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EPIPHONE | BASS

Epiphone bass guitars

The story of vintage Epiphone basses from 1960s-1980s

Epiphone Rivoli
Epiphone Newport bass

Think of vintage Epiphone bass guitars, and you probably picture a hollowbody Rivoli in the hands of a 1960s beat group. This was actually the first Epiphone electric bass; they only built upright acoustic basses in the 1950s prior to it's purchase by Gibson/CMI - in fact part of the rationale for taking over Epiphone in 1957 was to get the associated bass tooling. Today, Epiphone bass guitars are a huge part of Gibson's product line, offering several pretty accurate reissues of classic Gibson and Epiphone bass models, but at a quite affordable price point. This page is about the older Epiphone basses: those built by CMI in Kalamazoo, and those built for Norlin in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The Epiphone electric bass story begins in 1957. Once Epiphone guitar production was moved to the Gibson plant, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, new models started to appear. These were branded as Epiphones, but usually based on Gibson models, sharing hardware and Gibson construction methods, and sometimes almost identical. The point of this duplication was to allow them to be distributed to stores who wanted Gibson quality products but had not been lucky enough to be selected as the Gibson dealer for a certain area. These Epiphones were every bit as good as the Gibson guitars with which they were produced side-by-side.

Vintage Epiphone basses - USA models

The first Epiphone bass guitar was introduced in 1959: the hollow-body Epiphone Rivoli based on the Gibson EB2. It was only manufactured in small numbers, and was joined by the solid-body Epiphone Newport based on the Gibson EB0 in 1961. The Newport had it's own body and headstock shape; although functionally and tonally very similar to the EB0, it looked very different. The Rivoli was identical (excluding headstock shape and pickguard) to the EB2.

Both the Newport and Rivoli basses were short (30") scale, and in 1963, Gibson produced it's first long (34") scale model, the Gibson Thunderbird and the Newport-styled Epiphone equivalent, the Embassy Deluxe.

As the 1960s ended, American guitar companies were really struggling to compete with cheaper imports from Asian manufacturers. Epiphone production ceased at Kalamazoo in 1969, in favour of a number of similar looking, but considerably cheaper models produced by Matsumoku in Japan.

Japanese Epiphone bass guitars

The final Epiphone price list of the 1960s (June 1968) lists the single-pickup Newport at $270, with the Rivoli at $425. The first Epiphone catalogue of the seventies (Oct 1970) lists a dual pickup solid body bass #1820 at just $115, and an electric-acoustic equivalent to the Rivoli the #5120 at $135. The price difference was simply huge.

These were both rebranded versions of guitars that had been available since 1967 - under the brands Aria, Conrad and possibly many more. The #5120 was previously sold as the 1220 bass, the #1820 kept the same model designation as used by Aria.

So just how did these models differ from the basses they were replacing? Both had the same short (30 1/2") scale, a rosewood fretboard and 20 frets, and a Cherry finish - that is about where the similarities end. The new models were dual pickup instruments (as opposed to the single pickup Rivoli and Newport) but with single coil units instead of humbuckers. The traditional set neck was replaced by a much simpler (probably maple) bolt-on. Body woods are unspecified in literature of the time, but were no longer the mahogany of the Newport, nor the maple of the Rivoli.

By 1972 these two models were renamed ET-280 and EA-260; and were joined by a third model, another dual pickup solidbody, but this time with a long (34") scale: the ET285. It had more of the styling of the original Newport, with the earlier body shape and the same characteristic scratchplate, but with the same hardware as the ET-280.

1972 Epiphone brochure showing the three models available at that time, the ET-285, ET-280 and EA-260

The forementioned models were pretty basic, hence their low prices in comparison to previous Epiphone models. The next bass to join the Epiphone line was a step up however, and was launched at the 1974 NAMM show in Houston: the ET-288N.

