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Monday, November 26, 2012

Jeppson Guitars LSJ-5 Custom Bass, ... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $2,800.00  USD with case + shipping 

Jeppson Guitars is a Manufacturer of handcrafted, custom boutique, American-built electric guitars and electric bass guitars by master luthier Bryan Jeppson, in East Brunswick NJ.

This LSJ-5 Custom Model has a 34" scale, five-piece Walnut and Purpleheart neck with a dual action truss rod and steel rod reinforcement. It's dressed in an ebony fingerboard separated by evo alloy fretwire at a 12" radius with Donkey abalone Egyptian inlays ending in a bookmatched 3/4" figured walnut top over cherry back topped with a bone nut .

Gold hardware and machine heads with (2) walnut and (2) gold knobs. 

Jeppson Handwound Alnico 5 pickups with a customized Audere preamp featuring (1) Volume (1) Tone (1) Mid/Balance stack (1) Treble/Bass stack and LED Battery Meter.


Amp used:
SansAmp Bass Driver DI into the board 

Cables used:

This Bass features an Audere  Z-Mode  -  Preamp with Impedance Control:

Selector position 1 (Low Z Mode):
Huge bottom end - deep and driving with unusually low noise and distortion levels.

Selector position 2 (Middle Z Mode):  
A traditional active "J bass" sound offering solid bass line support. Great for all styles of play.

Selector position 3 (High Z Mode):
Bright, lively and aggressive -- Great for slap or pick play with crystal clear note clarity. 

Donkey abalone Egyptian inlays

Action, Fit & Finish: 
The finish is a beautiful natural wood grain with a deep, almost wet shine; the action was low without any fret buzz and the intonation was dead on. Bryan Jeppson takes pride not only in the sound and playability of his guitars but also in their finish and inlays. 

Reliability & Durability: 
The guitar seems to be well made. It is solid through and through. There was no hum or crackles from the electronics, all knobs and hardware were installed snug and proper.  

This is an amazing guitar. One of the many reasons Jeppson guitars are one of my all time favorites is the attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into each guitar. Besides her functionality as an instrument -- she is just beautiful. From her almost wet-like shine and deep rich wood tone, to her smooth sexy ebony fingerboard with her Donkey abalone inlay bling. Each guitar that comes out of the Jeppson workshop is a beauty. 

With that said, she plays as well if not better then she looks. Her evenly filed evo alloy fretwire takes the harshness out of her tone making round wounds sound smooth as silk. I was able to fly up and down her neck  reaching every note without any hesitation. The controls are well placed -- giving my fingers access to what seemed like endless tone possibilities while playing. 

I could go from a very bright and poppy to a mid heavy to a house rumbling fat bottom-end with just a flip of a switch -- and then fine tune each setting with the added mid/balance and treble/bass stack knobs. This is an excellent example of a true American handcrafted bass guitar. 

What I would change: 
I would use a Tusq nut as opposed to bone, but that is just my preference. 

My advice:
Play one, its like nothing else out there. Jeppson guitars are in a league of their own. If you are a gigging/studio bassist that uses a "J bass" and are looking for a little more versatility out of your workhorse -- buy this bass. 

A four string model of this bass is available in an air-dried cherry body with rock maple neck starting at $1,200 USD + shipping  

Jeppson Guitars
EastBrunswick, NJ

Posted 11/2012