Epiphone Olympic guitars and Embassy and Newport basses
Epiphone full line 1964 catalogue page 5
Guitars and Parts for Sale
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The Epiphone Olympic, Double Olympic, and Olympic Special guitars were Epiphones cheapest solid bodies, broadly in line with Gibson's Melody Maker range (in fact the Olypic special shown here shares the same body). They were built side-by-side with the Gibson instruments at the Kalamazoo plant in Michigan, USA, and shared the same woods, construction and some components. The Olympic shown on page 9 of the previous Epiphone catalogue was available as a single or double pickup model - but is analogous to the Olympic special shown here i.e. a Les Paul Junior body shape and sunburst finish - but now only available with a single pickup.
The model described here as the Olympic (and Olympic double, pictured) has the new non-symmetrical body of the other Epiphone solid bodies (Crestwood, Wilshire etc). These usually have the single sided 'batwing' headstock too - though the example pictured is obviously a transition model with non-symmetrical body but 3-a-side headstock. Like Gibson's SG series these guitars were typically finished in translucent Cherry nitrocellulose.
List prices at that time (zone 1, Septemer '64) are the same for the Olympic Special and single pickup Gibson Melody maker are the same - which is no surprise as they are effectvely the same guitar, both are $127.50. The single pickup Epiphone Olympic is next at $149.50, followed by the dual pickup Melody Maker-D at $165, and lastly the dual pickup Olympic at $180.
Two solid body Epiphone bass guitars are shown, the long-scale Embassy (equivalent to the Gibson Thunderbird) and the short-scale Newport (equivalent to the Gibson EB-0). These shared the pickups, bridges, tuning keys and electronics with the Gibson models, but there was a price difference - the Embassy was a shade cheaper than the Thunderbird IV ($355 vs $370), whilst the Newport was a shade more than the EB0! ($272.50 vs $250).
Although, theoretically all Epiphone solid bodies were available (as a special order) in the three extra colours listed: California Coral, Pacific Blue, Sunset Yellow, the Epiphone solid body basses were almost exclusively produced in translaucent Cherry finish.