REVIEWS

Epiphone 150th Anniversary Zephyr DeLuxe Regent | Review

Published 2 weeks ago on April 3, 2024

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Epiphone 150th Anniversary Zephyr DeLuxe Regent

MSRP: (UK) £1299 / (US) $1299

Nick Jennison reviews Epiphone's 150th anniversary Zephyr DeLuxe Regent. Originally produced from 1948 until 1957, the Zephyr DeLuxe Regent was one of the world's preeminent archtop guitar designs when Epiphone was Gibson's biggest competitor. Perfect for jazz, blues, and rockabilly, it features a deep cutaway for improved upper-fret access, a multi-layer pressed maple arched top, and a 25.5" scale 5-piece maple and mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard. 

Long before they were the affordable subsidiary of Gibson guitars, Epiphone was one of the preeminent forces in the world of hollow body guitars. Their "Masterbuilt" guitars were a direct threat to the dominance of the Gibson L-5, and their Emperor, DeLuxe, Broadway and Triumph models cemented their reputation as some of the best guitars money could buy. 

Harkening back to this golden era of jazzbox guitars, the Zephyr DeLuxe Regent is an ornate art-deco beauty with the timeless elegance of the New York "Jazz Age". It's a large-bodied, fully hollow arch-top model with a layered maple top back and sides. The aged gloss finish and 3-ply double binding all contribute to the sophisticated aesthetic, as does the 50s-style logo, tree of life inlay, and gently aged mid-century style plastic parts. 

The Zephyr DeLuxe Regent certainly looks the part then, but it's not just a show pony. With a floating ebony bridge and a pair of Epiphone NY Mini Humbuckers, this is a very legit jazz guitar that can also hang in rockabilly, blues and even classic rock settings. Drawing both visual inspiration from the non-adjustable versions of the Spectrum pickups (better known as the "New Yorker pickup") found on the Zephyr models from the early 1950s, these pickups are fully humbucking designs in contrast to the sidewinder single coils of the originals. 

The original New Yorkers were very much a mixed bag, so it's hard to really ascribe a "sound" to them, but the NY Mini Humbuckers found on the 150th Anniversary model have a beautiful silky voice with a soft transient response and plenty of string-to-string definition. These pickups are perhaps not the best choice for higher gain settings, where the softness that's so pleasing for jazz tones can manifest as mushy-ness, but for the bridge pickup does have plenty of bite for rockabilly, old-school country and biting blues.

Playability is exactly what you'd expect from a great jazz box. The neck is slim and comfortable for fast lines and complex chords, and the combination of low frets, very heavy strings and super low action all add up to a pretty effortless playing experience - provided you don't want to bend strings, that is! To be fair, that sort of action will get you the side-eye at your jazz gig anyway, so perhaps it's for the best…

A celebration of a century and a half of guitar-building heritage, the 150th Anniversary Zephyr DeLuxe Regent is a jazz thoroughbred with a storied history and all of the benefits of modern production methods. It's a guitar that sounds and plays as good as it looks, and comes in at a fraction of the price of a similarly appointed archtop from the USA. 

For more information, please visit:

epiphone.com


YOU MAY LIKE

ADVERTISEMENT

LATEST

Joe Bonamassa Rocks The Royal Albert Hall, London — April 4, 2024 | Live Review

Martin CPCE Inception Maple | Review

FGN Guitars JOS2TDM | Review

ToneWoodAmp | Attachable Acoustic Guitar Multi-FX | Review

Fishman Loudbox Micro | Review

Vintage Revo Series Surfmaster Thinline Twin | Review

Shergold Telstar Standard ST14 | Review

Epiphone 150th Anniversary Zephyr DeLuxe Regent | Review

Ibanez RG A622XH Prestige | Review

Fender Tonemaster FR -10 | Review

Tech 21 SansAmp Character Plus English Muffy | Review

Ernie Ball Music Man BFR Nitro Cutlass Classic '58 | Review

Tech 21 YYZ Geddy Lee Shape Shifter| REVIEW

EVENTIDE TRICERACHORUS | REVIEW

LANEY/BLACK COUNTRY CUSTOMS THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE DELAY | REVIEW

IBANEZ RGT1221PB | REVIEW

BOSS POCKET GT | REVIEW

ROLAND MIXER PRO-X | REVIEW

GAMECHANGER LITE PEDAL | REVIEW

VICTORY V1 THE SHERIFF OVERDRIVE | REVIEW

FOXGEAR RAINBOW REVERB | REVIEW

BLUGUITAR AMPX | REVIEW

MARTIN X SERIES GPC- X2E MACASSAR | REVIEW

NEURAL DSP QUAD CORTEX | REVIEW

CORT CORE-PE MAHOGANY | REVIEW

Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram