1966 Epiphone Sorrento E452T

Thinline semi acoustic

Epiphone Sorrento main page | 1963 Sorrento E452T | 1966 Sorrento 452T

1966 Epiphone Sorrento

Epiphone produced the Sorrento between 1960 and 1969; it really was the epitome of Gibson Kalamazoo-made guitars, both in terms of construction and hardware. The model changed somewhat over the decade, and this guitar represents the final incarnation of the instrument with it's chrome hardware, characteristic headstock shape, and redder 'shaded' finish. The 1966 price for this single pickup Sorrento, E452T, was $279.50. It is in the Epiphone Shaded finish - the equivalent to Gibsons Sunburst.

The Shaded finish used on Epiphone guitars was not always the same. Earlier examples are drabber (compare with this 1963 Sorrento) even though this example does seem somewhat faded, and had no red in the burst. Gibson would have typically labelled this finish as Cherry Sunburst. The Sorrento, like the equivalent Gibson ES-125TC thinlines, had a body depth of 1 3/4". The backs and sides of this "shaded" finish guitar are a dark translucent walnut brown, with edges highlighted by single ply cream celluloid binding.

By the mid 1960s the Epiphone peghead shape changed from a more traditional pre-Gibson style shape to this more curved design, still with the Gibson open-book profile, but with more exagerated curves, and widening out at the far end. Note also the characteristicly shaped truss rod cover with Epiphone E logo. Compare to a 1963 example.
The Sorrento had a typical Gibson Kalamazoo-era one-piece mahogany neck. Epiphone serial numbers still follow the Gibson numbering scheme, 6 digits stamped into the back of the headstock

This Sorrento is in good complete condition, with the exception of a missing pickguard. One-pickup models, like this, are more abundant than two-pickup models, and Shaded is the most widely used finish, with a total of 1386 one-pickup Shaded Sorrentos being produced between 1960 and 1969. 1966 was the peak year for the Sorrento, with a total of 577 instruments shipped (in all finishes and pickup configurations).

The guitar shown is equipped with typical hardware for the period: chrome trapeze tailpiece, gold bell-knobs, rosewood free-floating bride. The machine heads used are Kluson MH-320VP with "Keystone" buttons, and chrome-covered mini humbucker. The serial number is repeated (along with the E452T model designation) on the blue label within the soundhole.

1966 Epiphone Sorrento case detail
1966 Epiphone Sorrento. Detail of the Epiphone label inside the F-hole, showing model name, code, and serial number

The key features that differentiate the Sorrento from the Gibson ES-125TC and ES-125TDC are the headstock shape, and the pickup(s); mini-humbuckers rather than the black dog-ear P90, and mother-of-pearl 'oval', rather than dot neck position markers. These inlays hark back to the pre-Gibson Epiphone period, most recently appearing on the Devon Acoustic - a model not continued by Gibson. Although described as 'oval' they could perhaps be more accurately described as rounded rectangles.

Images courtesey of justgreatguitars.com

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US ebay listings

Epiphone 【Vintage】Sorrento E452T Sunburst w/hardcase/512

Current price: $3286.00
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Epiphone 1964 Sorrento E452TD Vintage Electric Guitar - 10018230

Current price: $2995.00
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Epiphone Sorrento Orange 1998, Good Condition From JAPAN

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