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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
27/09/2013 10:00

1967 Epiphone Rivoli- with two pickups
2 replies
last message by Bigfatgeordie
23/08/2013 15:09

Latest posts on Epiphone guitars at the VintageGuitar forum
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1967 Epiphone Sorrento Cherry E452tdc
5 replies
last message by rustystrings
07/04/2015 11:21

Epiphone Olyimpic...(I think)....1963
1 replies
last message by jules
03/03/2015 05:40

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.


Latest site updates - Epiphone

Other updates here

Gibson EB2 and Epiphone Rivoli circuit information
Gibson EB2 bass guitar wiring illustrationSchematic and simplified wiring illustration for the 1960s single pickup Gibson EB2 and Epiphone Rivoli bass guitars. The original EB2 and Rivoli basses were very similar indeed, both being made side by side in Gibson's Kalamazoo plant in Michigan, USA. Differences were purely cosmetic, and electronically they were identical: a Gibson EB humbucker, one volume control, one tone control, and a baritone push button switch.
1966 Epiphone Granada E444T
1966 Epiphone Granada E444T A closer look at a 1966 Epiphone Granada. The non-cutaway Granada was the Epiphone version of the Gibson E120T thinline hollowbody. Both were built side by side in Gibson's Kalamazoo plant, and were the least expensive hollowbodies in their respective ranges. Sales of the Epiphone version were never huge (see Epiphone Granada shipping figures, at least compared to the Gibson, even when an otherwise identical cutaway model, the E444TC, was added. No Gibson cutaway version was released.
1962 Epiphone Newport Deluxe EBD bass
1962 Epiphone Newport Deluxe bassDescription and photographs of a 1962 Epiphone Newport Deluxe electric bass guitar. The Newport series comprised four models, the Deluxe being the top-of-the-range two-pickup model. In reality, this bass is a Gibson EB3 with no varitone control; both are short scale, all mahogany, set-necked basses, and use the same pickups and hardware. Manufactured 1961-1963
Epiphone Constellation EA72 bass amplifier
Epiphone EA72 ConstellationPage updates for the Epiphone Constellation EA72 bass amplifier. Pictures, catalogue information, specifications and shipping figures.
Epiphone Sorrento E452T - page update
1966 Epiphone E452T SorrentoPage updates for the Epiphone Sorrento 6-string thinline. New photographs of a 1966 Epiphone Sorrento thinline semi-acoustic guitar.

Vintage Epiphone guitars for sale

US ebay listings

Epiphone SG 1966 Reissue G400 Wine Red Professionally Repaired See Pics

Current price: $43.00
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Time left: 5d 13h
Epiphone FT570SB Vintage Acoustic Guitar from 1974/75

Current price: $300.00
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Time left: 3d 14h 48m

Current price: $103.50
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Time left: 2d 12h 8m
Epiphone ET-290 Vintage Electric Guitar with original case 1970s

Current price: $299.99
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Time left: 5d 9h 29m
1974 Epiphone Kalamazoo El Dorado FT-350BL Blue Label Acoustic Guitar Project

Current price: $69.00
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Time left: 3d 23h 47m
Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino Hollow Body Electric Guitar w/ Hard Case new

Current price: $1275.00
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Time left: 2d 3h 54m
1965 Gibson Epiphone ft-30 caballero lgo Kalamazoo vintage old mahogany

Current price: $468.00
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Time left: 2d 14h 3m
Epiphone Limited Edition 1966 G-400 Electric Guitar

Current price: $450.00
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Time left: 2h 39m
Vintage 1966 Epiphone Casino Single E23OT P-90 Pickup Natural Finish Bigsby Case

Current price: $1600.00
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Time left: 4d 8h 11m
Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus Cherry Burst

Current price: $500.00
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Time left: 5d 22h 30m
Epiphone Inspired by 1964 Texan Acoustic/Electric Guitar

Current price: $125.00
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Time left: 5d 4h 10m
1970s Epiphone ET-270 Electric Guitar Kurt Cobain Rare

Current price: $750.00
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Time left: 6d 3h 43m
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UK ebay listings

1966 Epiphone Cortez vintage small-body acoustic guitar (Gibson LG2 style)

Current price: £1399.99
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Time left: 7d 3h 51m
Vintage 1960's EPIPHONE FT-45 CORTEZ Acoustic Guitar - MADE IN USA

Current price: £1250.00
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Time left: 23h 17m
Epiphone Crestwood 1970s Japanese

Current price: £400.00
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Time left: 1h 25m
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German ebay listings

1965 Epiphone Wilshire - Silver Fox - RARE/ ALL ORIG !!

Current price: €5140.00
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Time left: 29d 18h 16m
Epiphone Limited Edition 50th Anniversary '1961' SG Special Outfit

Current price: €199.00

Time left: 4d 21h 20m
1966 Epiphone Casino - Sunburst - Rare Tremotone Epi Tremolo / Beatles Guitar

Current price: €5460.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 4h 46m
Epiphone Gibson SG Vintage 1960/70er Style Maestro Lyre Vibrola

Current price: €800.00
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Time left: 25d 3h 10m
1965 Epiphone Olympic Single - Cherry

Current price: €2095.00
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Time left: 24d 22h 51m
1966 Epiphone Olympic Single No2 - Cherry

Current price: €1970.00
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Time left: 24d 22h 51m
See more results on eBay here

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