The Epiphone ET-288N had similar body styling to the ET-285, i.e. the familiar Newport-esque shape with overall short body and slightly extended top horn. But it had a very different construction: it featured a maple body, but with a maple through-neck, and maple fretboard, similar in construction to the earlier Gibson Thunderbird, or bearing in mind choice of woods, the Rickenbacker 4001.

It had better hardware and electronics too; it was fitted with more powerful humbucking pickups (in fact around this time the ET-285 was also upgraded to humbuckers) and separate volume and tone controls for each pickup.

As the seventies wore on, Epiphone continued this trend of favouring mid-level basses over the absolute budget instruments of 1970. The ET-280 was phased out in 1975, followed by the EA-260 in 1976. The Epiphone Scroll and Genesis ranges appeared briefly in late 1977 and 1979 respectively, each offering several guitar models and one bass. Again these were a step up in design and features, offering better quality woods and more advanced electronics.

In the early 1980s, a number of solid-body Epiphone instruments were produced in the USA once more, branded Epiphone USA. No bass models were officially offered, however at least one oddity came out of the Kalamazoo plant: the Epiphone E-3 / B-450. It was basically a Gibson G3, which was at the end of its production run, with it's bottom horn removed and the tip of the headstock reshaped. At least three examples exist - probably more.

Current Epiphone bass production

Today, Epiphone guitars and basses are produced in China and Korea. The Epiphone bass range is greater than it has ever been, with replicas of many classic instruments widely available at reasonable prices.

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1960s GOLD ALCO JAPAN KNOBS SET OF 3 TEISCO ARIA PENCO HARMONY UNIVOX EPIPHONE

1960s GOLD ALCO JAPAN KNOBS SET OF 3 TEISCO ARIA PENCO HARMONY UNIVOX EPIPHONE

Berlin, New Hampshire, 035**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$49

SALE PRICE & FREE USA SHIPPING!
These knobs will fit many brands of 60's guitars & basses. They're Made in Japan but will fit standard 1 / 4" shafts. They each have 2 set screws so they are also suitable for use on pots with knurled shafts. Very high-quality machined aluminum that is gold anodized. Single red indicator line and vertical grooves for improved grip. Very hard-to-find! FREE USA SHIPPING and a 30-day return privilege for any reason. The Bass Palace will be listing loads of... more
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Epiphone Newport 4-string Electric Bass Guitar - California Coral - Neck Cracks

Epiphone Newport 4-string Electric Bass Guitar - California Coral - Neck Cracks

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

$52


For Repair
4-string Electric Bass Guitar with Mahogany Body, Mahogany Neck, Indian Laurel Fingerboard, and 2 Humbucking Pickups - California Coral
The neck has severe cracks stemming from the corners of the nut shelf that separate with applied pressure. The electronics function to spec. No accessories included
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 ... more
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Epiphone Embassy Pro Electric Bass Guitar husk w /  Pickups & Tuners - project

Epiphone Embassy Pro Electric Bass Guitar husk w / Pickups & Tuners - project

Oswego, Illinois, 605**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$200



Epiphone Embassy Pro Electric Bass Guitar husk w / Pickups & Tuners - project
Any questions, please feel free to contact us!
Great item by DeMont Guitars!
10% Restock fee on cancelled or returned items
Returns not accepted from overseas and buyer should assume item is 'as-is' please feel free to ask any and all questions prior to auction end. Please email if you plan on bidder, or would like to purchase item for out-of-USA delivery
WE DO NOT DO PARTIAL ... more
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Epiphone ET285 Bass guitar Pickup Used condition SEE DETAILS

Epiphone ET285 Bass guitar Pickup Used condition SEE DETAILS

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

$225

Epiphone ET285 Bass guitar Pickup. 1970's. Used but fully functional with signs of use but in good condition for its age. 9 63K ohm at 22 5 C / 72 5 F. Length of braided lead wire is 10 inches. Ceramic magnets. No mounting screws or springs included. Pickup being sold as is. Other items in photos (multimeter and thermometer) are not included, they were only used to show the output and the temperature at which the output was taken at. Photos are part of item description. Presently only shipping... more
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+ VTG 1994 Epiphone 4 String Electric Bass Guitar w / Hard Case - MADE IN KOREA! +

