It is possible that

Unsung was contracted out to make these for Epiphone..so the "U"...but I don't

understand the "UO" . Looking to find a Korean factory (if that is the case) with

a "UO" designation or some other factory that may have that.

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Note the apparent absence of a sticker in the upper sound hole. The seller has told me that there are no other markings or identifying information on the guitar.


Should the Asian guitars have a sticker inside the body?


Both of my Emp IIs/(JP) MIK did not come with stickers inside the f-holes.

Another great inconsitency with Epiphone over the years.

IF this was a genuine USA made, I would expect a label inside indicating

that Gibson/Epiphone crafted it in their custom shop. Now somehow I doubt

that, because they would be too busy with custom Gibson orders.


Another thing with these early 90 ones. It appears that the original Emp IIs

made by Samick, Korea only had white stickers with SN on them and NO "S"

preceding the serial number. The 95 JP, I have has a decal on the back

of the headstock with "S" 502xxxx. This is a rub on decal that is covered

with poly. It will have a "made in korea" decal below the frist set of tuners

on the back of the headstock.



Another thing about this one (even though its a dark picture) is that the block position

markes seem to have a "abalone" V inside, similar to some of the elitist models.

The regular production EmpII/Jp has MOT (plastic simulating a plain unfigured pearl)

on the fb and came with a rosewood wooden bridge.


Something is not quite right about this one..especially the bridge mounting and the "UO"

"made in USA" decal.



I would say it is a fake made in Indonesia somewhere. Like I mentioned, the "made

in USA" decal can be easily reproduced by anybody..just go to a commercial label/sign

maker and you can make a bunch for yourself..so that is meaningless.


There was a similar one for sale on a New Zealand "FleaBay" (with UO preceding

the "serial number:. and it raised the same questions with buyers there. The Fakers are getting pretty smart these days to include misleading labels..so buyer beware as they say.

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Just a couple of things, size of the f holes my 1997 Samick "appears" to have smaller f holes than this one and the photo of the more recent JP earlier in the thread. Just an observation.


Dough I recently took an interest in a guitar called the Washburn Washington J9 which is a thinline full hollow but has a fixed bridge like this "JP".


Could you look inside and see if there is not a full centre block but a small block just to accomodate the bridge that is what the Washington has.


But is still classed as a full hollow.


It is certainly strange seeing a "JP" with a fixed bridge.

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