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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 1959 59 Les Paul Standard Outfit Inspired By Gibson

Epiphone 1959 59 Les Paul Standard Outfit Inspired By Gibson

Birmingham, Alabama, 352**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$650

Like new condition. No issues, scratches, or dings. I have played several of these and this is the best one I??ve played of this specific model. Selling because I need the money. Shipping within the continental US only
... more
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Epiphone Casino Hollowbody Electric Guitar vintage sunburst with hard-shell case

Epiphone Casino Hollowbody Electric Guitar vintage sunburst with hard-shell case

Grand Forks, North Dakota, 582**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$675

Epiphone Casino Hollowbody Electric Guitar vintage sunburst. It comes with a Epiphone hard-shell case. It also comes with strap locks installed on the guitar and a black Ernie Ball guitar strap. This guitar is in good condition and sounds great. I hate to sell it but I need the money to go on a vacation. This guitar plays great and has two Epiphone PRO P90 pickups. The Casino model has been played by John Lennon, George Harrison, Howlin' Wolf and Keith Richards. Epiphone Casino is a best selling... more
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Vintage Black Epiphone ES335 Hard Shell  Case in Mint Condition

Vintage Black Epiphone ES335 Hard Shell Case in Mint Condition

Navarre, Florida, 325**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$125


This listing is for a black vintage ES 335 plush inside hard shell case in mint condition. My dearly departed uncle bought a new ES 335 Gipson in 1999. And for reasons unknown he went with this epiphone case. I??m guessing to cut coast! Fits either Epiphone or Gibson ES 335 models! It is pictured with the Gibson ES 335 inside. All latches work . This is a hard to find original vintage case in mint condition! I couldn??t even find a scuff mark any where on the case! I bought a vintage Brown... more
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Epiphone Korina Flying V 1958 guitar natural

Epiphone Korina Flying V 1958 guitar natural

Reno, Nevada, 895**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$380

Up for sale is an unloaded Epiphone Korina 1958 Flying V in natural. As pictured, the guitar still has some pieces of hardware. It is defective with the notable issue being the truss rod nut is loose. You can literally take it out. The neck itself in this state has a dip but is not terrible; I assume if the nut is secured it will function - however, I do not know how well it will. Guitar itself is very light and clean. The exception is a FINISH ONLY crack by the neck joint. Otherwise, it comes ... more
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Epiphone Century E422T 1963 - Cherry

Epiphone Century E422T 1963 - Cherry

Liverpool, New York, 130**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2495

1963 Epiphone Century with Case!
The case is not the original case, but one that belonged to a newer model
All original except for the bridge I believe was changed
Ships Insured with signature required.
... more
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Epiphone Kirk Hammett Greeny 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar with Case

Epiphone Kirk Hammett Greeny 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar with Case

Oakland, New Jersey, 074**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$153

59380 SIDL00271999 CP E3 - 25 00lbs

Epiphone Kirk Hammett Greeny 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar with Case

YOU ARE BIDDING ON AN Epiphone Kirk Hammett Greeny 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar with Case. STAND OR ANY ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES NOT INCLUDED. THIS GUITAR COULD NOT BE TESTED. NOTE: THE HEADSTOCK HAS COMPLETELY BROKEN OFF FROM THE NECK AND THERE ARE CHUNKS OF WOOD MISSING FROM THE BREAK; THE NUT AND ALL STRINGS ARE MISSING (SEE PICS). THERE ARE DINGS, DENTS, SCUFF ... more
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As Is Epiphone SLASH  Electric Guitar Project Guitar

As Is Epiphone SLASH Electric Guitar Project Guitar

Spencerport, New York, 145**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$429

Up for grabs:
As Is Epiphone SLASH Electric Guitar Project Guitar
PLEASE ASK FIRST ABOUT INTL SHIPMENTS AND WE DO NOT LOWER VALUES. NEW Please inquire about international shipments before you buy, please! We cannot ship everywhere due to box size limits
All guitars ship insured FEDEX, international shipments must meet country specific size limitations and shipping constraints and we will not lower the value for customs and may not ship the same day, we have our handling time as 5 ... more
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Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer 6-string Electric Guitar with Case - Damaged Neck

Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer 6-string Electric Guitar with Case - Damaged Neck

Fort Wayne, Indiana, 468**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$107


For Repair
Solidbody Electric Guitar with Korina Body, Korina Neck, Laurel Fingerboard, 2 Humbucking Pickups, and Hard Case - Natural
The neck is structurally damaged and separating from the fretboard, accompanied by checked and chipping finish. The nut and bridge are included inside the factory hard case, all in great condition. Strings are not included. The electronics perform as normal. Everything contained in the manufacturer's box
We offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee with... more
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1966 Epiphone Casino E230TDC Cherry

1966 Epiphone Casino E230TDC Cherry

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

$8639

Up for sale is a stunning 1966 Epiphone Casino E230TDC in its original and vibrant cherry finish. This guitar is fantastic! Dual original dog-ear P90s, chrome hardware, 1 9 / 16th nut width, Kluson double line tuners, white pick guard. Very clean and a ton of fun to play! Sticker from an old music store on the back of the headstock. Pro setup in house and comes complete with its original soft case. Weight: 6lbs. 1oz.

