EPIPHONE | ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC GUITARS

Epiphone electric acoustics

Hollow body and semi-acoustic guitars

Image Heritage auctions

Under the ownership of the Stathopoulos family, Epiphone had a long history of producing acoustic and carved top guitars, and mandolins, and developed pickups for lap steel guitars as early as 1935. Epiphone electric Spanish guitars, however, were still some years away. In the early 1950s, Epiphone finally produced a number of full-bodied electric acoustics; very fine guitars such as the three pickup Emperor, two pickup Deluxe Electric (above), and the various versions of the Zephyr and Century. These were very nice guitars, and, in fact, the only electric guitars produced by Epiphone prior to the brand being taken over by Gibson in 1957.

These early hollow body guitars were beautifully-built, high quality instruments with fine appointments. They were fitted with Epiphone's 'New York' single coil units. These large body hollow body guitars had a great reputation amongst jazz and big band guitarists. Vintage Epiphone guitars from this pre-Gibson period are highly collectable instruments, and having only been produced in small numbers command quite high prices today. With the untimely death of Epaminondas Stathopoulos, the company lost it's direction, first relocating from New York to Philadelphia, and ultimately being absorbed by it's main competitor, Gibson. Many of the original Epiphone luthiers actually went on to work for the newly emerging Guild guitar company.

The Gibson / CMI period

When Gibson took on the Epiphone marque, they brought production from Philadelphia to their Kalamazoo plant in Michigan. They inherited all tooling, partially finished instruments and components, allowing them to continue Epiphone production. Over the next few years, Gibson relaunched many of these models, and added several more; keeping original names, and selected design features and hardware from pre-Gibson days, but the majority were given a new thinner body, in keeping with the popular Electric Spanish series guitars just launched by Gibson (ES-330, ES-335 etc).

Only one pre-Gibson model, the Epiphone Broadway kept it's original full body depth, but it was joined in 1964 by a new model, a signature guitar for jazz guitarist Howard Roberts, and then a second model the Howard Roberts Custom in 1965. Both were eventually branded Gibson (see the Gibson Howard Roberts) once Epiphone production left Kalamazoo at the end of the 1960s.

Image Heritage auctions

Guitars like the Riviera and Sheraton built reputations for themselves, but none more-so than the Casino which was favoured by, amongst others, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. This was Kalamazoo-built Epiphone's best selling hollow-body, with almost 7000 guitars shipped throughout the 1960s. In terms of quality and functionality, these US Kalamazoo-built Epiphones were on par with Gibson's own output, and typically retailed at the same pricepoint.

Japanese Epiphone electric acoustics

Market pressures in the late 1960s were forcing US manufacturers to offer lower priced guitars, able to compete with Asian imports. Epiphone production continued at Kalamazoo until 1969, but the decision was finally made to realign the brand below the US-built Gibsons. This coincided with a change of ownership of Gibson - the 'Norlin period'. Production of a new line of Epiphones was awarded to Aria, who produced a new electric acoustic model at the Matsumoku plant in Japan. Epiphone model 5102T was the only semi-acoustic guitar in the line at this time, morphing into the EA250 by 1972. These models were very basic, with a bolt-on neck; a world away from the quality American guitars bearing the marque in the 1960s.

But as the seventies progressed, Matsumoku production improved. By the mid 1970s, they were able to offer set neck reissues of the older models - however at a price point that confined them to the Japanese market. Finally in 1982, the Casino, Emperor, Riviera and Sheraton were again offered in the United States, and interestingly enough, a full body depth version of the Epiphone Emperor was available again for the first time since the mid-1950s.

Asian Epiphone production has continued since this time, though moving from Japan to Korea and China. Although not in the same league as the 1950s Stathopoulos-era, or the 1960s Kalamazoo-era guitars, modern day production techniques allow the offering of consistently good quality Epiphone electric acoustics, that sell very well today.

Got an opinion on the contents of this page? Disagree with something written above? Please comment

Epiphone guitars for sale

VINTAGE 1961 USA EPIPHONE E452 -T SORRENTO GUITAR HANG TAG 1962 1963 RARE

PLANO, TEXAS, 75025, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$195

PLEASE READ BEFORE BIDDING-I AM UNABLE TO SHIP TO ANY DESTINATION THAT USPS CANNOT INSURE, SORRY. ALL AUCTIONS PAYPAL ONLY, WILL SHIP TO YOUR PAYPAL MATCHING ADDRESS ONLY, NO ALTERNATE SHIP ADDRESS. WINNING BIDDER TO PAY WITHIN 2 DAYS OF AUCTION CLOSE. ANY NEW EBAYERS ( LESS THAN 5 POSITIVE TRANSACTIONS) EMAIL ME BEFORE BIDDING, OR YOUR BID WILL BE CANCELLED. TEXAS RESIDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY 8 25% SALES TAX. PLEASE ASK ALL QUESTIONS EARLY…SOMETIMES I AM REQUIRED TO BE AWAY FROM THE ... more

