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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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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

1965 Epiphone Olympic 2 Pickups Original Case INVERNESS GREEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Current price: $3295.00
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Time left: 29d 18h 5m
Epiphone FT-120 natural 1970's

Current price: $88.00
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Time left: 5h 37m
Epiphone Sorrento Model 1962 Limited Edition With Case 311671245

Current price: $579.87
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Time left: 17d 20h 16m
Epiphone EA-250 Riviera Electric Guitar Made in Japan MIJ Semi-Hollowbody 1970's

Current price: $395.00
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Time left: 5d 20h 42m
Epiphone SG G-400 1966 Limited Edition Custom Shop Cherry Red Guitar & Hard Case

Current price: $374.99
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Time left: 11d 15m
Epiphone 1966 G-400 SG PRO Reissue Electric Guitar Ebony S#2408

Current price: $299.99
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Time left: 5d 20h 46m
Epiphone 1966 reissue Wilshire with Tremotone vibrola

Current price: $399.00
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Time left: 21d 19h 53m
Epiphone 1968 FT 90 El Dorado Guitar Built by Gibson USA

Current price: $1895.00
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Time left: 2d 21h 45m
Epiphone 50th Anniversary 1961 Limited Edition SG Special

Current price: $300.00
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Time left: 13d 19h 40m
Free Shipping Used Epiphone 1966 CASINO Electric Guitar

Current price: $5701.00
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Time left: 24d 11h 26m
Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus Les Paul Outfit

Current price: $549.99
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Time left: 23d 19h 49m
Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus (Faded Cherryburst) W/Gibson Gigbag!

Current price: $142.50
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Time left: 23h 35m
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UK ebay listings

Epiphone Texan FT - 145 Vintage 1972

Current price: £395.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 22h 26m
Epiphone 1968 FT 90 El Dorado Guitar Built by Gibson USA

Current price: £1293.60
buy it now
Time left: 2d 21h 45m
USED Epiphone Les Paul 1960's Tribute Plus Electric Guitar

Current price: £293.53
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Time left: 29d 20h 7m
epiphone ET270 vintage electric guitar 1970s kurt cobain

Current price: £300.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 15h 59m
Epiphone EA-250 Riviera Electric Guitar Made in Japan MIJ Semi-Hollowbody 1970's

Current price: £269.64
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Time left: 5d 20h 42m
epiphone 1963 EJ-45 acoustic guitar WINE RED and NEW GIGBAG. 2014 EJ45

Current price: £125.00
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Time left: 28d 19h 42m
Epiphone 50th Anniversary 1962 Sheraton With Hard case And Cert

Current price: £350.00

Time left: 5d 15h 55m
Epiphone Wilshire 1965 Cherry

Current price: £1800.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 11h 41m
Epiphone Inspired by 1964 Texan Acoustic/Electric Left Handed

Current price: £292.85
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Time left: 4d 23h 43m
1964 Epiphone Seville Ec100e Nylon String Classical Guitar Gibson C1

Current price: £450.00
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Time left: 27d 20h 33m
GIBSON EPIPHONE LES PAUL STANDARD KOSSOFF 1959 VIBE AMBER BURST AGED AWESOME

Current price: £420.00
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Time left: 27d 15h 51m
1963 EPIPHONE OLYMPIC SUNBURST CORONET CONVERSION USA MADE 3 A SIDE HEADSTOCK

Current price: £1095.00
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Time left: 4d 11h 5m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

1969 EPIPHONE SORRENTO - made in USA by GIBSON

Current price: €1996.00
buy it now
Time left: 23d 13h 10m
1966 Epiphone Olympic Single No2 - Cherry

Current price: €1970.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 11h 9m
Epiphone Olympic 1961 + original case

Current price: €1850.00
buy it now
Time left: 11d 17h 33m
EPIPHONE 1964 Texan Limited Edition VCB

Current price: €459.00
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Time left: 3d 20h 8m
EPIPHONE Inspired by 1964 Texan NT

Current price: €459.00
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Time left: 4d 12h 9m
Epiphone Inspired by 1964 Texan - Antique Natural

Current price: €459.00
buy it now
Time left: 24d 17h 46m
See more results on eBay here

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