Epiphone has unveiled a new, lower-cost version of Alex Lifeson's signature Les Paul Axcess Standard electric guitar.
Based on the Rush guitar legend's signature Gibson Les Paul Axcess Standard – first introduced in 2011 – the new Epiphone Les Paul features a mahogany body with a AAA flame maple veneer, a considerable belly carve and a sculpted Axcess heel.
Its mahogany neck, meanwhile, features a slightly slimmed-down 'Lifeson profile' and an Indian laurel fingerboard with trapezoid inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets.
Of course though, that tremolo-shaped elephant in the room must be addressed. The system in question is a Floyd Rose-style Graph Tech Ghost double-locking vibrato with, get this, a modular piezo system in each saddle for converting string vibrations to amplified acoustic tones. The piezo system also means the guitar is fitted with two outputs.
Pickups-wise, there's an Epiphone Ceramic Pro humbucker at the neck and ProBucker 3 at the bridge. These are controlled by a shoulder-mounted three-way pickup selector, plus individual volume controls – both equipped with coil-splitting capabilities via a push/pull feature – for both humbuckers.
There's also a master tone control and a piezo volume control – also a push/pull operation – for switching the system on and off. The piezo signal can also be blended with the humbuckers, giving the Les Paul a veritable buffet of tonal options.
“The introduction of the Epiphone Alex Lifeson Axcess model based on my Gibson Les Paul Axcess model has all the same attributes and characteristics that I desired so much when we originally designed it,” Lifeson said in a statement.
“The look, the sound, the playability and the utility – it’s all there for the player at any level. I’m very proud of this guitar.”
To celebrate the occasion of the guitar's release, Lifeson also released two new instrumental tracks – Kabul Blues and Spy House. You can hear them in a new commemorative video, Alex Lifeson and Gibson – A 50 Year Ride, above, and in full on AlexLifeson.com.
The Epiphone Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess is available now – in a resplendent Viceroy Brown finish – for $899.
For more info on the guitar, stop by Epiphone.