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Vintage Epiphone solid body guitars

Electric guitars manufactured by Epiphone

Epiphone guitar manufacture can be spit into four main phases: (i) Stathopoulos family, 1873-1957, (ii) CMI/Gibson, 1957-1969, (iii) Norlin (Matsumoku, Japan), 1970-1985, (iv) Gibson Guitar Corporation, 1986-date. Solid body guitars had been available from Gibson and Fender through the 1950s, but the only Epiphone electric guitars produced prior to 1957 were electric acoustics, typically full body jazz guitars.

USA Epiphone solid body guitars

When Gibson owner CMI bought Epiphone in 1957, they also bought tooling, unfinished guitars and a lot of parts. Epiphone solid body production did not start until two years after the take-over, with the first two models (Coronet and Crestwood Custom) shipped from the Gibson Kalamazoo plant in 1959. These guitars were joined by the Olympic and Wilshire a year later, and the Crestwood Deluxe in 1963. These guitars used much of the same woods, construction methods and hardware as the Gibson models that were produced side-by-side in Kalamazoo. As mentioned, Gibson inherited numerous Epiphone parts, and many early examples were fitted with Epiphone New York pickups, headstock badges and Epiphone knobs.

In terms of design, the Gibson-made Epiphone solid body guitars were quite unique. There were two versions, the first was a compact guitar with deep, symmetrical cutaways and large symmetrical pickguard - built between 1959 and 1962. From 1963 the guitars were lengthened, specifically with a new 'batwing' headstock, but also loosing it's symmetry, with the stubby cutaways, longer on top, and almost non-existent on the bottom.

1962 Epiphone Coronet with the early symmetrical body shape. Image Heritage auctions

1965 Epiphone Crestwood Deluxe with the better known asymmetrical design. Image Heritage auctions

From the 1966 Epiphone catalogue - A natural development of the electric guitar was the solid body instrument... both guitar and bass. Contributing no acoustics of it's own, it's music is all produced by the pickups and the amplifier. This instrument was becoming popular with artists in the late forties and early fifties/ then, the age of "Rock and Roll" came into being and for music with a beat, the solid body had no equal. It is now used as a lead guitar in combos and bands across the country, and is uniquely a product of the age of electronics. 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.

Gibson vs Epiphone

In terms of construction and specifications, the Epiphone solid bodies were more or less analogous to the Gibson SG and Melody Maker guitars. They had the same basic construction: mahogany bodies and necks, with a (usually) rosewood fretboard, and the same translucent Cherry finish. They were wired more or less the same and listed at more or less the same prices. Actually, where there was a difference, the Epiphones tended to be the higher priced of the two. The table below compares the different models.

Epiphone modelEquivalent Gibson model
modelspecifications1963 pricemodelspecifications1963 price
Epiphone Olympic 1 or 2 PU-380 pickup $139.50, $169.50 double pickup Gibson Melody Maker 1 or 2 PU-380 pickup $119.50, $155 double pickup
Epiphone Olympic Special 1 PU-380 pickup $119.50 Gibson Melody Maker 1 PU-380 pickup $119.50
Epiphone Coronet 1 P90 $162.50, 189 with vibrola Gibson SG Junior (TV) 1 P90 $155
Epiphone Wilshire 2 P90 or 2 mini humbuckers $249.50, $277 with vibrola Gibson SG Special 2 P90 $225
Epiphone Crestwood Custom 2 mini humbuckers, tremotone vibrola $345 Gibson SG Standard* 2 humbuckers $310
Epiphone Crestwood Deluxe 3 mini humbuckers, ebony fretboard, nickel plated hardware $450 Gibson SG Custom* 3 humbuckers, ebony fretboard, gold plated hardware $450

* SG Standard and Custom were still officially called Les Paul Standard and Custom at this point, though would be renamed shortly afterwards

Japanese Epiphone solid body guitars

In the late 1960s, American guitar manufacturers were in financial trouble. Imported Japanese guitars were consistently undercutting the US built ones, with quality improving all the time. So in 1969, Epiphone production ceased at Kalamazoo, being replaced by a series of guitars built by Aria in the Matsumoku plant in Japan. These guitars were loosely based on the US models, but at a significantly lower price.

