Epiphone Jared James Nichols Signature Old Glory Les Paul

Published 3 years ago on September 14, 2020

By Jonathan Graham

Epiphone Jared James Nichols Signature Old Glory Les Paul

MSRP (UK) £529 (US) $699

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The Jared James Nichols "Old Glory" Les Paul Custom Outfit is the premier signature model by the rising star from Les Paul's hometown. Featuring a classic 1955-style Les Paul Custom body with a single Seymour Duncan P-90 pickup and an Ebony fingerboard with traditional block inlays, "Old Glory" could very well be the blues machine you've always dreamt of. Nick Jennison tells us more.


As much as signature guitars can divide opinions, they can be some of the coolest and most interesting guitars on the market. Given free reign, artists will often make bold decisions on visuals and specifications that product designers may otherwise shy away from. Take Epiphone's Lee Malia signature guitars: they're drop dead gorgeous, and offer a combination of pickups and electronics that aren't available on any other guitar in the Epiphone range.


The built in collaboration with the fast-rising blues virtuoso whose name it bears, the Jared James Nichols "Old Glory" Les Paul Outfit (a bit of a mouthful, for sure!) is another home run from Epiphone. Marrying a Les Paul Custom's good looks with the stripped-back functionality of a Les Paul Jr, it's a unique instrument with a vibe and a voice all of it's own.


Picking up the JJN (as I shall be abbreviating this guitar's lengthy name from here on!), the most striking thing you'll notice is how *old* this guitar feels. If you've ever handled vintage instruments, you'll know that nitrocellulose ages in a very specific way that doesn't feel like satin, but doesn't feel like gloss - it's hard to describe, but damn it if Epiphone haven't nailed it with this guitar! It doesn't look like a beaten-up relic, but it feels like a 60 year old case queen.


As invitingly tactile as the finish is, the JJN's neck is a bit of a shock. It's absolutely huge! Jared is a big dude with big hands, and this neck is made for large paws for sure. If you like to grip hard with and aggressive touch, it'll be right up your street, but it's not terribly friendly for thumb-behind-the-neck shredding - even for a big chap like myself! If you can get past that, the ebony fretboard and medium jumbo frets feel great for string bends, although I'd like to have seen true jumbo frets to match the girthy neck.


Plugged in, the single Seymour Duncan P-90 is clear and open, much like the mid-50s models that inspired it. It's pretty low output, which is compounded by the distance between the pickup and the strings straight from the factory - if you're going to be playing with any level of gain, you'll want to jack the pickup (or at least the polepieces) closer to the strings. That said, the pickup's voice is great with a bit of distortion - it's very well balanced across the frequency spectrum, and has a great midrange grind that's perfect for slide.


The beautiful thing about a guitar like this is that it forces you to work the volume and tone controls (as well as your picking style) to get different tones. There are certainly plenty in there - the pickup with the tone wide open and the volume backed down is bright enough for clean styles, and winding it up full with the tone turned down will produce some serious "woman tone" fatness.


The Jared James Nichols "Old Glory" Les Paul Custom Outfit is a truly unique guitar that looks gorgeous, feels old and sounds killer (if a little on the low-output side). If you're up to the challenge of a single pickups and that manful neck profile, you're in for a treat.



Unique feature set.

Serious good looks.

Feels like an old guitar right off the shelf.



Pickup is very low output at the factory height.




Mahogany Body & Neck

1950s style Rounded-C neck Shape

Seymour Duncan P-90 Bridge Pickup

1 Volume, 1 Tone


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