VINTAGE 1961 USA EPIPHONE E422 -T CENTURY GUITAR HANG TAG 1962 1963 RARE

PLANO, TEXAS, 75025, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $262

PLEASE READ BEFORE BIDDING-I AM UNABLE TO SHIP TO ANY DESTINATION THAT USPS CANNOT INSURE, SORRY. ALL AUCTIONS PAYPAL ONLY, WILL SHIP TO YOUR PAYPAL MATCHING ADDRESS ONLY, NO ALTERNATE SHIP ADDRESS. WINNING BIDDER TO PAY WITHIN 2 DAYS OF AUCTION CLOSE. ANY NEW EBAYERS ( LESS THAN 5 POSITIVE TRANSACTIONS) EMAIL ME BEFORE BIDDING, OR YOUR BID WILL BE CANCELLED. TEXAS RESIDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY 8 25% SALES TAX. PLEASE ASK ALL QUESTIONS EARLY…SOMETIMES I AM REQUIRED TO BE AWAY FROM THE ... more

1977 Epiphone EA-255 Casino Electric Guitar Semi Hollow Japan Walnut

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, 94609, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$350

1977 Epiphone EA-255 Casino Semi-Hollow made in Japan in the more rare walnut. So I bought this guitar last year on Ebay and within a couple weeks of it arriving the fretboard started to come unglued. I took it to a professional luthier and he had to replace the truss rod that had been over tightened and re-glue the fret board and nut back together which cost me $200. After all was said and done plays good but the action is still a tiny bit high for me past the 8th fret. Let me know if you have ... more

EPIPHONE INSPIRED BY "1966" CENTURY ARCHTOP WITH P-90 PUP, Int'l Buyer Welcome

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA, 35405, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$559

When I tested this guitar I fell in love with it. What a classic vibe you get from this guitar, with the thin hollowbody and P-90 pickup I got tones that I can't get from any of the other guitars in my personal collection. It is comfortable to play, with a thin body and rounded C shape neck. Epiphone Inspired by "1966" Century Click images to enlarge Description   Epiphone Inspired by "1966" Century When I tested this guitar I fell in love with it.  What a classic vibe you get from this ... more

BEAUTIFUL Epiphone 1966 Century E422T Cherry Electric Guitar New Open Box

WHITESBORO, NEW YORK, 13492, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$595

Check this out we have a BEAUTIFUL Epiphone 1966 ReIssue Century E422T in a Beautiful Vintage Cherry Finish This Epiphone Century E422T is New, it is an Open Box, taken out of the box to display but Unplayed, comes with Full Warranty and ON SALE Now! Check out the pics, the first is stock, the rest are actual pictures of this Beautiful Epiphone! This may not ship in the original box but will ship in a double-walled guitar box, safely packed for shipment! And YES, we ship Internationally, let ... more

1961 USA EPIPHONE CASINO GUITAR MAESTRO VIBROLA NICKEL RARE LEFTY CRESTWOOD 1962

PLANO, TEXAS, 75025, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$595

USA SHIPPING ONLY. ALL AUCTIONS PAYPAL ONLY, WILL SHIP TO YOUR PAYPAL MATCHING ADDRESS ONLY, NO ALTERNATE SHIP ADDRESS. WINNING BIDDER TO PAY WITHIN 3 DAYS OF AUCTION CLOSE. ANY NEW EBAYERS ( LESS THAN 5 POSITIVE TRANSACTIONS) EMAIL ME BEFORE BIDDING, OR YOUR BID WILL BE CANCELLED. TEXAS RESIDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY 8 25% SALES TAX. PLEASE ASK ALL QUESTIONS EARLY…SOMETIMES I AM REQUIRED TO BE AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER.... more

Epiphone Inspired by 1966 Century Archtop Electric Aged Gloss Vintage Sunburst

CATONSVILLE, MARYLAND, 21228, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$629

New 2016 Epiphone Inspired by 1966 Century Archtop Electric Guitar in Aged Gloss Vintage Sunburst Serial #: 16081500248 Historic mid 60s archtop featuring the new P-90 PRO™ single coil pickup Epiphone presents the new Inspired by “1966” Century electric guitar, a faithful reissue of the classic thinline all-hollowbody archtop featuring the new Epiphone P-90 PRO™ single-coil pickup. The “1966” Century is available in both a Cherry and Vintage Sunburst Aged Gloss Finish. Historic ... more

1978 Epiphone EA-255 Casino Electric Guitar Semi Hollow Japan Original With OSSC

SPRING HILL, FLORIDA, 34609, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$849

Feel free to message me for a in hand inspectionPLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE HI-DEF PICS!! Vintage Epiphone Japan1978 Epiphone EA-255 Casino Semi Hollow Electric GuitarAll Original & In Excellent Condition Overall Includes Original Case Pictured PLEASE DO NOT mistake picture glare for flaws . YOUR SEEING CLOUDS FROM THE SKY . If you think your seeing something not mentioned in this listing, please ask!!There are lots of pics, so when you receive it, its exactly what you expected, if not better. ... more

Find more vintage guitars for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 0 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

Comment on this article

Name
Email address
Anti-spam question - to catch web robots
How many legs does a duck have?

Contact
info@vintageguitarandbass.com

Follow

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Google+

Other Great Sites