Tool’s Adam Jones unveils new version of the best Epiphone Les Paul on the market

Epiphone Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection: Julie Heffernan’s “Self-Portrait as Not Dead Yet”
(Image credit: Epiphone)

The fourth entry in Adam Jones’ Epiphone Les Paul Custom Art Collection has arrived, and with it another new piece of art on the rear of the acclaimed signature guitar.

Before we dive in, a quick recap: back in December, the Tool guitarist finally launched his affordable Epiphone model, but it came with a twist: seven unique guitars would be produced, each featuring a piece of artwork chosen by Jones. Just 800 of each guitar would be produced.

Now, the fourth entry in the lineup has arrived, showcasing Julie Heffernan’s “Self-Portrait as Not Dead Yet”, with its subject surrounded by flowers, peacock feathers and dead rabbits.

The design follows the similarly gothic “Study for Self-Portrait with Rose Skirt and a Mouse”, also by Julie Heffernan, which launched in April.

Now, we’re no art critics, but we can tell you that The New Yorker once described Heffernan’s works as “ironic rococo surrealism with a social-satirical twist”. And we have no reason to disagree.

While the aesthetics have been refreshed, the spec sheet remains the same – something that will be of great relief to Jones fans seeking to capture his gritty prog-metal attack.

The guitar features an Antique Silverburst-finished bound mahogany body with maple cap, while the three-piece bound maple neck boasts an Adam Jones Custom profile. Meanwhile, you’ll find 22 medium frets, a Graph Tech nut and a 12” radius on the block-inlaid ebony fretboard, which is at the Les Paul regulation 24.75” scale.

Pickup-wise, there’s a reverse-mounted Epiphone ProBucker Custom neck unit, while a Seymour Duncan Distortion offers the high-output swagger for those drop-D riffs.

Finally, there’s an Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and Stop Bar tailpiece, vintage-style chrome tuners and PosiLock strap buttons.

Additional aesthetic flair comes via a commemorative control cavity cover and rear headstock design.

Once again, the price tag is a cool $1,299, which includes a Protector hardshell case. And just 800 of the guitars will be produced.

Whatever you make of the artwork, you’d be advised not to miss out on the model – in our review of “The Berserker” incarnation of Jones’ signature guitar, we were bowled over by the quality.

“All in all, to say we’re impressed would be an understatement,” said GW’s Amit Sharma. “Aesthetically and tonally, this could easily be the finest Les Paul ever produced by Epiphone.”

Previous entries in the Art Collection include “Mark Ryden’s The Veil of Bees” and “The Berserker” by Frank Frazetta.

The Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection featuring Julie Heffernan’s “Self-Portrait as Not Dead Yet” is available now for $1,299.

For more info, hit up Epiphone.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.