Other Guitars

DeArmond X-155 or, Epi Emperor?


well I've heard that the DeArmond X-155 is built like a brick Sh@# House and seeing as I play pretty aggressively Im wondering if these are anygood and if they make good platforms for upgrade?....

Then there is the Epiphone Emperor which I hear is also good(both gtars come in sunburst hehehe) But im wondering wether it is as sturdy as the DeArmond...I know I can try out an Epi Emp anywhere but the DeArmond is hard to find to test drive becos they stopped making them

So im wondering if anyones got any experience with either of these guitars and can give me some feedback


I had an Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II, and it was a good guitar that I used to beat on pretty heavily, but it stood up. The gold hardware is cheap and will tarnish extremely easily. You'll probably want replacement pickups, and I replaced the wood bridge with a tune-o-matic. It was a hoss.


I've an Epiphone Sheraton that I've been strangling for a long time and it's help fine, so I guess the Joe Pass will be alright too.

I love the look of that guitar. Needs some p90s and a bigsby though.


This is my modded DeArmond X135 (the single pickup version in its unmodified form): I added two vintage (Guild) Franz P90's, schaller Kluson copy tuners, CTS pots, switchcraft jack and switch, four vintage Daka-ware knobs (thanks Shelton!), Gotoh Tune-a-Matic, and homemade pickguard. It's an OK guitar for what it cost, but it's not fantastic - you get what you pay for.

Here's another one I modded for a friend (GFS P90's)


^those are n!ce. From what I heard a board is running all the way through the body of the DeArmond like an ES-335. Is that true?

The Epi is full hollowbody right?

Im going for big as hell but not frimsey as hell, so im just wondering what a good beater is in sunburst, cos the Electromantic G5125 is not in any way to me built solid(mine sounds good, but not built very sturdy)

The only real reason i think the DeArmond might be more sturdy is its got that board running through it. My Epi Dot has one and that thing is built like a tank.


Haha if the gold tarnishes then i hope itll fade to nickel and then i can use a silver bigsby and not a gold one :grin:....Yeah probably change the PUs...

I keep hearing about really rockin' work horse guitars and wonder why i keep the electro around...just for the headstock logo probably


It's not solid enough? How hard do you gig? Just curious.


Walter I just love that guitar. It makes me think impure thoughts regarding my bank balance.


Its not that im excessivley aggressive when i play its just that the electromatic feels kinda flimsey and I never trust it when ever I play with it. It feels like a toy kinda, could be lite wood idk. I strum pretty fast.(if that helps)

I don't feel comfortable gigging with the guitar really at all. I had the PU screw problem fixed but the covers still move around and buzz, I just get this feeling that the guitar is built really cheaply and that im missing out on better quality guitars. The thought that I basically paid for the Name on the Headstock is popping into my head too, because essentially I could upgrade another guitar with all Gretsch parts or whatever and it'd be better suited being called a gretsch than this one.

Once again I must say that I like the tone though(meloncholy).



Me too, I think the P90s look really bitchin' on those guitars...(im a sucker for black P90s) Where did you find the white ones though I've never seen that except for soapbars...

:idea: Edit: I've seen the White P90s on the Scotty Moore Gibby, thats it i swear :grin:


You might also consider a used Carlo Robelli ES5000 or RB1955. The first is essentially the Epi Zephyr Blues Deluxe in other livery (3 P90s); the second is a kind of Falcon-spec'ed beast with humbuckers.

Both are built tough tough tough, feeling stronger than Electros. Mine play great and look great; sound is good but not fabulous out of the chute. Pickup swaps would make all the difference.

I haven't been watching the 'bay for them lately, but last I looked you could get them for 300.00 - 400.00. Well worth that, and then some.


There's no block in DeArmond full-size hollowbodies, and those pickups are vintage Guilds. It's a pretty sturdy guitar, but very deep and a little feedback-prone.

Tzar, really? I prefer the real thing myself..:grin:


Hmmm...thanks because I keep trying to research the stuff on line and some people said that they had blocks inside the body..

Those sunburst DeArmonds are hard as hell to find too...gotta try em out then I guess.

How do you fight the feedback?


You could put dowel rods inside it, or stuff it with fiberfill ala Duane Eddy. Or you can find the places on stage that give you the least amount of feedback and stick around there.


Pappy: Duane Eddy did that? hmmm....i know alot of upright bassists use fiberfill so idk why i didnt think about that earlier...hahaha....

Did I answer your question about how hard I gig, I tried but I wasnt exactly sure what you meant?


Dubya B said: Tzar, really? I prefer the real thing myself..

Oh man.. now you've gone and done it.

I want one!

I've my eye on a 70's T100 in England on the Bay at the moment..


I got it. It's not about the gigging, moe about the stability. I can see that. Squier had an X-155 and it was one of the first hollowbodies I ever played. Built like a tank. I'm sure they stole it from Guild, or maybe they re-labeled it. I thought maybe you'd dig the flames.


Here´s my modded Epi Emperor II:

It´s a good guitar for the money. The original humbuckers are terrible...


Ouch.. Sorry for the big picture. Can someone teach me how to make it smaller?


If you open it with Picture Manager you can resize it. My rule of thumb is resize it by half if it's huge.


Holy crap. That Emperor looks beautiful. Ideas ideas. The things I could do with the 750 yos I just sold my Tele for..

How fat is the Emperor?


I have a 2001 Samick-built Epi Joe Pass Emperor II that is spectacular --- I play it more often than any of my other guitars, and I still have the stock pickups on it. (Tsar Nicholas, it's about 2 3/4" deep at the rims --- about the same as my G5120) Evidently Epiphone changed their pickup specs around the turn of the century, and I've noticed that the humbuckers on Epi's from the early 2000's sound MUCH better than the ones from the early to mid 90's. There is also a big difference in quality from the Peerless and Samick built Emperors (serial numbers starting with R or S) to the current Chinese-made ones. The recent ones I've checked in stores aren't nearly as well-made or alive as the one I have. It is fully hollow, and I prefer it to the Gibson ES-175 I used to have some years back. The Epi seems more versatile tonally and is extremely comfortable to play. If you're looking for a bigger-box guitar (17" instead of the Epi's 16"), I'd second Proteus' recommendation of the Carlo Robelli ES-500, or one of the Samick 17" archtops. The older model HJ650 turns up regularly on eBay at good prices.


Mine is a Samick made too (made in 98). Maybe the humbuckers that came in it aren´t that bad - the problem is that I can´t stand regular humbuckers. At least on my guitars.

As Parabar said the guitar is 2 3/4 deep.


thanx for those pics Philherman....those are really nice and back up my liking oh those guitars.

The G5125 is about 16incehes wide and is about 3.5 deep so it sounds like the Epi should feel like home..idk

Whats this about the new ones being built in China?

I remeber playing that Squier X-155 after buying my Gretsch Electro and thinking "crap i just made a huge mistake" and then trying to justify it by saying the flames were too showy for me...hahahaha( i love those damn flames reminds me of Mike Ness's Gretsch from Social Distortion)

Would you recommend putting P90s or TV Jones in the Epi?(hahahaha)

Register Sign in to join the conversation