2005 Epiphone Japan Les Paul Custom LQ Black & new hard case
What a lovely guitar this is! Yes, it's an import but not by me. It came in as a part exchange & I was very happy to take it. Fujigen and Terada made the Orville brand up until 1996 & then they re-badged the guitars as Epiphone but essentially they were exactly the same. From 2005-2007 Fujigen made a special run of guitars that had a catalysed lacquer finish known as the LQ range. I have had a couple of Epiphone LPS LQ guitars but this is the first Les Paul Custom. What a beautiful guitar.
Here's a description of what Catalysed Lacquer is:
Catalysed lacquer: Hybrid reactive finishes that cure chemically, not solely through the evaporation of solvents
From what I read, it is a superior lacquer that has the qualities of a nitrocellulose finish but is more hard wearing & it doesn't yellow over time. You can identify an LQ series guitar from the script on the headstock which is gold instead of the usual white which you find on Elites. Speaking of headstocks, this doesn't have the usual Epiphone headstock at all but more of a Gibson "open book" shape. From 1988-1998 Distributor Yamano Gakki was building guitars for the Gibson company and branding them as Orville. In around 1996-1998 they changed the logo from Orville to Epiphone Elite. From 2005-2007 it changed again to Epiphone LQ. They later changed again to Epiphone Elitist but all the guitars are made at the same factories, are superb and highly sought after. This one was built at Fujigen.
The condition of the guitar I would describe as excellent for the year. Yes, there are a few scratches around the body but these are light & minimal. The frets show little signs of wear with no indents. As you can see from the photos, the guitar came in without its pickguard and the pickups covers had also been removed. I have put both of these items back & the guitar is completely original. The pickups covers still have the plastic film on from the factory. I'll let the new owner remove this as well as the film on the rear covers too.
The guitar plays really well. Straight neck, low action and good pickups which are Fujigen's own PAF model. These guitars were only ever made in small numbers and for just a couple of years making them quite rare & sought after.
2005 Epiphone Japan Les Paul Custom LQ Black Specifications
Non-weight relieved body
2-piece Mahogany body
Weight 4157 gm (9lb 2oz)
Rosewood fingerboard with large block inlays
Long tenon neck joint
Open-book headstock with split-diamond inlay
17 degree headstock angle
2-screw bell truss rod cover
Scale Length 24.75"
Width at 1st fret 42 mm
Width at 12th fret 52 mm
Black 3 ply pickguard
2 Vol. 2 Tone controls
3-way selector switch
5-ply elevated pickguard
Black speed knobs
Grover diecast tuners
New Thomann/Gator fitted hard case