martes, 30 de marzo de 2010

1979 Epiphone Genesis Custom "The Jewel"

The "Jewel"
Esta es mi  Epiphone Genesis Custom 1979
Cuando compre mi Génesis estaba en muy malas condiciones, la entrada (el jack) estaba rota y el dueño anterior sin saber nada de la guitarra la había rayado con la punta de una tijera, (pensaba que era una guitarra antigua y ordinaria) yo la vi tirada en un rincon de su habitación y le dije: “que linda viola tenes ahí te la compro!” , y el me dijo bueno dale!. Así fue que me hice de ella, la desarme la lije bien y le hice el cambio de look para borrar las rayas de la tapa, varios días después mi amigo intento devolverme el dinero y volver atrás el trato, pero yo ya me había enamorado de ella y jamás lo pensé siquiera. La primera vez que la lleve a una casa de música para que la calibren  (Showmusic) cuando , dueño del negocio  y el luthier, la vieron  abrieron los ojos así de grandes!!! me miraron y me dijeron "vos sabes lo que tenes ahí pibe!!!??? Eso es una Gibson Les Paúl!!!!" no la queres vender???, ja ja naturalmente me rei, y pense que estaban locos!!! como podia ser??? El luthier era nada menos que el viejo “Lorenzo”, uno de los pioneros de la lutheria en argentina y quien contruyera intrumentos para grandes artistas como Pappo y  Moris entre otros y que el  padre del baterista de los A. Decadentes
Yo no sabia nada acerca de la guitarra, solo que era la más hermosa que había visto, pero el hecho de que el dueño de una importante casa de música me la quiera comprar me hizo pensar…
Ellos fueron los primeros que me contaron parte de la historia de la Epiphone Génesis y de su calidad, ahí fue que definitivamente termine de enamorarme!

The "Jewel"

This is my 1979 Epiphone Genesis Custom
When I bought my genesis  she was in very bad condition, the jack was broken and the previous owner without knowing anything about  guitars  was scratched with the tip of scissors, (he thinks  she was a old ordinary guitar) when i see this beaty lying in a corner of his room I  said, " you got a  beautiful axe here!
do you want to sell it???" and he sais OK! i buy it to you! That's how i know her.
I  disassemble it and I sand the top and make the  new look to erase the scratches from the top, several days later my friend tries to return me the money and go back the deal, but I had a crush on her, and i realy  never think about it.
The first time i take her to a  music shop (Showmusic) to tune the neck,   the owner  open the eyes that big! he  and the luthier (who was nothing less than the old "Lorenzo", one of the pioneers  of guitar-making in Argentina and who build  instruments for major artists such "Pappo" and others) looked at me and said
"you know what you got there kid !!!??? That's is like a  Gibson Les Paul man!!!!"
you want to sell it?? I dont knew anything about the guitar at this time, the only i know it was the most beautiful  guitar I ever seen, but that the owner of a major music shop  wants  to buy me the guitar  "makes me think ..."  They were the firsts  who told me part of the history of the Epiphone Genesis and there was definitely i fall in love!
Epiphone Genesis Custom 79 Sound  demo by Intruder  (amateur recording)
                                                             Check this link:

watch this!

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The History of the Epiphone Genesis


The story of the Epiphone Genesis is full of mysteries, and perhaps that is just one of its charms. It has been much discussed where it was manufactured and what wood was used, what is not discussed, is its high quality, and for many people, no doubt,
it is the best solid body guitar Epiphone ever built.

The Epiphone Genesis was designed in 1978 by Jim Walker, Marketing Director of Gibson Guitar Corporation between 1977 and 1983.
He was one of the original builders of the first Hamer Guitars, pioneers in the world of Boutique Instruments  (Hamer was incredible high-end instruments completely handmade, before  the "Custom Shop" divisions of the big brands)

Walker was hired by Gibson to revitalize the Epiphone line.

The prototypes of the Genesis were built by J.W. himself with the help of his friend and mentor John Montgomery in the same basement workshop, where they built the legendary first  Hamer instruments, for renowned guitar players of bands such as Cheap Trick, Jethro Tull, The Police.
Like today, at that time, Epiphone belonged to Gibson and was become his"second brand", and its production line had moved to Japan,  they built only lower quality instruments (compared to the Gibson line) and during the first half of the 70s, the Epiphone products had lost prestige and sales.

Norlin/Gibson executives wanted to "boost" the Epiphone line and reevaluate the brand to reposition it as a manufacturer of high-quality instruments, and for that, they needed a new "flagship"

That was Jim Walker's mission, and the Gibson design team provided the necessary support to carry out the project.
Walker works very close with Bruce Bolen ( Head of  Gibson R&D Department) and they shared a great friendship,  Bolen supervised and collaborated in
the planning, design, and production of the Genesis.

This is how the Genesis was born, as a new "beginning" for Epiphone,  and hence its name.
They decided to build a real quality guitar, powerful and versatile, that would remain in history and put Epiphone back into the big ones. 
First 3 Prototypes

The prototypes were rendered at the Gibson Kalamazoo plant, and then the "blueprints" were sent to Japan to the founder and head of Aria,  Shiro Arai  (at that time in Japan the cost of labor was half, but it was exceptionally high quality, even better than in the U.S.)
Arai built in Japan a very small series of Genesis identical to the prototypes built by Walker in the U.S 
The Genesis was built at the peak of the "Golden Age" of the Japanese Replicas, today knows as "Lawsuits" like Greco, Aria, Burny, and Tokai.

1979 Japan Catalog

Even though the original idea was producing the Genesis in Japan, the turbulent Yen/Dollar exchange rate at the time, the mass production was made on the Pearl Drums plant in Taiwan.
The mass "Production Units" built by Pearl and sold worldwide are slightly different from the prototypes built by Walker and  Arai.
The production Genesis came with "exposed" pickups (without cover) and  "Speed" style knobs.

The original prototypes and those built by Aria in Japan came with Covered Pickups end Top Hut style knobs.
1979 Japan Poster advertises

  The  Genesis is an electric guitar with an excellent construction,  finish and sound quality, which can be used for the most diverse styles from Jazz  to Rock or Metal.

It is a  very solid axe, about 10 pounds (4.5 kg)   similar to Les Paul Gibson of that times,  with a powerful warm full-bodied sound with an extraordinary sustain attributes that have made it stand out over the years, and little by little they are giving a solid reputation.

Models and Features:
           Genesis Series had 3 different models:
Standard   -   Deluxe   -   Custom

Specs by model. (Pearl  production units)

Simple binding  on top, dot markers on the fingerboard, Chrome Hardware
exposed pickups, black "Speed" knobs
1980  Standard (Wine Red)

Double Binding on top, Simple binding on the back of the body and the headstock
trapezoidal Inlays and chrome hardware.
Exposed pickups, golden "Speed" knobs
Chrome Hardware
1980 Deluxe (Sunburst)

-"Custom" (high end)
Triple binding on the body top, double binding on the back and  the headstock and
simple binding on the sides of the fretboard with "nibs"
Abalone "Block"  Inlays
Exposed pickups, golden "Speed" knobs
Gold Hardware
1980 Custom (Sunburst)


Mahogany Body and Neck with Carved Top,
Epiphone "Vintage"  headstock
3+3 Gotoh tuners.

Design Highlights

Double Cutway,
the neck joins to the body  on 19th fret
that's made easier access to upper tones on the last frets
(a nice advantage over the Les Paul) this design gives a lot of playability like an SG

Another nice option is 
Coil-tap Switch
which "turns" the humbuckers into a "single-coil",
something quite new at that time in the Gibson brands family
this feature gives to the guitar  a very nice crystal cleans sounds, improving versatility
 (another key advantage over the normal  Les Paul)
in other words, the Genesis  is a Les Paul with some "improvements"

One of the most lauded "virtues" of Genesis is his neck
Long and thick
59 style profile.
With a Vintage Epiphone elongated Headstock which contributes greatly to its renowned Sustain
Mahogany with Rosewood fingerboard with binding
1 - 11/16" at fingerboard nut
Fully adjustable truss rod
24 - 3/4" scale
22 frets

The Genesis  had 2 powerfull  humbuckers probably built by Maxon,  supplier of pickups for Aria, Greco, and Ibanez, at this times,   builders of the amazing  "Super 58" (and the Tubescreamer Overdrive Pedal)
There is no record of what type of magnet they have, but it is very possible that it is Alnico V
because they have more output than the vintage PAF.
The information on the catalogs is that the magnets emphasize the mid-range and treble, but that due to their composition, they also deliver a good low end, end they are made an alloy of  Iron, Aluminum, Nickel, and Copper.

 "Tune-o-Matic" bridge,  ABR-1 type like de 50s Gibson

volume controls and
1 master tone control.
The Genesis came in 3 colors:
Wine Red - Black - Sunburst

Sunburts had 2 options
Dark Sunburst - Sunburst 

The guitar was manufactured for 3 years. 1979-1980 and 1981.
The volatility of the Yen significantly increased the production costs of the Genesis making it impossible to maintain the Retail Price and was discontinued.
The Yen crisis not only hurt Genesis but also ended the "Golden Age" of the Japanese Replicas known as "Lawsuits" Aria, Burny, Greco and Tocai.

The Epiphone Genesis has passed the test of time and over the years it has become a "cult" guitar. Unlike other instruments its reputation has not been built through marketing or for having been used by some Guitar Hero, but was Growing through time, from below, The Genesis went from being a virtually unknown guitar to being an instrument sought and valued for its solid construction, great tone, and deep sustain.

Genesis Custom Sound Review

Check the Jim Walker¨s  Interview for more info

Link:  knowing-creator-interview-to-jim-walker

Double Binding  headstock (Custom)

 3 layers  Fretboard Binding with "nibs"

Triple binding on the top (Custom)

Catalog Images

Click on the images to full size

1979 Genesis Japan catalog (front &back)

1979 Genesis Japan catalog (interior)

Check this threads of  MyLesPaul Forum (the number 1 Guitar forum of the world)