Tool guitarist Adam Jones has been busy teasing fans over the imminent arrival of his much-anticipated Epiphone Les Paul Custom signature guitar this weekend, so what better time to gather up the breadcrumbs and take a look at everything we know so far? Or at least five of those things...
Adam Jones’ 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom signature – based on his long-favored Silverburst LP – has been phenomenally popular since its arrival in 2020. Its limited edition debut – a granular Custom Shop recreation from the Murphy Lab – quickly sold out, before V2 arrived in November 2021. The mainline Gibson USA Adam Jones Les Paul Standard hit shelves back in March for half the price and has also sold like hot baked goods.
However, with the Custom Shop models' eye-watering price tags – starting at $5,999, with the LP Standard ringing up at $2,999 – an Epiphone variant is very big news. Gibson and Jones are simply going to have to put us all out of our misery soon, Jones first teased the Epiphone model over a year ago...
While we wait for the big reveal, here’s what we’ve gleaned so far from Jones and the guitar giant itself...
1. It is actually a Silverburst
Perhaps an obvious point, but it’s not that unusual to see finish options vary across the price points and brands. We wouldn’t expect a Murphy Lab relic project here as found on the Custom, but even a glossy, non-nitro recreation of the lovely Antique Silverburst found on Jones’ Les Paul Standard would do nicely, thanks.
Indeed, the recent teaser (see below) and the gloss finishes found on the vast majority of Epiphone’s current artist range suggest that’s likely the case...
2. It has a Seymour Duncan humbucker
Jones’ most recent post about the Epiphone [see above] featured a distorted video of the guitar’s body and a limited glimpse of a neck and Epiphone headstock, alongside the words "It doesn’t get more official than this. Can’t wait!"
However, the words Seymour Duncan can clearly be seen on the bridge pickup, so we know it’s going to feature at least one bit of high-end, third party gear – perhaps a Duncan Distortion.
The neck pickup is covered, so we can only speculate, but we’d imagine it will be an in-house model such as the ProBucker-2s commonly found on Epiphone Les Pauls such as the Les Paul Standard 50s. But not necessarily.
Tommy Thayer's Epiphone Les Paul has a Seymour Duncan pairing, and just like this forthcoming Jones model it has an open-coil 'bucker at the bridge, nickel-covered at the neck. Something similar could be going on here.
3. It's a Les Paul Custom
From the same (intentionally blurry) footage we can just make out the bound body, split diamond headstock and block-inlay fingerboard of a Les Paul Custom. In this sense, it’s actually more faithful to the original aesthetic of Jones’ own LP than the Gibson Standard build.
It also suggests a similar approach to that of Epiphone’s popular Jerry Cantrell ‘Wino’ Les Paul Custom – another luxurious signature model with some premium appointments. Like Jones’ signature, it was also inspired by a Custom Shop build.
4. It will be more than a paint job
In the same train of thought, the Wino LP really went beyond simply settling for an aesthetic – throwing in Grover Rotomatic tuners and custom neck tapering for a start – and we expect the same thought process here.
Epiphone’s recent signatures have all gone way beyond just sticking a name on the headstock, playing with components and designs for some some genuinely customised builds. Check out Jared James Nichols single-P-90 ‘Gold Glory’ Les Paul Custom, or Matt Heafy’s Fluence-equipped Origins builds, to see what we mean.
5. It comes with a hard case
We know this because, when Jones first teased the Epiphone variant – again, over a year ago – he did it by sharing a clip with the text ‘More prototypes’ that clearly showed a hardcase with an Epiphone Adam Jones 1979 decal. That broke the guitar internet, so at this point, if it doesn’t actually arrive in a hard shell case, we will be taking to the streets. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Epiphone and Adam Jones: you have the power to end this.
In the meantime, well, all that's left to do is wait. Tool fans should be more than capable; after the 13 years it took for Fear Inoculum, what's another few months?