1966 Epiphone Granada E444T

Epiphone thin electric acoustic guitar

1966 Epiphone Granada E444T

Epiphone produced the Granada at the main (Parsons Street) Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as were most 1960s Epiphone and Gibson guitars, between 1962 and 1969. The Epiphone Granada E444T changed very little over the seven years of it's production. This 1966 instrument is fairly typical, with a sugested retail price, (October '66) of $195. One of 422 non-cutaway Granada (E444T) guitars shipped in that year (see Epiphone Granada production figures.

Production costs were kept low by using the least expensive pickups, and mounting all controls onto the scratchplate; thus allowing assembling independent of the guitar itself. This cost-cutting method was used extensively in the 1970s, but is only seen on a few models prior to that. The body and neck are of typical 1960s Gibson/Epiphone build quality.

1966 Epiphone Granada front view showing scratchplate and controls
1966 Epiphone Granada reverse view

Epiphone and Gibson thinlines typically had the same construction: a maple top, back and sides, with mahogany neck. Like the Gibson equivalent model, the ES-120T, the Granada was shipped in a burst finish - the Epiphone 'Shaded' finish - though the neck, back and sides are a dark translucent Walnut brown, with single ply cream binding picking out the front and back edges.

1966 Epiphone Granada Melody Maker single coil pickup
The pickup is a pickguard-mounted Melody Maker-style single-coil (part PU-380), as used on thousands of Gibson and Epiphone solid body guitars
1966 Epiphone Granada Trapeze (bail-type) tailpiece
Trapeze (bail-type) tailpiece (part TP-1020N), and floating rosewood bridge, with rosewood saddle (part BR-35)
Scratchplate-mounted bell control-knobs and input jack
20 fret rosewood fretboard, with dot position markers. The neck joined the body at the 14th fret

Like the pickup, the bell control-knobs and input jack were scratchplate-mounted, rather than into the body itself; quite the exception for a 1960s Kalamazoo-built instrument, but a feature that was increasingly common into the 1970s. The scratchplate on this (and the ES-120T) was not flat, as was typically the case on other similar guitars, rather graduated with curved edges allowing the control assembly to be mounted onto the guard without requiring routing of the guitar top. It was around 5mm deep at it's thinnest point near the neck, and around 22mm deep at the edge near the input jack. Of course, this was still not deep enough to accomodate the full length of the jack; there was a circular hole cut in the guitars top for this. Whilst the design of the scratchplate was identical for the ES-120T, it was typically black in colour.

The neck was relatively short, with just 20 frets, but a nice rosewood fretboard, with dot position markers. The neck joined the body at the 14th fret, but with no cutaway any more frets would certainly be difficult to access.

Epiphone guitars prior to 1964 had the same headstock style as the pre-Gibson Epiphone models; a design not that different from Gibson's own headstock. Around 1964, though, the design changed to this curvier headstock with wider top. Note the 'E' truss rod cover
Epiphone one-piece mahogany neck. As with all 1960s Epiphones, the serial number is a six digit number stamped onto the reverse of the headstock. Epiphone guitars used the same numbering system as Gibson.
Like entry-intermediate level Gibson models, the logo was silk-screened, and not inlaid in pearl, as was the case in some higher end guitars of the period.
Tuning keys were Kluson brand 3 on a plate enclosed tuning keys (part MH-301V)

Images courtesy of justgreatguitars.com

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