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Vintage Epiphone Guitars

Electric guitars and basses manufactured by the Epiphone Guitar Company

The Epiphone company of New York, USA, was created by the Stathopoulos family, making various musical instruments with the first electric guitar in 1935. In many ways, it was just like rivals Guild and Gibson; a very highly respected guitar manufacturer, producing superb jazz boxes for the top end of the US market. Guitars like the Emperor and Broadway established a fine reputation, which still stands with vintage guitar collectors today. But tragedy occured, with the death of Epaminondas Stathopoulos; the driving force behind Epiphone at the time.

Epiphone Granada

Chicago Musical Instruments; the CMI-period

The Epiphone plant at 210 Bush Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan

The Gibson Kalamazoo guitar factory. Gibson occupied a whole block; their main address was Parsons Street (top), Epiphone instruments were built side by side, but the company was officially situated on Bush Street; just the other side of the block (below).

But perhaps the best known guitars built by Epiphone were those manufactured at the Gibson Kalamazoo plant - the CMI period. CMI bought out a struggling Epiphone in 1957, buying tooling, parts, and even unfinished instruments. Production of hollow-bodied jazz guitars and acoustic (upright) basses began immediately. But before long Epiphone was producing new lines, unrelated to the output of previous years. Thinline semi acoustics like the Epiphone Casino, Sorrento, Riviera and Sheraton were soon joined by solid bodies like the Epiphone Wilshire, Crestwood and Coronet; all distributed to dealers that wanted Gibson-quality instruments, but did not qualify to be Gibson stockists themselves.

1967 Epiphone advert featuring a psychedelic fish playing an Epiphone Riviera

Gibson ran a whole block in Kalamazoo giving their address as Parsons Street, whilst Epiphone were officially situated on Bush Street; just the other side of the block. The instruments were made side by side, both using the same woods, construction methods, and many of the same components. Numerous Epiphone models had a direct Gibson equivalent that sold at more or less the same price; for example the Epiphone Casino and the Gibson ES330 - or the Epiphone Rivoli and the Gibson EB2 bass. Unlike today, the 1960s US-built Epiphone line was aimed at exactly the same market as the Gibson equivalent instruments.

Epiphone guitars quickly found favour in the mid-1960s music scene; bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals and the Kinks all played Epiphones, along with many more. But as the decade ended, CMI gave way to Norlin, and Epiphone production went to Japan.

The Norlin period

Epiphone guitar catalogs

Have a look at some vintage Epiphone guitar catalogs

Norlin period Epiphones were initially made in Japan; they were no longer rebranded Gibson guitars, but a new budget line aimed at younger guitarists. Although some of these guitars are interesting, they are not as widely regarded by musicians or collectors as the CMI-period instruments. Towards the very end of Norlin's tenure, a few Epiphone guitars were produced at the Kalamazoo and Nashville plants: tentative issues of the Epiphone Doublecut / Spirit, but almost immediately this model was rebranded as the Gibson Spirit.

Today's Epiphone guitars are typically reissues of the 1960s Gibson and Epiphone instruments made in Kalamazoo - but being made in China and Korea these are typically very much cheaper - though generally good quality instruments.

