Epiphone Zenith Acoustic Electric Reviews 5

The Zenith is a new (in 2010) model from Epiphone. 34' scale, slim acoustic electric with a chambered body to reduce feedback F holes and two pickups -- a magnetic at the end of the fingerboard and a 'NanoWeb' under the bridge. Master Vol; Balance; concentric bass and treble for each pickup. Available in trans black or natural (mine) top, black sides, back and hardware. A 'belly scarf' on the top back, no contouring on the top. Deep cutaway provide access to all 21 frets. Non-adjustable saddle bridge. 5-piece, satin finish neck is a combination of Hard Maple and Walnut, attached to the body with 5 bolts. Rosewood fingerboard.

Purchased from Musiciansfriend with hardshell case ($849 bass, $90 case)

http://www.musiciansfriend.com

This bass is everything you could want in an acoustic-electric. Lightweight and beautifully crafted, it offers a wide variety of tones through use of two pickups -- a NanoMag at the fingerboard base and a NanoWeb under the bridge. The NanoWeb offers sizzle and the NanoMag offers deep, woody tones. Together they make for a very deep bass but with clarity in the upper range that isn't abrasive. Balance is good - no neck dive; tuning gears are tight. The balance and concentric tine controls allow a wide range of useful tone. Very punchy while retaining depth.

At least initially, the bass seems to lack punch on the E string. This may be solved by EQ, but I haven't had it long enough to be sure. Also, if you play fingerstyle, the top edge is a bit sharp where your forearm crosses the body. But not enough to be uncomfortable or affect playing. Rubberized concentric tone controls are a bit sticky -- not the pot, but the knob, making them tend to want to turn together. This may go away after a break-in period.

Fit and finish is superb. No high or sharp frets, and the grain on the natural top os sweet. Tortoise binding on the body and in the F holes are a very attractive touch. Neck is smooth and fast but not chunky. reminds me of my Gibson Ripper.

This bass is everything you could want in an acoustic-eletric. Lightweight and beautifully crafted, it offers a wide variety of tones through use of two pickups -- a NanoMag at the fingerboard base and a NanoWeb under the bridge. Together they make for a very deep bass but with clarity in the upper range that isn't abrasive. Balance is good - no neck dive; tuning gears are tight. The balance knob and concentric tone controls allow a wide range of useful tone. Very punchy while retaining depth. Fingerstyle players may bemoan the lack of anchor points for a thumb -- you have the end of the fingerboard or the bridge -- nothing in between. But that doesn't bother me. Initially the E string seems to lack depth, but that may be solved with EQ.

Laklander rated this unit 5 on 2010-05-22.

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