Epiphone J-15 EC Review & Prices

Epiphone J-15 EC Review
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  • From Epiphone's 2021 Modern series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Select Spruce top
  • Select Mahogany back
  • Select Mahogany sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: NanoFlex, low-impedance pickup (Preamp/Active)
  • Pau Ferro; Reverse-Belly bridge
  • Acoustic 1960's SlimTaper D-shape Set neck
  • 20 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Premium Die-Cast with Kidney Buttons: 14:1 ratio tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 80
Build quality 62
Value for money 83
Overall Score 73
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Epiphone J-15 EC
  • Expensive Wood
  • Electronics
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • Low-Quality Material Saddle
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $440, which means that the Epiphone J-15 EC is around 39% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Epiphone J-15 EC meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Epiphone J-15 EC
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Epiphone J-15 EC's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Epiphone J-15 EC's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Epiphone J-15 EC Scale Length Comparison
Epiphone J-15 EC's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Epiphone J-15 EC Neck Profile
Epiphone J-15 EC's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

However, Epiphone tends to be inconsistent with the shape and thickness of their necks. So two instruments, even if they're the same model, might have necks that feel different. It's been like this for a long time, and other brands don't have this problem.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Epiphone J-15 EC has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Epiphone J-15 EC Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Epiphone J-15 EC's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Epiphone J-15 EC has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.677'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
23.622'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
23.622'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Epiphone J-15 EC Nut Width
Epiphone J-15 EC Nut Width

The Epiphone J-15 EC has a nut width of 42.6mm (1.677''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Epiphone J-15 EC Fret Size Comparison
Epiphone J-15 EC's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Epiphone J-15 EC's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Back, Sides, Neck
Pau Ferro wood pattern used for guitar building
Pau Ferro Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Mahogany Back, Sides and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Pau Ferro Fretboard: It's a beautiful wood used mainly for fretboards. It has a high density and looks very similar to Rosewood with its straight grains and dark brown color. According to Fender, it has a warm tone with a fast attack.

Pickups

This guitar comes with preamp pickups that will allow you to connect it directly to an amplifier and record with it, or use it live.

Sound Score

Sustain 70
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 80

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Epiphone J-15 EC is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Bridge

Pau Ferro; Reverse-Belly: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Tuners

The tuners have a ratio of 14:1. This means you need 14 turns of the tuner knob to make the tuner post go around 1 complete revolution. The more turns it takes, the finer and more precise your tuning is going to be. An 18:1 ratio is what most instruments have nowadays. Some high-end ones come with a ratio of 21:1.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Epiphone J-15 EC has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 56
Features 75
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 62

All Specs

Epiphone J-15 EC
General
Brand: Epiphone
Year: 2021
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Modern
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Select Spruce
Bridge: Pau Ferro; Reverse-Belly
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Premium Die-Cast with Kidney Buttons: 14:1 ratio
Fretboard: Pau Ferro
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Acoustic 1960's SlimTaper D-shape
Frets: 20 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 42.6mm (1.677'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: NanoFlex, low-impedance pickup (Preamp / Active)

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