Epiphone will be releasing a new signature model with Lee Malia, guitarist for Bring Me the Horizon. The model is essentially a Gibson Explorer with custom fretboard inlays and a humbucker/single-coil pickup configuration. There’s a Gibson USA 84T-LM at the bridge and a P-94 at the neck.
The Explorer Custom Artisan Outfit (couldn’t they abbreviate that?) will also come with a gig-bag designed to fit snug with the Explorer’s unique body shape. The model is a limited edition run, so a signed certificate of authenticity from Lee Malia will also be included.
I suppose if you’re a fan, that’s a great way to get something signed. Personally, I’ve never listened to them because I saw a picture of their singer and I don’t think a 12-year-old boy covered with tattoos has anything intriguing to say.
Epiphone’s Second Lee Malia Venture
This is not the first time Epiphone has worked with Lee Malia, having previously found success with their Limited Edition Les Paul Custom, which features the same pickup configuration, wood/finish, and custom inlays.
Suspiciously, their Lee Malia LP Custom is still available for purchase from their authorized dealers (Sam Ash, Musician’s Friend, Guitar Center) three years after its release.
That guitar can still be purchased for about $850.00 – which is not terrible considering the price of a Gibson of similar specs can cost. You can expect this latest signature model to be in the same price range.
There’s a 100% chance that Epiphone is using the term “Limited Edition” for its marketing value rather than to describe their production methods. So don’t go running out to buy their latest model thinking it’ll be a collector’s item or something. It will not.
But still – it’s a beautiful stained maple top on walnut with a unique pickup configuration on one of the coolest body shapes ever made. I think that alone should be enough to sell the thing.
From photos, Lee Malia reminds me of that kid screaming “gingers have souls!” from that video on YouTube. That was a good one.
The guitar’s certificate of authenticity comes with this totally cool picture of Lee Malia too!
On the bridge (pickup):
I also have to point out the fact that the 84T-LM pickup was designed specifically for Lee Malia by Gibson and is not an aftermarket product. That means you actually do have to get the guitar to get the pickup, which has actually made a good impression amongst metal guitarists.
“They’d sent me a bunch of humbuckers to try and I wasn’t quite happy with them, so I basically told them how I wanted it to sound and they modded one.”
–Lee Malia on the 84T-LM design process
I imagine his request to Gibson was something like “I want 2 be mor brutal pls”.
The pickup is a modified version of the Gibson USA 84T, which was originally made for the Kramer ’84 EVH guitar in an attempt to recreate the sound of Eddie Van Halen’s Custom SD PAF in his Frankenstrat. The LM model has a lower resistance rating (you can see the specs in a review here).
[Click to Enlarge]
Anyway… it’s a nice guitar from Epiphone, regardless of whose name is stamped on it. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t like the Explorer shape?
The model will be available for purchase from authorized retailers starting in July 2017.
Epiphone Lee Malia Explorer Custom (Limited edition, artisan outfit, etc, etc.)
|Neck Shape:||“1959” Rounded, C|
|Neck Joint:||Glued-In, Set|
|Headstock Inlay:||“Epiphone” Logo in|
|Truss Rod Cover:||Black “Bell” Shape,|
2-Layer, “Explorer” in White
|Fingerboard Material:||Torrefied Composite|
|Fingerboard Inlay:||Classic “Artisan”|
Floral Pattern in Pearloid
|Binding:||Body: 7-Layer Front and Back,|
Headstock: 5-Layer, Fingerboard: 1-Layer
|Nut:||Ivory, Artificial Bone|
|Knobs:||Black Tophats w/Metal Inserts|
Exclusive Non-Rotating, Heavy Duty w/Metal Jack Plate
|Includes:||Epiphone Strap Locks, Hand|
Signed Certificate of Authenticity, Premium Gigbag
|Warranty:||Epiphone Limited Lifetime|