EPIPHONE UNVEILS A BRACE OF JERRY CANTRELL LES PAULS
Last year, we rejoiced at the release of a Gibson’s Jerry Cantrell ‘Wino’ Les Paul Custom, then subsequently recoiled upon hearing the bittersweet news that this Tom Murphy-aged beauty was going to retail circa £8000, and even if we could spare a kidney, there were only 100 being made!
So, if you missed out on Tom & Jerry’s fantastic recreation of the Alice In Chains man’s No.1 Les Paul, you’ll be glad to hear that Epiphone has stepped up with not one, but two Jerry Cantrell signature models.
First up is an Epiphone version of the Jerry Cantrell Wino, and it’s released alongside the Jerry Cantrell Les Paul Custom Prophecy. We’ll start with the familiar Wino, which is made from the classic LP recipe of a mahogany neck and mahogany body capped with a layer of maple.
In this case, just as with the Gibson Custom version, the body features Gibson/epiphone’s standard 9-hole weight relief with a series of cut-outs under the maple cap to make things lighter, and the neck has been carved to Jerry’s Custom Cantrell profile.
Elsewhere, we get Les Paul Custom staples such as block inlays, and a split-diamond on the headstock, while JC’S name is etched onto the truss rod cover and the rear of the headstock features his logo. Hardware-wise there’s an Epiphone Locktone Tune-o-matic bridge and stop bar, and a set of Grover Rotomatic, 18:1 tuners keeps things stable at the other end.
At a glance, the Epiphone Wino is similar to the Custom version, but this is actually where the biggest difference in spec lies. The hen’s tooth version featured one goldcovered Gibson 490R in the neck position, and an open-coil 498T in the bridge, which Epiphone has recreated with an Alnico Classic PRO and 98T PRO, respectively. But this Wino forgoes the Fishman Powerbridge under-saddle pickup, meaning that we get the two humbuckers, and a standard two-volume/two-tone/three-way switch control layout.
While it shares many of the same base ingredients (mahogany body/ maple top and a mahogany ‘Custom Cantrell’ neck), the Epiphone Jerry Cantrell Les Paul Custom Prophecy is a more modern take on the LPC format. First, it comes in the icy Bone White finish, and the body has undergone Epiphone’s Ultra Modern weight relief. This goes a step further by removing wedges around the whole of the body outline to bring the weight down. The contrasting ebony ’board is decorated with circle-in-diamond inlays, and it’s got 24 frets vs the Wino’s 22. Once again, the electronics are swapped, this time for Fishman Fluence models, offering PAF or modern voicings, plus coil splits on both from the push-pull controls. Both guitars come with a custom hardshell case. Keep an eye out for a review coming soon!