Epiphone has teamed up with Alex Lifeson to create a new, lower-cost version of the Rush legend's signature Les Paul Axcess Standard.
The guitar features a mahogany body with a AAA flame maple veneer, a large belly carve, and a sculpted Axcess heel. Its mahogany neck, meanwhile, features a slimmer "Lifeson profile" and an Indian laurel fingerboard with trapezoid inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets.
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The guitar is headlined, however, by a Floyd Rose-style Graph Tech Ghost double-locking vibrato that's itself outfitted with a modular piezo system in each saddle for converting string vibrations to amplified acoustic tones. This piezo system also means the guitar is fitted with two outputs.
Pickups-wise, there's an Epiphone Ceramic Pro humbucker at the neck and ProBucker 3 at the bridge, controlled by a shoulder-mounted three-way pickup selector, plus individual volume controls – both equipped with coil-splitting capabilities via a push/pull feature – for both humbuckers.
Additionally, there's a master tone control and a piezo volume control – also a push/pull operation – for switching the system on and off. The piezo signal can also be blended with the humbuckers for greater tonal versatility.
“The introduction of the Epiphone Alex Lifeson Axcess model based on my Gibson Les Paul Axcess model has all the same attributes and characteristics that I desired so much when we originally designed it,” Lifeson said in a statement.
“The look, the sound, the playability and the utility – it’s all there for the player at any level. I’m very proud of this guitar.”
To celebrate the occasion of the guitar's release, Lifeson also released two new instrumental tracks – "Kabul Blues" and "Spy House." You can hear them in a new commemorative video, Alex Lifeson and Gibson – A 50 Year Ride, below.
The Epiphone Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess is available now – in a Viceroy Brown finish – for $899.
For more info on the guitar, stop by epiphone.com.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.