Latest Epiphone Updates

1970 Rosetti Epiphone guitar catalogScan of 1970 Epiphone guitar catalogue produced by Rosetti for the UK market. Undated but most likely from mid-late 1970, this was the first UK catalogue to show the new range of Japanese (Matsumoku) Epiphone guitars. Interestingly, these pages show the Epiphone solid bodies with a single-sided Fender-style headstock layout - a feature quickly replaced with a typical two-sided Epiphone headstock almost immediately. Epiphone electric guitars: 9520, 9525; bass guitars: 9521, 9526; acoustic guitars: 6730, 6830, 6834
1971 A World of Guitars by Rosetti catalogueScan of 1971 Rosetti catalogue (UK) featuring guitars from from numerous manufacturers worldwide: guitars by Epiphone, Hagstrom, Levin, Hoyer, Egmond, Eros, Moridaira, Kiso-Suzuki, Schaller, and Tatra.
1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.
1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.
Gibson EB2 bass guitar wiring illustrationSchematic and simplified wiring illustration for the 1960s single pickup Gibson EB2 and Epiphone Rivoli bass guitars. The original EB2 and Rivoli basses were very similar indeed, both being made side by side in Gibson's Kalamazoo plant in Michigan, USA. Differences were purely cosmetic, and electronically they were identical: a Gibson EB humbucker, one volume control, one tone control, and a baritone push button switch.
1966 Epiphone Granada E444T A closer look at a 1966 Epiphone Granada. The non-cutaway Granada was the Epiphone version of the Gibson E120T thinline hollowbody. Both were built side by side in Gibson's Kalamazoo plant, and were the least expensive hollowbodies in their respective ranges. Sales of the Epiphone version were never huge (see Epiphone Granada shipping figures, at least compared to the Gibson, even when an otherwise identical cutaway model, the E444TC, was added. No Gibson cutaway version was released.
1962 Epiphone Newport Deluxe bassDescription and photographs of a 1962 Epiphone Newport Deluxe electric bass guitar. The Newport series comprised four models, the Deluxe being the top-of-the-range two-pickup model. In reality, this bass is a Gibson EB3 with no varitone control; both are short scale, all mahogany, set-necked basses, and use the same pickups and hardware. Manufactured 1961-1963
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Vintage Epiphone guitars for sale

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Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Custom Rainbow with Case!

Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Custom Rainbow with Case!

Lancaster, Ohio, 431**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$999

This Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Custom Rainbow is a fantastic electric guitar that will bring your music to life. With its beautiful finish and high-quality materials, it is a dream come true for any musician. The guitar is part of the Epiphone Les Paul series, which is known for its exceptional sound and playability

The brand, Epiphone, is highly respected in the music industry, and this custom model is no exception. It is perfect for any musician who wants to take their music to the ... more
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Classic 1985 Epiphone Casino - Vintage Sunburst - Made in Japan (Matsumoto) EXC!

Classic 1985 Epiphone Casino - Vintage Sunburst - Made in Japan (Matsumoto) EXC!

Pompano Beach, Florida, 330**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2275

1985 Epiphone Casino SB (Sunburst)
Beautiful Example - Get Back! John Lennon Vibes
Made in Japan (Matsumoto)
Serial: #5043021
Weight: 6 pounds 12 oz's
Nut: 1 68
Thickness of the Neck at the 1st Fret is .79 and .97 at the 12th
Comes w Original Case Pictured
$$ Professionally setup for optimal tone and playability Truly Stage or Studio Ready! (Including Fret Work, Intonation, Truss Rod and Action)... more
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Extr Rare Epiphone Riviera MIJ, 1980, Split Parallelograms, Cherry red, StopBar

Extr Rare Epiphone Riviera MIJ, 1980, Split Parallelograms, Cherry red, StopBar

Pottersville, New Jersey, 079**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2995

More photos and specs coming 6 / 8 -
Truly an extremely rare version of this model, perhaps a one-of-a-kind Matsumoku-made Epiphone Riviera in Cherry Red, made exclusively for the Japanese domestic market. It features beautiful, very hard to find split parallelogram fretboard inlays, similar to those found in higher-end Gibsons. Few of these ever left Japan, and I'm yet to find one similar in this color combination and these type of inlays ever sold commercially in the US. Hard to ... more
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Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar - Aged Dark Burst

Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar - Aged Dark Burst

Middletown, New York, 109**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$778

... more
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2023 Epiphone Inspired by Gibson 1963 Firebird V Electric Guitar w /  Hard Case

2023 Epiphone Inspired by Gibson 1963 Firebird V Electric Guitar w / Hard Case

Forked River, New Jersey, 087**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1480

Up for Sale Today:
2023 Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Electric Guitar
Ember Red
Right-handed
Guitar is in mint cosmetic condition.
Neck is straight with low action. No bowing
Tested and working properly
OEM hard case w / key is included
Please see pictures for more detail and feel free to ask any questions as we'd be happy to help
Comes exactly as pictured
Free Shipping within the contiguous USA
This item is for sale through eBay ONLY!
Please don't ask us to ... more
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1962 Epiphone E452TD Sorrento Sunburst

1962 Epiphone E452TD Sorrento Sunburst

Lake Stevens, Washington, 982**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3750

I love this model!


