This insane Epiphone Les Paul mod adds an onboard fuzz pedal, complete with joystick

UK-based luthier Jack’s Instrument Services recently wowed us with their Fender Jazzmaster with a built-in tape delay effect under the tailpiece.

Now Jack’s is back with another impressive electric guitar: an Epiphone Les Paul standard – but, as pointed out in this video, “it’s not standard anymore.”

Rather, Jack’s leveled the frets, replaced the stock pickups with Tonerider Generator humbuckers and, oh yeah, mounted a big ol’ octave fuzz pedal with a custom-designed control plate and  joystick where the volume and tone knobs used to sit.

“The owner had an old Epiphone Les Paul kicking around and fancied doing something ‘loud and synthy’ with it,” shop owner Jack Ellis told Guitar World.

“After discussing some rough outlines of the kind of sounds he wanted we went for a Zvex Fuzz Factory and an octave pedal."

Next they went onto the prototyping stage, "where the effects are hacked to house normal controls instead of circuitboard-mounted controls and power options were discussed," Ellis continued. 

"We opted for a phantom power where the guitar is fed juice through a stereo lead, meaning no batteries are needed on the guitar itself, which meant we made a convertor power supply box for the floor.”

On the octave side of things, the guitar features controls for octave down, octave up, dry signal and swell, “so you can have the orchestral type sounds.”

The fuzz side, meanwhile, boasts compression, volume and gain. There’s also joystick-controlled drive and stab effects, because, as Jack’s representative Steve says in the video, “Why the hell not? It’s a joystick – how cool is that?”

Steve also points out that Jack’s can create this same unit with “pretty much any combination of effects out there,” from vibrato to distortion to chorus and more.

“If you’ve always dreamed of, you know, a Tele with a chorus built-in, we can make that happen,” he says.

For more information, head to Jack’s Instrument Services.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.