+ VTG 1994 Epiphone 4 String Electric Bass Guitar w / Hard Case - MADE IN KOREA! +

Aliso Viejo, California, 926**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$270

This 1994 Epiphone GIBSON 4 String Electric Bass Guitar w / SKB Hard Case is in very good overall preowned vintage condition and working order! Shows expected minor age / use / handling / storage related wear, surface scratches, nicks, debris, etc. plus 1 noticeable ding on the bottom, as pictured. MADE IN KOREA!
Comes as shown Please see pics for closer detail as they should be considered part of the condition description and feel free to message us with any questions and / or requests for ... more
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Epiphone Embassy Special IV Bass Guitar 2 strings UNTESTED needs to be rescrewed

Epiphone Embassy Special IV Bass Guitar 2 strings UNTESTED needs to be rescrewed

Raleigh, North Carolina, 276**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$275

Untested storage unit auction find any questions feel free to ask and thanks for looking!

will need to be screwed back in? Please look at all pictures
... more
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Epiphone Embassy Special IV Bass Guitar

Epiphone Embassy Special IV Bass Guitar

Harrison, Ohio, 450**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$300

The bass guitar you are looking at is in Very Good Condition
This Bass not only plays great but sounds even better
The frets and neck are in Perfect Shape!
Bass has light scratches on front headstock as shown in pictures
Weight 8 0Lbs 2oz
If you have any questions, please ask
Scale pictured, Case or Bag is Not Included.... more
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Epiphone Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel Fretboard, Smoked Almond Metallic

Epiphone Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel Fretboard, Smoked Almond Metallic

Tucson, Arizona, 857**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$325

For sale is my lightly used Epiphone Embassy bass in excellent condition. Just thinning the herd. This is what I consider a very easy playing 34" scale bass. And the pups and eq allow for a variety of tones. If you check out user reviews on various websites you'll find that they're quite pleased. Will ship in a gig bag. Here's the blurb on this bass:
Well-balanced, great-looking bass takes the pain out of long sessions and showsAn homage to 1960s Embassy basses, with significant ... more
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Epiphone Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel, Graphite Black

Epiphone Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel, Graphite Black

National City, California, 919**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$391

YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR PRO AUDIO GEAR Free shipping on Domestic orders* 30-day returns moneyback guarantee Customer Support Online Chat Epiphone Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel, Graphite Black
Description
Epiphone's Premier Solidbody Bass
Ever since it was first introduced in 1963 the Epiphone Embassy Bass has been a player favorite, and now it's back and better than ever. Featuring an asymmetrical solid mahogany double-cutaway body, a 34" scale mahogany neck capped with an ... more
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Epiphone By Gibson Rock Bass Ebony Jazz Bass Hockey Stick Headstock Very Rare

Epiphone By Gibson Rock Bass Ebony Jazz Bass Hockey Stick Headstock Very Rare

Flower Mound, Texas, 750**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$400

Epiphone By Gibson Rock Bass Ebony Jazz Bass Hockey Stick Headstock Very Rare.
These were made from 1986-93 according to the internet. The serial number sticker has been peeled of, but I believe this is an earlier one
Very nice looking bass
Sealed tuners, new strings, brass saddles, black on black with matching headstock, all original
The body has a few light nicks and scratches, in the clear coat. None major
No apparent fret wear or groves
The bass has just had a ... more
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Epiphone Embassy Bass - Wanderlust Metallic Green

Epiphone Embassy Bass - Wanderlust Metallic Green

Howell, New Jersey, 077**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$400

