Epiphone and Adam Jones have lifted the curtain on the latest in the Les Paul Custom Art Collection, with the latest signature model for the Tool guitarist featuring the artwork of Korin Fraught on the back of the guitar.
Fraught’s painting, Sensation, which gives this model its name, is about “the loneliness and isolation of illness”. Fraught, who is married to Jones, first exhibited Sensation in October 2016 at the Lost Days exhibition at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles.
She draws her inspirations from the likes of John Singer Sargent, pre-Eaphaelite painters such as John William Waterhouse), and impressionist painters such as Mary Cassatt.
“‘Sensation’ is a word to replace a fear based word,” said Fraught. “A word she learned while preparing for childbirth. A word she could retreat into when lying in bed with only herself and her thoughts. Gentle meditative properties and calmness resonate through her body as she lives within the moment.”
Besides the artwork on the back, the guitar itself has an identical spec to the others in the series. That means Fraught’s design is on the back of the headstock, and also that Epiphone has pushed the envelope with what it can do at this price point, bringing it into line with the signature guitars it has produced for the likes of Alice In Chains Jerry Cantrell and Dave Mustaine.
Limited to 800 instruments worldwide, these are also Epiphone entering the collector’s market. The Adam Jones Les Paul Custom has a solid mahogany body, maple top, a three-piece maple neck with volute, and most notably a signature Jones profile.
This being a Les Paul Custom, you will find seven-ply binding on the top, five-ply on the back and headstock, and single-ply on the fingerboard. The fingerboard is ebony. No Indian laurel here. It has a 12” radius and is inlaid with pearloid blocks.
At the neck position there is a reverse-mounted Epiphone ProBucker Custom humbucker, with a Seymour Duncan Distortion at the bridge. These are hooked up to a three-way pickup selector switch, that like Jones’ original Gibson Silverburst Custom is missing its plastic tip, with CTS pots and orange drop capacitors in a wiring loom that offers the usual dual volume, dual tone controls, with black ‘Speed knobs’ as per the style on a Les Paul Custom.
There is a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece and vintage-style chrome 16:1 ratio tuners. All this makes for an impressive build for the price, and a guitar that is already a talking point before you show anyone the artwork on the back of the instrument. The Antique Silverburst finish is a work of art in its own right.