It??s a 1962 Epiphone Sorrento. There??s lots to love here. First, this is a Gibson made Guitar. All Epiphones from the 1960s were made at the Kalamazoo factory by Gibson. The same people who made the 335s, Les Pauls, and other guitars we all highly prized were also making these Epiphone counterparts


This one is from the early part of the decade, when you still see a lot of the early features. So this one has the short, Gibson style ... more
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Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Aged Dark Cherry Burst Guitar

Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Aged Dark Cherry Burst Guitar

Glendale, California, 912**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$650

Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Aged Dark Cherry Burst Guitar
The Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Outfit, a stunning recreation of one of the most sought-after electric guitars in music history. Now musicians and collectors alike can experience the tone and feel of a vintage '59 Les Paul at an affordable price. Handcrafted in partnership with Gibson Custom Shop, this Les Paul reissue features a mahogany body with an AAA maple veneer top and comfortable 1959-style neck for ... more
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Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Guitar Forest Green Metallic 1978811441 OB

Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Guitar Forest Green Metallic 1978811441 OB

Kansas City, Missouri, 641**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$511

... more
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Epiphone USA Collection John Lennon Signature "1965" Casino 1998-2000 Sunburst

Epiphone USA Collection John Lennon Signature "1965" Casino 1998-2000 Sunburst

Santa Clarita, California, 913**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4499

Epiphone Casino John Lennon USA Edition "1965" Sunburst. This is number 1, 556 of the limited combined production of 1, 965 Lennon style replicas made between 1998 and 2001. I purchased this rare beauty brand new from Musician's Friend in early 2001. It has spent most of its life in its custom case with the Lennon stencil which came with the guitar. The guitar was made to the original specifications of John's 1965 Casino. Weighs in at a super light 6 pounds, 0 7 ounces. Case candy includes... more
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Epiphone 1958 Korina Flying V Electric Guitar in Aged Natural

Epiphone 1958 Korina Flying V Electric Guitar in Aged Natural

Middletown, New York, 109**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1248

... more
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Rare Epiphone Olympic Solid Body Electric 1967

Rare Epiphone Olympic Solid Body Electric 1967

Danbury, Connecticut, 068**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3195

Rare Epiphone Olympic Solid Body Electric 1967
This fine guitar is a wonderful example of Epiphone and Gibson craftsmanship. This guitar has low action and great tone and sound
It is in great condition for its age.
There is some checking on the lower bout and a few minor dings, which is normal for a 57 year old instrument.
This guitar is ready to be played!
The Epiphone Olympic was the entry level CMI / Gibson-made Epiphone solid body and was the best selling of all 1960s ... more
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1961 Gibson-made, Epiphone Century (E422T) Electric Archtop Guitar

1961 Gibson-made, Epiphone Century (E422T) Electric Archtop Guitar

Lawrence, Kansas, 660**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2850

1961 Gibson-made Epiphone Century (E422T) with new hard case. The guitar appears to be all original, displaying only light play wear. The finish shows the typical checking you would expect from a 60+ year old instrument. The original frets have some wear, but not enough to affect playability or cause buzzing issues. Recently set up, the guitar plays and sounds great! It includes a newer case that fits the guitar perfectly. Overall, this is a fantastic example of a Kalamazoo-era Epiphone guitar ... more
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2022 Epiphone Joe Bonamassa 1962 ES-335 - Red w /  Custom Inlay - 1 of 300

2022 Epiphone Joe Bonamassa 1962 ES-335 - Red w / Custom Inlay - 1 of 300

San Diego, California, 921**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1895

Here is a 2022 Epiphone Limited Edition Joe Bonamassa '62 ES-335 in mint / unplayed condition
She's basically brand new and still has the original strings and all the factory paperwork
Comes with the original Epiphone case, case candy and paperwork as seen in the pictures
Thanks for taking a look!
Here is some information --
Features:
ItemDescriptionSpecificationBodyShapeES-335Material5-ply Layered Maple
Top5-ply Layered MapleWeight ReliefN / ABindingSingle ply Cream - ... more
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Pre-Owned Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard Aged Classic White Electric Guitar

Pre-Owned Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard Aged Classic White Electric Guitar

San Antonio, Texas, 782**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$899

