Meet the descendant of the original “Blues box” from the ’30s and ’40s, the Epiphone EL-00 Pro. This parlor guitar features the same short scale and compact body design of the original, while utilizing modern building methods that include built-in Fishman electronics.
The original L-00 was among the many parlor style guitars that were competing in what is now considered as the golden era of acoustic guitars. Although it was discontinued in 1945, the Gibson L series grew in popularity over time and one of them was even used by Legendary blues man Robert Johnson, whose guitar playing and style influenced so many of today’s guitar virtuosos.
The current production EL-00 Pro follows the same “economy” market target as the original, providing today’s players with an easily accessible and affordable reproduction of what blues players of old used, which helped mold music as we know it today. Although some may consider the L-00 (with its 15.5″ wide lower bout) to be too big for a parlor guitar, that did not stop Epiphone from labeling it as such, especially since it does follow the original Gibson parlor guitar line.
For something affordable, Epiphone was able to equip the EL-00 Pro with solid sitka spruce tops that are supported by mahogany back and sides, much like its vintage Gibson ancestors. The body is shaped into the same L-00 shape and wrapped in vintage sunburst finish that complements its old school shape.
The neck is crafted from mahogany and is joined to the body via a titebond dovetail neck joint. It is carved into a c-shape profile and topped by a rosewood fretboard with mother-of-pearl dot inlays. It has a 24.75″ scale length, 12″ fretboard radius and nut width of 1.68″.
The EL-00 Pro is a true acoustic-electric guitar, equipped with Fishman Sonitone soundhole preamp and Fishman Sonicore pickup. The Sonitone is used by many guitar manufacturers on many entry level and mid-priced guitars, featuring easy-to-access mounted rotary controls for the master volume and tone. It is powered by a single 9-volt battery that is discretely positioned so it does not hamper your playing or the guitar’s vintage looks.
Other features include rosewood bridge, and 14:1 ratio Grover tuners with small vintage style metal buttons. Wrapping up the features of this parlor guitar is a special pickguard with historic metal “E” logo, which also serves as protection for the top from pick marks.
The Epiphone EL-00 Pro is currently retailing for $299, quite affordable for its specs and premium looks.