Epiphone Embassy Bass - Wanderlust Metallic Green. It's got a ding on the bottom that has been sealed up. It's smooth to the touch. Aside from that, It is in very good condition with some light signs of use (shallow surface scratches or smudges that don??t show up in pictures and can only be seen upon close inspection)
There's no signs of significant damages or evidence of repairs. Electronics function as they should. There??s little to no fret wear. There are no buzzing or dead frets and ... more
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Epiphone EBEMSAMNH1 Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel Fretboard, Smoked Almond Metalli

Epiphone EBEMSAMNH1 Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel Fretboard, Smoked Almond Metalli

National City, California, 919**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$425

YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR PRO AUDIO GEAR Free shipping on Domestic orders* 30-day returns moneyback guarantee Customer Support Online Chat Epiphone EBEMSAMNH1 Embassy Bass, Indian Laurel Fretboard, Smoked Almond Metalli
Description
Epiphone's Premier Solidbody Bass
Ever since it was first introduced in 1963 the Epiphone Embassy Bass has been a player favorite, and now it's back and better than ever. Featuring an asymmetrical solid mahogany double-cutaway body, a 34" scale ... more
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Epiphone Newport Bass in Pacific Blue

Epiphone Newport Bass in Pacific Blue

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

$428

... more
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Epiphone Newport Bass in Sunset Yellow

Epiphone Newport Bass in Sunset Yellow

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

$428

... more
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Epiphone Newport Bass in California Coral

Epiphone Newport Bass in California Coral

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

$428

... more
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Epiphone Embassy Bass Electric Bass, Graphite Black

Epiphone Embassy Bass Electric Bass, Graphite Black

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

$468

... more
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Epiphone ET-285 1972-1977 Vintage Bass Sunburst MIJ   FREE SHIPPING

Epiphone ET-285 1972-1977 Vintage Bass Sunburst MIJ FREE SHIPPING

Neosho, Missouri, 648**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$659

FREE SHIPPING
Any questions, just ask ;)
This is a super cool, and rare bird
Made in Japan, vintage, and all original, except for the truss rod cover
This one even has the original bridge plate cover
She's definitely been rocked, with signs of wear throughout, I've circled the 2 biggest dings on the bass
Otherwise, the rest are just scratches and minor dings from common wear expected for a 50 year old instrument
Plays great, no issues
I'll ship it to you with a ... more
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1972 Epiphone 1820 / ET280 Short Scale Bass Guitar  Made in Japan

1972 Epiphone 1820 / ET280 Short Scale Bass Guitar Made in Japan

Fairfield, Ohio, 450**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$700

I am selling a vintage 1972 Epiphone 4 string short scale bass guitar with its original case. Made in Japan. I have another guitar just like this with a perfect pickguard and I am going to put this perfect pickguard on this bass. The case is useable
Added photo: the excellent pickguard I removed from my other ET280 and will put in place of the original pickguard in the photo
There is a hairline crack on the body top I noticed after I took these photos. Please wait to bid until I get ... more
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1970s Epiphone ET-285 Electric Bass with OHSC - 3 Tone Burst - Vintage

1970s Epiphone ET-285 Electric Bass with OHSC - 3 Tone Burst - Vintage

Evansville, Indiana, 477**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$899

1970s Epiphone ET-285 Electric Bass with OHSC - 3 Tone Burst - Vintage. Condition is Used. Shipped with USPS Ground Advantage.... more
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1970s Epiphone ET-285 Electric Bass with OHSC - 3 Tone Burst - Vintage

1970s Epiphone ET-285 Electric Bass with OHSC - 3 Tone Burst - Vintage

Woodbury, New York, 117**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$900

1970s Epiphone ET-285 Electric Bass with OHSC - 3 Tone Burst - Vintage
For sale, a 1970s Epiphone ET-285 in very good vintage condition - functionality and playability are perfect whereas the cosmetic condition is pre-loved showing surface scratches and minor indentations. The original bridge pickup was swapped by the previous owner sometime ago, and was replaced with a now vintage Dimarzio J Bass Split Coil pickup. This pickup choice gives the bass even more of a nice well rounded sound ... 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

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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.