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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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Help to identify vintage Epiphone
2 replies
last message by mdch
29/10/2013 16:20

1960 epiphone zephyr e312t
1 replies
last message by VintAxe
17/08/2012 19:05



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

EPIPHONE Inspired by 1964 Texan Acoustic Electric Guitar Vintage Cherry Gig Bag

Current price: $299.99
buy it now
Time left: 2d 20h 17m
1976 Epiphone FT145 SB "Texan" Acoustic Guitar MIJ One Owner!

Current price: $165.00
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Time left: 16h 57m
Epiphone EA-250 / 5102T 1971 Vintage MIJ NO RESERVE!!!

Current price: $275.00
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Time left: 1d 21h 5m
VINTAGE 1976-1979 EPIPHONE GIBSON - FT-140 ACOUSTIC GUITAR - & ALSO SOME EXTRAS

Current price: $149.99
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Time left: 19h 27m
Vintage 1960's Epiphone Crestwood or Wilshire Guitar Pickguard! Original Part!

Current price: $99.99
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Time left: 29d 14h 52m
1967 EPIPHONE E230TDC CASINO HOLLOW BODY ELECTRIC GUITAR

Current price: $3200.00
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Time left: 1d 10h 56m
Epiphone 1962 50th Anniversary Crestwood Custom Reissue Cherry W/ Hardshell Case

Current price: $499.00
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Time left: 4d 10h 1m
Epiphone Model 1963 Firebird VII Lefty / Left Handed / Very Rare

Current price: $615.00

Time left: 2d 1h 5m
Vintage 1965 Epiphone USA Olympic Double Pickup Electric Guitar! RARE Sunburst!

Current price: $1299.00
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Time left: 9d 18h 39m
Epiphone Limited 1966 Reissue G-400 Pro SG TV SILVER Gibson Gig bag, EGG6TSNH3

Current price: $107.50
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Time left: 2d 16h 5m
1970 Epiphone 5102TE PICKUP and RING EA 250 Univox Coily Aria Diamond JAPAN MIJ

Current price: $39.99
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Time left: 29d 12h 47m
Epiphone 50th Anniversary "1962" Sorrento Hollowbody Guitar

Current price: $499.00
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Time left: 8d 16h 44m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

1960s Epiphone / Gibson interior label - Casino / Riviera etc.

Current price: £9.99
buy it now
Time left: 28d 20h 7m
Epiphone Caballero USA Made 1965 PROJECT Body Badly Damaged NO RESERVE!!

Current price: £56.00
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Time left: 3d 8h 13m
Epiphone J45 1963 Ltd edition acoustic second hand

Current price: £219.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 11h
1964 EPIPHONE WILSHIRE CORONET SOLID BODY ELECTRIC GUITAR! OHSC!

Current price: £802.73
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Time left: 4d 16h 8m
1970 Epiphone 5102TE PICKUP and RING EA 250 Univox Coily Aria Diamond JAPAN MIJ

Current price: £24.79
buy it now
Time left: 29d 12h 47m
Vintage Epiphone 6830e 1971 Kalamazoo Blue Label Acoustic Guitar Gibson

Current price: £450.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 7h 15m
Vintage 1970 Epiphone 5102TE Guitar BODY Matsumoku MIJ Blue Label NICE! EA 250

Current price: £43.38
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Time left: 29d 12h 45m
1970s Epiphone ET-270 Guitar, Powerful Pickups, Ex. Condition, Video Demo!

Current price: £278.32
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Time left: 3d 11h 18m
1970s Epiphone Hollow body electric guitar

Current price: £650.00
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Time left: 4d 9h 14m
Epiphone by Gibson 1971 strat

Current price: £80.00
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Time left: 6d 8h 18m
Superb Vintage 1968 Epiphone Casino

Current price: £2650.00
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Time left: 25d 6h 28m
Epiphone 50th Anniversary 1962 Sorrento Electric Guitar - Hardcase - Warranty -

Current price: £395.00
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Time left: 5d 5h 10m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

1967er Epiphone Riviera Ausgabe 1996

Current price: €500.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 4h 45m
Epiphone 1966 G-400 SG Pro Pe - Top Zustand

Current price: €295.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 10h 27m
Elektrische Gitarre E-Gitarre EPIPHONE 50. Jahrestag 1962 Sorrento Hartschale

Current price: €503.82
buy it now
Time left: 6d 13h 26m
Elektr. Gitarre EPIPHONE Elitist 1963 ES-335 DOT/CH , gebraucht

Current price: €1390.00
buy it now
Time left: 19d 6h 20m
Epiphone, FT-165, 12-Saiten, Westerngitarre, 1970, USA, Kalamazoo, wie neu

Current price: €500.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 15h 41m
EPIPHONE® CASINO BLACK WHITE BLACK 3 PLY PICKGUARD SEMIAKUSTIK JAZZ 1961-1970 ++

Current price: €23.95
buy it now
Time left: 19d 21h 7m
See more results on eBay here

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