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).

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.

Epiphone Granada

Chicago Musical Instruments; the CMI-period

Epiphone guitar catalogues

Have a look at some vintage Epiphone guitar catalogues

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.

1967 Epiphone advert featuring a psychedelic fish playing an Epiphone Riviera

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 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 Epiphone guitars were produced at the Kalamazoo and Nashville plants: tentative issues of the Epiphone Doublecut / Spirit, but almost immediately this model was rebranded as the Gibson Spirit.

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

Latest Epiphone Updates

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 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 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 EA72 ConstellationPage updates for the Epiphone Constellation EA72 bass amplifier. Pictures, catalogue information, specifications and shipping figures.
1966 Epiphone E452T SorrentoPage updates for the Epiphone Sorrento 6-string thinline. New photographs of a 1966 Epiphone Sorrento thinline semi-acoustic guitar.
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Gibson Vintage Reissue Electric Guitar Strings

Gibson Vintage Reissue Strings

These Gibson strings are made to the original 1950s specifications - pure nickel with a great tone - the perfect choice for vintage Gibson (and other) guitars


Vintage Epiphone guitars for sale

Epiphone Zephyr Deluxe Regent "Cutaway" Original 1953 Electric Guitar w / case

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, 91105, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$6400

Welcome to my ebay store !Primarily searching for the "Unique & Rare" by dealing with some of the finest acquisitions and consignments of Prominent California Estates, Large Collections and Celebrity homes from Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills, Bell Air, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pasadena, San Marino, Newport Beach, La Jolla and most of the best locations of the fabulous West Coast offering here is a Epiphone Zephyr Deluxe Regent "Cutaway" Original 1953 Electric Guitar w / case size 5 x 20... more

Sheraton 1967 5-Ply Black Pickguard made for Epiphone Guitar Project 60 Deg NEW

APTOS, CALIFORNIA, 95003, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$49

Available is a USA handmade 1967 Epiphone Sheraton 5-Ply Black B / W / B / W / B Pickguard. This has a 60 degree beveled edge just like Gibson uses on their vintage 50's & 60's pickguards. I then hand finish and buff the edges on my polishing arbor for a finished look. This is not a CNC cut, made in China with unfinished edges pickguard. This will fit Sheraton's with 2-1 / 2" (63 mm) spacing between Humbucking pickup rings. I list measurements on my all pickguards as they can vary from year to ... more

Sheraton 1992 5-Ply Black Pickguard for Epiphone Guitar Vintage Project 60 Deg

APTOS, CALIFORNIA, 95003, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$49

Available is a new made for 1992 Epiphone Sheraton 5-ply black (B / W / B / W / B) Custom pickguard. This has a 60 degree beveled edge just like Gibson uses on their vintage 50's & 60's pickguards. I then hand finish and buff the edges on my polishing arbor. This is not CNC cut, made in China with unfinished edges. These are handmade in my USA shop one at a time with attention to detail. This will fit Sheraton's with 2-3 / 8" (60 mm) spacing between Humbucking pickup rings. I list measurements ... more

Sheraton 1997 5-Ply Black Pickguard made for Epiphone Guitar Project 60 Deg NEW

APTOS, CALIFORNIA, 95003, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$49

Available is a USA handmade NEW 1997 Epiphone Sheraton 5-Ply Black B / W / B / W / B replacement pickguard. This has a 60 degree beveled edge just like Gibson uses on their vintage 50's & 60's pickguards. We then hand finish and buff the edges on a polishing arbor for a finished look. This is not a CNC cut, made in China pickguard. This will only fit 1997 Sheraton's with 2-3 / 8" (60 mm) spacing between Humbucking pickup rings. I list measurements on our all pickguards as they vary from year to ... more

Vintage Original 1968 Epiphone Cortez Small Body Acoustic Guitar Sunburst

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10002, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1695

This vintage original 1968 Epiphone Cortez plays and sounds INCREDIBLE. These can be the greatest little guitars and this one is a fantastic example. What's even better is it has had a professional neck repair so it has a nice price. Tone is fantastic. Super warm and sweet. Neck is straight plays nice with a low action and is easy to get around on. Comes with a gig bag. Guitar is exactly as pictured. Buyer pays $75 shipping in the USA, $135 to Hawaii or Alaska, $300 International, $350 to ... more

1959 Epiphone Texan (EPA0266)

LOVELAND, OHIO, 45140, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$8595

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 1959 Epiphone Texan, Sunburst, Rare early version with short peg head, Pearl inlaid Script logo, Kluson tuners, Hang Tag, Excellent condition, One owner , Beautiful sounding, Original Brown hard case... more

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Gibson Vintage Reissue Electric Guitar Strings

Gibson Vintage Reissue Strings

These Gibson strings are made to the original 1950s specifications - pure nickel with a great tone - the perfect choice for vintage Gibson (and other) guitars

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