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Vintage Epiphone Guitars

Electric guitars and basses manufactured by the Epiphone Guitar Company

The Epiphone plant at 210 Bush Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan
The Gibson Kalamazoo guitar factory. Gibson occupied a whole block; their main address was Parsons Street (top), Epiphone instruments were built side by side, but the company was officially situated on Bush Street; just the other side of the block (below).
Epiphone guitar catalogues

Have a look at some vintage Epiphone guitar catalogues


Vintage Epiphone

The Epiphone company of New York, USA, was created by the Stathopoulos family, making various musical instruments with the first electric guitar in 1935. In many ways, it was just like rivals Guild and Gibson; a very highly respected guitar manufacturer, producing superb jazz boxes for the top end of the US market. Guitars like the Emperor and Broadway established a fine reputation, which still stands with vintage guitar collectors today. But tragedy occured, with the death of Epaminondas Stathopoulos; the driving force behind Epiphone at the time.

The Epiphone content on this site is sorted into categories:

Epiphone bass guitars
Epiphone guitar catalogues
Epiphone electric acoustic guitars
Epiphone solid-body guitars
Epiphone thinline guitars


Latest posts on Epiphone basses at the VintageGuitar forum
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Epiphone 50th Anniversary 1962 Rivoli Bass Guitar
0 replies
last message by Goingdownslow

1967 Epiphone Rivoli- with two pickups
2 replies
last message by Bigfatgeordie



Latest posts on Epiphone guitars at the VintageGuitar forum
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Epiphone Emperor no. 54596 valuation
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last message by ceeagee

1967 Epiphone Sorrento Cherry E452tdc
5 replies
last message by rustystrings



Chicago Musical Instruments; the CMI-period

But perhaps the best known guitars built by Epiphone were those manufactured at the Gibson Kalamazoo plant - the CMI period. CMI bought out a struggling Epiphone in 1957, buying tooling, parts, and even unfinished instruments. Production of hollow-bodied jazz guitars and acoustic (upright) basses began immediately. But before long Epiphone was producing new lines, unrelated to the output of previous years. Thinline semi acoustics like the Epiphone Casino, Sorrento, Riviera and Sheraton were soon joined by solid bodies like the Epiphone Wilshire, Crestwood and Coronet; all distributed to dealers that wanted Gibson-quality instruments, but did not qualify to be Gibson stockists themselves.

Gibson ran a whole block in Kalamazoo giving their address as Parsons Street, whilst Epiphone were officially situated on Bush Street; just the other side of the block. The instruments were made side by side, both using the same woods, construction methods, and many of the same components. Numerous Epiphone models had a direct Gibson equivalent that sold at more or less the same price; for example the Epiphone Casino and the Gibson ES330 - or the Epiphone Rivoli and the Gibson EB2 bass. Unlike today, the 1960s US-built Epiphone line was aimed at exactly the same market as the Gibson equivalent instruments.

Epiphone Granada 1967 Epiphone advert featuring a psychedelic fish playing an Epiphone Riviera

Epiphone guitars quickly found favour in the mid-1960s music scene; bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals and the Kinks all played Epiphones, along with many more. But as the decade ended, CMI gave way to Norlin, and Epiphone production went to Japan.

The Norlin period

Norlin period Epiphones were initially made in Japan; they were no longer rebranded Gibson guitars, but a new budget line aimed at younger guitarists. Although some of these guitars are interesting, they are not as widely regarded by musicans or collectors as the CMI-period instruments. Towards the very end of Norlins tenure, a few Epiphones were again built in Kalamazoo, but these are very much the exception.

Todays Epiphone guitars are typically reissues of the 1960s Gibson and Epiphone instruments made in Kalamazoo - but being made in China and Korea are naturally very much cheaper instruments.