... more
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Fender Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar 1959 Reproduction. Preowned. Soft Case

Fender Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar 1959 Reproduction. Preowned. Soft Case

Lawrence Township, New Jersey, 086**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$660

1959 reproduction Les Paul with maple and mahogany body. Guitar has slight blemish blemishes on the back the front is perfectly clean rarely played fingerboard shows no wear. Guitar comes with soft case with strap. Guitar strap from dickies. Guitar stand. Pictures are of item and show condition of the guitar. Local pick up only in Princeton area. The guitar is a special edition reproduction
... more
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Epiphone 1961 LP SG Standard, Aged 60s Cherry Electric Solidbody Guitar

Epiphone 1961 LP SG Standard, Aged 60s Cherry Electric Solidbody Guitar

Fort Wayne, Indiana, 468**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$134


Used Condition
This instrument has a broken headstock and is unplayable. Electronics have been tested and are working. There are other fine scratches on various places of the instrument that are not shown in photos. We offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee with paid shipping back for any reason. Just send us a message within 30 days of your purchase saying you want to return it and we will send you a prepaid FedEx ... more
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Epiphone Explorer 1958 Korina, Natural Electric Solidbody Guitar

Epiphone Explorer 1958 Korina, Natural Electric Solidbody Guitar

Fort Wayne, Indiana, 468**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$20


Used Condition
This guitar is missing its nut and truss rod cover. There is glue residue around the truss rod access point and sides of the nut area. There are finish cracks on the sides of the neck in this area. The bridge and tailpiece are in the case compartment. This guitar does not come with accessories.
We offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee with paid shipping back for any reason. Just send us a ... more
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Epiphone Joe Bonamassa 1962 ES-335 Sixties Cherry w /  Hardshell "Excellent Condit

Epiphone Joe Bonamassa 1962 ES-335 Sixties Cherry w / Hardshell "Excellent Condit

La Plata, Maryland, 206**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1000

Body Material: 5-Ply Layered Maple
Inlays: Small Block
Number of Frets: 22
Scale Length: 24 75 inches
Nut Width: 1 693 inches
Neck Material: 1Pc Mahogany
Fretboard Material: Laurel
Finish / Color: Sixties Cherry
Bridge Pickup: Gibson Burstbucker 3
Neck Pickup: Gibson Burstbucker 2
Case: Hardshell
Serial #: 22041515088
Weight: 8 lbs 7 oz
 
Each scale varies in accuracy. The weight of the guitar in questions may vary + / - 5oz from our scale to yours. ... more
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Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition - Aged Dark Burst

Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition - Aged Dark Burst

Whitesboro, New York, 134**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$799


Mint condition! No issues! Original owner bought it and never played it but did keep it setup and humidified. Case included and paperwork. Set up and ready to play.
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 ... more
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Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer 6-string Electric Guitar with Case - Neck Cracks

Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer 6-string Electric Guitar with Case - Neck Cracks

Fort Wayne, Indiana, 468**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$81


For Repair
Solidbody Electric Guitar with Korina Body, Korina Neck, Laurel Fingerboard, 2 Humbucking Pickups, and Hard Case - Natural
There are structural and finish cracks in the neck at both sides of the nut, stemming from the corners of the nut shelf. This has left the thick finish with tactile chipping. The nut is loose. Guitar is somewhat playable and is contained in its hard case that is in great condition. The electronics function perfectly. There may be some typical, light ... more
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Epiphone ENL59ADCNH1 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar, Aged Dark Cherry Burst

Epiphone ENL59ADCNH1 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar, Aged Dark Cherry Burst

Killen, Alabama, 356**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$625

Introducing the Epiphone ENL59ADCNH1 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar in Aged Dark Cherry Burst. This electric guitar is a must-have for any musician looking to add a classic touch to their music. With a brand name that speaks for itself, this Epiphone Les Paul model is perfect for any professional or beginner guitar player
Crafted with the highest quality materials, this guitar produces a rich and powerful sound that will leave audiences in awe. The Les Paul Standard model is known for its ... more
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Vintage 1940s-1950s Epiphone Zephyr Blonde

Vintage 1940's-1950's Epiphone Zephyr Blonde

Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, 190**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1500

This is a really cool 1940's- 1950's Epiphone Zephyr. The guitar plays and sounds beautiful ! So what we have here I believe is a 1940's Epiphone you can look up the serial number and date it just in case im wrong ? that originally came with the 40's style pickup no longer here and a 1950's epiphone pickup was added at some point. You can see the previous very small mounting holes in my photo This guitar has the normal wear and tear of of a loved instrument from so long ago so use my photos as ... more
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Vintage 1940 Epiphone Zephyr Tenor Blond for Repair-Restoration 1940s

Vintage 1940 Epiphone Zephyr Tenor Blond for Repair-Restoration 1940's

Brooklyn, New York, 112**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1275

This listing is for a Vintage 1940 Epiphone Zephyr Tenor Archtop Tenor Guitar. This guitar was made Epiphone in 1940. The serial number dates the guitar accurately. The guitar will need work but is an excellent candidate for a professional restoration. This guitar came out of a collection of tenor guitars.
The biggest issue is that the electronics are just very old and will need to be worked on. The pickup does have some soft output but it's clearly not working properly and the knobs aren't ... more
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Epiphone Kirk Hammett 1979 Flying V Electric Guitar Ebony 197881070335 OB

Epiphone Kirk Hammett 1979 Flying V Electric Guitar Ebony 197881070335 OB

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

$831

... more
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DAMAGED - Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar  #R7737

DAMAGED - Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar #R7737

Pleasant Hill, Missouri, 640**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$469



FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED
SINCE 2007
SAME DAY SHIPPING
ORDERS PLACED BEFORE 12PM CST (M-F)
30 DAY RETURN POLICY
WE WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY
Condition Specifics
NEW Guitar, SHIPPING DAMAGED, Broken Neck. Crack down the neck. Nut is included. No other damage. Electronics have been checked and work correctly. No case or gig bag included. .
Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited-Edition Electric ... 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.