A Worthy Tribute

Epiphone Les Paul Tribute PlusEpiphone Les Paul Tribute PlusEpiphone Les Paul Tribute PlusEpiphone Les Paul Tribute PlusEpiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

My new Epi Les Paul Tribute Plus arrived yesterday for my birthday, and it’s a beauty!  These things are hard to find- none of the local stores have inventory, and every online retailer is backordered.  I managed to get Guitar Center’s last one in the country(!) – from the store in Tonawanda, New York.  The store manager there was great- sent me some pics, played it for me to confirm it was all good, gave me a great July 4th discount, and shipped it over for free.   Thanks Chip!

Cosmetically, it’s really nice.  Clean, well-defined flamed maple top and cream bindings.  The cherryburst finish looks near-perfect- with rich warm coloring- not the bright overexposed yellow in the pictures at Guitar Center’s website.  The Grover locking tuners feel fantastically smooth, and the switch, knobs and jack all seem good.  And after some quick adjustments, it plays pretty well (but still needs some fine tuning).

Push/Pull for Series/ParallelThe ’57 Classic pickups sound really dynamic, rich and beautiful – they’re warm when played gently, and crank when spanked. Love em.  There’s quite a range of sounds with the push/pull series/parallel switching on the tone knobs.  When a tone knob is pulled, the humbucker’s two coils are wired in parallel giving a lighter, brighter, thinner sound, somewhat reminiscent of a single coil (though different).    It’s completely different from the ultra-thick and heavy series-humbucker sound (knob pushed in).  This is a really versatile setup: a total of 8 different sounds using the 3 switches, not to mention the variations you can get by adjusting the volume knobs in the middle switch position.

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Neck and Neck

I’ve been asked about the thickness of the Epi Riviera P93 neck, in comparison with other Epi guitars.  I’ve also measured the Epi Sharaton II, Dot Studio and Casino, and their necks are all very similar to the Riviera P93, within 1/32” for each measurement (thickness at 12th, width at nut, width at 12th).  And they’re all the same 24 3/4” scale and 12” radius.   The Epi Les Paul’s and SG’s have a slightly thinner neck (about 13/16” at the 12th fret), but the same width and scale.

Here’s some pictures and exact measurements (in inches) of the Epiphone Riviera P93 compared to my G&L ASAT III, Taylor 714CE acoustic, and a very thin necked old Ibanez 540SBC.   Update 5/14/2011: added Vox SSC33.

All measurements in inches:

Guitar Thickness at 12th fret* Width at nut Width at 12th fret Fretboard radius Scale
(nut to bridge)
Epi Riviera P93 31/32 (.97) 1 11/16 (1.68) 2 3/32 (2.09) 12 24 3/4
G&L ASAT III 31/32 (.97) 1 5/8 (1.62) 2 1/32 (2.03) 7 1/4 25 1/2
Taylor 714CE 39/32 (.90) * 1 3/4 (1.75) 2 5/32 (2.15) 12 25 1/2
Ibanez 540SBC 13/16 (.82) 1 11/16 (1.68) 2 1/16 (2.05) 16 25 1/2
Vox SSC33 7/8 (.88) 1 11/16 (1.69) 2 1/16 (2.05) 12 25 1/8

* Taylor 714CE thickness measured at 9th fret since neck joint to body begins at 12th

Here’s the Epiphone Riviera P93:



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