Epiphone Crestwood Deluxe taken from the 1966 Epiphone catalogue. Note the contrasting white or tortoiseshell scratchplates on the Cherry and White guitars
Epiphone had no history of solid body guitar manufacture prior to the brands acquisition by Gibson owners, CMI, in 1957. The Crestwood Custom, along with the Coronet, were the companies very first solid body guitars, being produced at the Gibson Kalamazoo plant, in Michigan, USA. These early Epiphones were well-received, and with the rise in popularity of solid body instruments in the early 1960s, a second Crestwood model, with an additional pickup, was added to the available range: the Crestwood Deluxe. In fact, it represented the pinnacle in Epiphone solid body production, and was only produced in small numbers. It shipped from the very end of 1963, right through to 1969, though in significantly lower numbers than the Custom. In total, just 219 Crestwood Deluxe guitars left Kalamazoo, compared to 1349 examples of the Epiphone Crestwood Custom.
Whilst a few Gibson-built Epiphones were close reissues of Stathopoulos-era Epiphone guitars (mostly electric acoustics), the majority were more closely aligned to pre-existing Gibson models. The solid-body Epiphone range could be directly correlated with the Gibson SG range, sharing the same woods and construction, electronics and levels of ornamentation. The Crestwood Deluxe corresponds to the top-of-the-line Gibson SG Custom; both have a mahogany body and neck with ebony fretboard and block inlays. And both are three pickup guitars with similar controls. Yet the Epiphone lacked gold-plated hardware and the split-diamond headstock inlay of the SG, though it did have a bound neck and headstock. They were similarly priced (both were $455 in Oct 1966) yet over the production period, the SG outsold the Crestwood 7:1. There is no denying the Crestwood Deluxe is an exceptionally nicely built, finely appointed and well-equipped guitar. Combined with it's relative scarcity, it is no surprise that the Crestwood Deluxe is one of the most desirable of all 60s Epiphone guitars.
This nice example from 1966 in translucent Cherry red finish - as can be seen in the shipping stats, one of only 54 made in Cherry that year. Images courtesy angledbox.com
The Epiphone Crestwood Deluxe was only included in two US Epiphone catalogues. Click on the thumbnails below for a look at the 1964 an 1966 catalogues.
1964 full line catalog
This was the first catalog appearance of the Epiphone Crestwood Deluxe
1966 full line catalog
Epiphone is proud to present solid body instruments that offer the depth, the sharp treble, the biting tone and the virility that all guitarists seek from a solid body instrument
The majority of production was in the period 1964-66, with 1964 the peak year. Like the shipping stats for the Crestwood Custom, pre-1966, data was not separated by finish, so totals for 1963-65 are for all colours. From 1966-69 Cherry was listed separately to other finishes; mostly (if not exclusively) White.
In the 1970s the Epiphone (now Japanese manufactured) launched a new guitar dubbed Crestwood, however with a model number ET278. This was a double pickup instrument with a similar body shape, but a bolt-on neck, and very different hardware.
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