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Vintage Epiphone guitars for sale


US ebay listings

VINTAGE 1965 EPIPHONE NEWPORT BASS NO BREAKS NO REPAIRS ALL ORIGINAL WITH CASE

Current price: $2000.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 9h 25m
Epiphone Limited Edition Elitist 1966 Custom Riviera Outfit Guitar USED #417

Current price: $1998.00
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Time left: 23d 5h 19m
Epiphone 1964 FT-30 Caballero Vintage w / chip board case

Current price: $1994.00
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Time left: 23d 19h 10m
Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino 2013 NEW FREESHIPPING from JAPAN

Current price: $1990.00
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Time left: 27d 2h 23m
VINTAGE USED Epiphone 1964 Olympic FREESHIPPING from JAPAN

Current price: $1987.00
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Time left: 20d 10h 29m
Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino From JAPAN free shipping #A955

Current price: $1891.00
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Time left: 29d 19h 59m
Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino Hollowbody Electric Guitar Sunburst w/ Case

Current price: $1859.95
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Time left: 21d 9h 52m
Free Shipping Used Epiphone Late 1970s Casino Natural Vintage Electric Guitar

Current price: $1844.90
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Time left: 12d 15h 56m
Epiphone Olympic Double 1966 USED FREESHIPPING from JAPAN

Current price: $1830.00
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Time left: 1d 15h 21m
USED Epiphone Elitist 1965 CASINO Made in Japan w/ Original Hardshell Case

Current price: $1820.00
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Time left: 6d 14h 35m
Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino 2014 USED FREESHIPPING from JAPAN

Current price: $1780.00
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Time left: 25d 3h 59m
2014 Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino Made in Japan Electric Guitar 6 Stringw/OHSC

Current price: $1770.00
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Time left: 8d 23h 18m
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UK ebay listings

Epiphone John Lennon Casino #1774 of 1965 Limited Edition - Very Good Condition

Current price: £1844.73
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Time left: 6d 3h 59m
1961 Epiphone Cortez Model FT-45 Acoustic Guitar RARE LOGO SUPER CLEAN

Current price: £1844.73
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Time left: 18d 23h 47m
Epiphone Sorrento USA hollowbody semi-acoustic 1963

Current price: £1795.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 46m
1969 EPIPHONE SORRENTO THINLINE SEMI -- made in USA

Current price: £1790.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 22h 9m
Epiphone Rivoli bass guitar 1964 - all original - plus hardcase.

Current price: £1750.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 2h 8m
VINTAGE 1965 EPIPHONE NEWPORT BASS NO BREAKS NO REPAIRS ALL ORIGINAL WITH CASE

Current price: £1478.74
buy it now
Time left: 29d 9h 25m
Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino Hollowbody Electric Guitar Sunburst w/ Case

Current price: £1375.19
buy it now
Time left: 21d 9h 52m
1967 (Gibson) Epiphone Bard 12 String Dreadnought

Current price: £1293.90
buy it now
Time left: 11d 6h 1m
Vintage 1965 Epiphone Olympic Guitar with Cherry Red Finish

Current price: £1219.96
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Time left: 7d 5h 32m
☆ RARE ☆ 1973 VINTAGE EPIPHONE CRESTWOOD ET-275 ☆ SUNBUSRT ☆ MATSUMOKU JAPAN ☆

Current price: £1195.00
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Time left: 23d 10h 15m
EPIPHONE OLYMPIC MELODY MAKER - 1964 - VINTAGE EPIPHONE

Current price: £1199.00
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Time left: 17d 21h 37m
Gibson Epiphone Elitist Casino 1965 In Natural Promo guitar

Current price: £1179.30
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Time left: 9d 2h 50m
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German ebay listings

1966 Epiphone Olympic Single No2 - Cherry

Current price: €1970.00
buy it now
Time left: 22d 18h 40m
EPIPHONE Newport - Gibson EB-0 Brother from 1966 -Kalamazoo Plants real Vintage

Current price: €1111.00
buy it now
Time left: 4h 5m
Epiphone Ltd Ed 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino TDV Tremotone neuwertig!

Current price: €800.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 4h 49m
Epiphone Les Paul *1960 TRIBUTE PLUS*

Current price: €499.00
buy it now
Time left: 12d 1h 45m
Epiphone Inspired by 1964 Texan - Vintage Cherry

Current price: €379.00
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Time left: 27d 36m
Epiphone Limited Edition Inspired by 1964 Texan Left Handed Antique Natural

Current price: €369.00
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Time left: 13d 18h 38m
See more results on eBay here

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