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In the immortal words of the band Hulk Big Knife. “Hey. I just got told this.”
Epiphone has released not one, but two semi-hollow body guitars to fulfill all of your smooth jazz needs.
The first guitar is the Riviera Custom P-93 Royale. Curiously Gibson has marketed it as a 50th anniversary reissue of the 61 Casino, which isn’t entirely accurate.
The Riviera was actually a separate model of its own released in 62, so it’s more of a 49th anniversary. Not to mention the Casino was a hollow body and the Riviera, a semi-hollow. Of course it’s easy to justify throwing one brand around when mentioning another as the Riviera and Casino have somewhat of a checkered past, the former being largely over shadowed by the latter. Perhaps Gibson’s intention is to market it as a Casino reissue in the style of the Riviera.
Regardless of what it’s a reissue of it still has enough unique zing to stand up on its own two feet. The build is very true to the Epiphone/Gibson style with a maple body and a mahogany center block with the mahogany set neck and a rosewood fretboard. You get a LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge with a B-70 Bigsby tremolo for all your tremoloing needs, and a set of Wilkinson tuners, but probably the most distinguishing feature would be the three P-90 Dogear single coil pickups housed in the body. Though you only get a 3-way toggle switch to work between the bridge and neck pickups. The middle pickup is toggle via a separate volume knob.
And for all of that it’s very reasonable priced at $549. Not too shabby.
Epiphone Dot Royale
Next up we’ve got the Dot Royale which is a new version of an Epiphone model based on Gibson’s more legendary model, the ES-335. The Epiphone Dot doesn’t exactly have the riveting background that the Riviera has, but then only being around for 10+ years doesn’t leave a lot of elbow room for ups and downs. Its advent came about the desire to offer a more affordable alternative to the ES-335 and overall it’s been favorably received.
The Dot is built of the same laminated maple with a mahogany center and a set mahogany neck with the rosewood fretboard. You get the LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge, and a set of Grover tuners to accompany it, and locked and loaded are a pair of Alnico Classic humbuckers with all gold hardware.
As sexy as it is it can be yours for $449.