Pre-Owned Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard Aged Classic White Electric Guitar
Comes with Hardshell Epiphone Case
Pre-Owned items are sold as-is, sale is final*... more
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Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar, Aged Dark Cherry Burst, HSC

Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar, Aged Dark Cherry Burst, HSC

Indianapolis, Indiana, 462**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$929

The First Collaboration Between Epiphone and the Gibson Custom Shop
Made in partnership with the Gibson Custom Shop, the Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard is Epiphone's stunning recreation of the rare vintage classic. Featuring a mahogany body with a maple top with a AAA figured maple veneer, comfortable 1959 hand-rolled neck profile with long neck tenon, aged finish, Gibson USA BurstBucker 2 & 3 humbucking pickups, Switchcraft selector switch and output jack, CTS pots, 50s era ... more
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Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard - Aged Dark Cherry Burst

Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard - Aged Dark Cherry Burst

Bedford, New Hampshire, 031**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$849

Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard
Aged Dark Cherry Burst
Pre-Owned 2022 - Excellent Condition
Extremely well cared-for and Upgrades! Pickups upgraded to USA Burstbuckers, 50's era wiring w / Mallory Tone Caps, Switchcraft selector switch and CTS pots. A non-beveled pickguard also added
 
 
... more
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Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar - Factory Burst

Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar - Factory Burst

Middletown, New York, 109**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1248

... more
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Rare 1948 - 1949 Epiphone Zephry Regent Deluxe Archtop Electric Guitar

Rare 1948 - 1949 Epiphone Zephry Regent Deluxe Archtop Electric Guitar

Red Hook, New York, 125**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4250

This is a 1948 or 1949 Epiphone Deluxe Regent archtop electric guitar. This is a hard-to-find guitar due to the type of pickups it has. Epiphone only used this model of pickup known as the Tone Spectrum from 1948 to 1949. Later in 1949 / 1950, the pickup was phased out and replaced by the New York Broadway pickup.
The guitar is approximately 74 years old, and there are some things about it that are replaced or restored. That being said, it looks awesome, sounds as cool as you want it to, and... more
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1988 Epiphone Casino Vintage Electric Guitar Pre-Elitist, Violin Sunburst, Case

1988 Epiphone Casino Vintage Electric Guitar Pre-Elitist, Violin Sunburst, Case

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3100

Up for sale, a 1988 Epiphone Casino in near-mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Produced in Japan at the Terada factory, this is an early Epiphone reissue which preceded the "Elitist" line, and this particular Casino sports an uncommon Violin Sunburst finish
Acoustically, the fully hollow maple body has a smooth, bright tone, offering an ideal platform for the stock pair of P-90 pickups. The pickups are wound to vintage spec ... more
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Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar  Aged Honey Fade

Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Aged Honey Fade

Mattoon, Illinois, 619**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$700

Ltd Edition Sweetwater Exclusive Epiphone 1959 Les Paul. Very clean condition. Tuners have been upgraded to an economy locking tuner (original tuners are included) and strap locks have also been installed. This guitar is in very clean, nearly unplayed condition. Weight is 9 lbs
From Sweetwater's site:
The Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard supplies all the hallmarks of the unforgettable '59 Gibson ?? the figured AAA maple veneer, that lean and mean late-'50s neck profile, and those ... more
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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.

1981 Gibson Marauder

1981 Gibson MarauderProduction of Bill Lawrence's Gibson Marauder began in 1974, with production peaking in 1978. But by 1980 the model was officially discontinued, though very small numbers slipped out as late as spring 1981. Over 7000 examples shipped between 1974 and 1979, and although no totals are available for 1980 and 1981, it is unlikely production reached three figures in either of these years. These final Marauders were all assembled at the Gibson Nashville plant, and had some nice features not available through the later years of production, such as a rosewood fretboard, and in this case, an opaque 'Devil Red' finish. It's a great looking and fine playing guitar!

1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

1981 Gibson Specials Pre-Owners Manual'Gibson Specials' was part of the June 1981 pre-owners manual series, but unlike the other folders contained a mish-mash of different guitars: limited editions, test marketing and close outs. "You will find the unusual, the brand-new, and the bargain within this folder". End of line 70s guitars like the Marauder, S-1, and L-6S Custom mixed in with brand new models the The V, The Explorer and the Flying V Bass.
It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of 47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.