Other Guitars

Epiphone releases a ltd. edition of the Johnny A. signature model


Well it's been over a month now so i figured I'd post a follow up review now that I've time to get to know this guitar a bit better.

I couldn't be happier! This guitar has exceed my expectations. I owned an ES-339, got it when they came out around 2007. This Epi is pretty equal in quality, but sounds better, even though they have the same pick ups. This is such a nicely designed guitar, all the little details really add up. Like the longer scale length, the ebony board, body size and shape. The neck and middle has such a fantastic tone! i didn't expect to like the neck position as much as i do, but it sounds super good! It really just feels great to hold and play. The neck sits well in my hand, not too think or thin, it's a breeze to play.

One thing i noticed is using a thick pick on this guitar is like turning the tone knob down. it's quite a drastic change. So a lighter or normal pick works better to get a brighter tone, specifically on the bass strings.

It sounds great playing Johnny A tunes, chord melody stuff, Chet style thumb picking, rock, blues and even some chickin' pickin' stuff! a great sounding overall guitar.

Even the case is really nice. I know a lot of folks think it's pricey for an Epi, but honestly the features and quality for the money is great.

one interesting thing is that it is no longer available on my online shops. L&M had it listed for a while but it's gone now. I never believe in the "Limited" part, but it does appear to be the case as they are not even being listed as on back order. Very happy i grabbed one~!

Anyhow, i love this guitar!


Johnny A's a great player, no matter how old you are.

As is the case with many artists' sig models, I like his tone better on the first album - before he attracted the attention that led to a model based on his custom specs. It sounds a little richer and warmer.

I do respect the specs of the guitar, in either its Gibson or Epiphone garb. Honorable guitars, far from a craven dash for cash on Gibson's part (or his).

I can't abide a pointy double-cut (the Trini Lopez gives me as many nightmares as a 1958 Lincoln), so it's not an option for me. I also have the XTone Parliament Mark Kunie mentioned, and it completely scratches the humbucks-in-an-alternate-thinline itch for me as well.

But Johnny A, yessir. Real deal there.


Sam Ash is showing "more on the way"...

I was actually prepared to jump on this, I just wanted to read some reviews first... but, a tele body that I have been looking for for years came up for sale, so a partscaster project was started... gotta' strike while the iron's hot... that took my funds. Hopefully the EJA won't be TOO limited, because I really would like to have one for awhile at least.


So far, ALL reports have been reeeealllyyy good.....


All I know is that Epiphone really stepped up their game over the last decade or so since they opened their own factory. Even their regular models are built better when I check them out in music stores. I don't know about other's perspectives but to me the Epiphone name has been redeemed.


So far, ALL reports have been reeeealllyyy good.....

– ruger9

There's a few things to consider here...

First off it's a new design for Gibson / Epi. Sure the CS version has been out for 10 years + but how many people do you know who have played one!? So for most people it's their first chance to try/buy a JA Custom.

Next, Epi really did a bang up job on these; ebony board, longer scale length, 57 classics, 3 piece inlays on the neck, multi ply binding all over, same custom neck carve, good looking finish and the same body carve as well. Even the pick guard has the same mounting system with less drill holes in the body. The differences are very minor, ply top, B70 bigsby and apparently the truss rod is different. Also come with a really nice case!! ...and an autographed photoAll these details add up imo.

The shop that puts these together has been pretty consistent from what I scan tell, based on other owners comments. It feels like a top of the line guitar! Nothing cheap of flimsily feeling about it. In fact it sounds and plays great!

I owned a Gibson ES-339, one of the first year one when they came out about 10 years ago. This Epi JA is equal in construction and quality, but the AJ sounds much better (to me anyway, but that's a matter of taste). I also own a Gibson Les Paul Traditional from 2009 or so and again, mother really better or worse in terns of quality.

For me it's all the above ands the fact that all of the features work for me. I'm really single coil man at heart. But i love the so many of the tones from HB's. This guitar satisfies that for me. I love playing Johnny A. Songs and other chord melody tunes and again, this guitar just works for me playing in that style. It also get's in to Tele territory...,sorta..Even playing Chet style thumb picking sounds great!

I really hope Epi removes the LTD bit and just makes these.


And then there's THIS.....

One-off, or proto? Hmm.....

Gibson Johnny A. hardtail with P90s

– ruger9

Damn.... sounds awesome..... now I REALLY want one! Maybe if we're lucky Epiphone will release the P90 version....


Cbell brought his Gibson JA to one of Billy D's gigs. It was a great feeling and looking guitar.


Cbell brought his Gibson JA to one of Billy D's gigs. It was a great feeling and looking guitar.

– NJBob

It doesn't surprise me Cbell had a JA in his stellar collection.


I played with Jim McCarty (Yardbirds founder and drummer) last fall, and he said Johnny A was the current guitarist in the touring lineup. I checked him out at that time, and wow!! They were trying to crowdsource funding for a new studio album, but it fell short of the goal. I wish it would have come to be!

Heart Full of Soul on a GreTsch?



He was the guitarist for Peter Wolf solo, not the J.Geils Band. Very nice player, although not worth a $5000+ signature model for Gibson. Epiphone is about right.

– drmilktruck

I can't believe I'm replying so late— by a year…

Yes, that's correct about Peter Wolf— not the J Geils Band as I had mistakenly understood!

I was lurking because I just bought one of these guitars used a few days ago on Reverb-- still has the plastic on the pickguard.


I saw on FB Johnny was signing new cards of authenticity... Epi must have made another batch of these....

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