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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
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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

Epiphone ET-270 1970s Vintage Electric Guitar.


Time left: 7d 22h 20m
Epiphone 1961 Sunburst Dual Pickup Olympic Body & Neck

buy it now
Time left: 9d 10m
Gibson Epiphone Explorer 2008 1968 Reissue - Ebony with Case

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Time left: 5d 7h 7m
Epiphone 50th Anniversary "1962" Crestwood Custom Reissue Guitar

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Time left: 21d 7h 5m
*2013*EPIPHONE*LES PAUL "TRIBUTE" PLUS*1960*EPI HARD CASE*MIDNIGHT EBONY*MINTY*

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Time left: 2d 9h 31m
Epiphone 1966 G-400 Pro SG Ltd Ed Electric Guitar - Cherry

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Time left: 4d 6h 28m
Epiphone 1968 Cherry Dual Pickup Olympic Body & Neck

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Time left: 18d 8h 51m
Epiphone 1960's Tribute Plus

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Time left: 19d 22h 58m
Gibson Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus cherryburst w/FREE case and strap!

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Time left: 7d 6h 24m
EPIPHONE "1966" WORN WILSHIRE REISSUE ELECTRIC GUITAR WITH HARD CASE

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Time left: 17d 3h 20m
Vintage Epiphone Wilshire 1966 Maestro Vibrola Trem

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Time left: 2d 23h 58m
Epiphone Casino E230TD 1963 Vintage Hollowbody Guitar Gibson Made USA 1965 1960s

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Time left: 1d 3h 50m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Epiphone Texan FT - 145 Vintage 1972

buy it now
Time left: 5d 21h 59m
Epiphone 50th Anniversary "1962" Crestwood Custom Reissue Guitar

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Time left: 21d 7h 5m
Epiphone 1961 Sunburst Dual Pickup Olympic Body & Neck

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Time left: 9d 10m
1967 Epiphone FT-30 Gibson Kalamazoo Dennis Greaves Nine Below Zero

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Time left: 22d 23h 19m
1966 Epiphone Century Model E422T Sunburst SUPER CLEAN

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Time left: 16d 14m
Epiphone Flying V 1967 Reissue Electric Guitar Black with Gig Bag Hendrix Gibson

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Time left: 16d 15h 47m
2011 Epiphone 1966 G-400 Pro Heritage Cherry Limited Edition

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Time left: 14d 2h 59m
1975 Epiphone Acoustic Guitar Model FT-550 Excellente w/ Hard Case

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Time left: 16d 5h 26m
Epiphone 1960 Les Paul Tribute Plus Electric Guitar inc. Case *FREE POSTAGE*

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Time left: 16d 2h 25m
1973 Vintage Epiphone Crestwood ET-275 Japan Matsumoku

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Time left: 4d 1h 42m
Epiphone 1963 EJ45 Acoustic Guitar - Faded Cherry Sunburst

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Time left: 18d 14h 52m
Epiphone 1966 G-400 SG PRO Reissue Electric Guitar Ebony S#2408

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Time left: 8d 10m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

Epiphone Les Paul *1960 TRIBUTE PLUS*

buy it now
Time left: 27d 20h 20m
EPIPHONE Newport - Gibson EB-0 Brother from 1966 -Kalamazoo Plants real Vintage

buy it now
Time left: 15d 2h 18m
1969 EPIPHONE SORRENTO - made in USA by GIBSON

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Time left: 22d 18h 56m
Epiphone Inspired by 1964 Texan - Antique Natural

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Time left: 26d 21h 11m
Epiphone Inspired by 1964 Texan - Vintage Cherry

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Time left: 27d 20h 42m
☆ AMAZING ☆ 1967 Epiphone Casino ☆ Cherry ☆ 330 335 345 355 1961 1962 1963 1959

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Time left: 4d 23h 44m
See more results on eBay here

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