EPIPHONE | ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC GUITARS

Epiphone electric acoustics

Hollow body and semi-acoustic guitars

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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.

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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.

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Epiphone guitars for sale

VINTAGE! Epiphone Century 1954 Natural + OHSC

RAMONA, CALIFORNIA, 92065, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1395

VINTAGE! Epiphone Century 1954 Natural OHSC Lovies Guitars is offering up for your musical pleasure a gorgeous 1965 Epiphone Century! This guitar is stellar! It still has the original pickup and it sounds AMAZING! For being 52 years old this guitar is in great condition! This guitar is a pure joy to play and is so comfortable in your hand! This guitar just makes you wanna get carried away by the sweet tunes! It has some marks that are all clearly shown in the photos! SEE many images for exact ... more

1967 Epiphone Casino Original vintage guitar (#EPE0220)

LOVELAND, OHIO, 45140, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $6678

1967 Epiphone Casino, Iced Tea Sunburst, Two P-90’s, Perfect updated guard, Trapezoid Inlays, 'e' Vibrola, EC , NHSC, $4, 995... more

Epiphone Zephyr Deluxe Regent 1951 Natural Blonde

MIAMI, FLORIDA, 33186, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$5500

10-0883The Zephyr Deluxe Regent was originally the top of the line New York-made Epiphone electric; in 1950 the company upped the ante with the larger and grander 3-pickup Emperor Zephyr Regent, but the Deluxe model remained a high-end and popular guitar. This is a very fine player and a nice example of the Epiphone / Gibson electric archtop tradition. Comes with Original Hard CaseWeight: 7lbs 7ozSpecs Nut Width:   1 11 / 16 in (43 mm)Scale Length:  25 5 inNeck Shape:  Soft V ... more

Vintage Epiphone Granada E444T Sunburst 1962

BROOKFIELD, WISCONSIN, 53005, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1079

Vintage Epiphone Granada E444T Sunburst 1962 PLEASE CONTACT US WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR FOR AN IN-HAND DESCRIPTION What makes this guitar special: 100% original & a nice hollow body with a warm, vintage tone. Without even plugging it in the guitar offers a rich, acoustic resonance & thanks to a pro set up from the experts at Cream City Music, it plays & sounds fantastic! Cosmetic Condition: Really nice shape for its age with minimal play wear - various minor nicks, chips, dents & dings; scratches &... more

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

Epiphone Century 1950s Tobacco Burst

MIAMI, FLORIDA, 33186, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1899

10-1015 This is a collectors guitar. at an affordable price. If you want to own a piece of history here is your chance Fully functional, straight neck. good frets moderate checking consistent with age Comes with Hard Case Weight: 5lbs 13oz Specs Nut Width:   1 5 / 8 in (41 mm) Scale Length:  25 5 in Neck Shape:  Deep C Neck Amount of Frets: 20 Body Thickness: 3 5 in Upper Bout:   11 5 in Product Specs Condition:Excellent (Used) Brand:Epiphone Model:CenturyFinish:Tobacco ... more

Vintage 1960's Epiphone Sorrento Hollowbody Guitar Player-Project Refin 1963-64

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11211, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$995

This listing is for a Vintage 1963-1964 Epiphone Sorrento Hollowbody-Thinline Electric Guitar. This guitar was made in the USA by Gibson-Epiphone in circa 1963-1964. The serial number is 83941 and the guitar has a wide 1 & 11 / 16ths nut width. The guitar has been refinished and almost all of the parts have been changed. The guitar has been refinished but the original serial number is still visible. The guitar shows very heavy wear and also some repairs. The guitar has a crack on the back of the... more

1965 Epiphone Casino (EPE0310)

LOVELAND, OHIO, 45140, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $7323

1965 Epiphone Casino, Iced tea Sunburst, Just like John Lennon's, Hard to find year, Two P-90's, Plays and sounds great, Updated to Trapeze tailpiece, Newer pick guard, Some finish work on the neck and back, Ready to enjoy, VG , Original soft case, $5, 495 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4... more

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