The first guitar was the 1802T debuting in 1970. This was fairly quickly renamed the ET-270, with newer models ET-275 and ET-278 added to the line in 1972, and the ET-290 added in 1973.

1976 price lists show new models, the ET-276, and ET-285. In 1977 the Scroll series was launched (SC-350, SC-450, SC-550, later SCIIB), followed by the Genesis series in 1979 (Standard, Deluxe and Custom).

American-built Epiphone guitars had a brief revival in 1983, with the American series: Challenger, Corvus, Spirit, Special. These models were quickly discontinued, being rebranded as Gibson guitars, to be replaced by the Wilshire II, Wilshire III and Crestwood II in 1984 - once more made in Japan.

Once Norlin sold out to the current owners (Gibson Guitar Corporation), Epiphone guitar manufacture was firmly based in Asia, specifically Korea and China. Today, the Epiphone guitar range is more popular than ever, selling lower priced versions of many USA-built Gibson models in large numbers.

2024 Vintage Guitar price guide 2024 Vintage Guitar price guide

Need the value of your guitar? The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide 2024 is out now: Amazon

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Epiphone USA Coronet Vintage Cherry with Case

Epiphone USA Coronet Vintage Cherry with Case

Santa Monica, California, 904**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


[contenteditable]{ pointer-events: none; }A Legendary Epiphone Original Comes Home to the USA
This Epiphone Coronet is part of the USA Collection. It is made in Nashville, Tennessee, by the same skilled luthiers and craftspeople who build all of the Gibson USA models with the same high-quality materials and design techniques
First introduced in 1958, the Epiphone Coronet is one of Epiphone??s first and most successful original solid body electric guitar designs, and now it has come home ... more
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Vintage 1965 Epiphone Olympic Single Electric Guitar

Vintage 1965 Epiphone Olympic Single Electric Guitar

Cleveland, Ohio, 441**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Here is a 1965 Epiphone Olympic single electric guitar, made in the USA. The serial # is 5171XX. This beauty is in excellent condition. It was refinished in the original color. It was professionally done and looks original. All the parts are original. The neck is straight with good action. The frets are in great shape. All of the electronics work as they should. Included is a hard shell gig bag. This is a great guitar for any player or collector!
Please feel free to ask me any ... more
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Epiphone 1965 original vintage Coronet Solid Body Electric Guitar -

Epiphone 1965 original vintage Coronet Solid Body Electric Guitar -

Oceanside, New York, 115**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


... more
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1963 Epiphone Coronet Cherry

1963 Epiphone Coronet Cherry

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


Up for sale is a squeaky clean 1963 Epiphone Coronet in its original cherry finish. I absolutely love this era of Coronets and this one is flat out awesome. Entirely original with a hot original dogear P90, chunky neck profile that measures .88 @ 1st and 1 02 @ 12th. Very clean less some faint play wear and a small area of missing finish on the bass side of the neck near the neck pocket. Pro setup in house and comes complete with a non original hard case. Weight: 6lbs. 10oz.
NOTE ... more
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1963 Epiphone Coronet

1963 Epiphone Coronet

Los Angeles, California, 900**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Cherry, Mahogany body, Small soft V shaped Mahogany neck with a 12?? radius Rosewood fingerboard and the original medium frets, 24 75?? scale length, 1 5 / 8th" nut width, Factory Dogear P-90 pickup with the master volume and tone controls, Original pickguard / stop tailpiece and tuners, 5 6 pounds, With hardshell case, Very good
* Please note - a few different vibratos were previously been installed
Neck Thickness (in ) 1st- .80 12th- .98
Neck Profile C
Fingerboard Radius
Nut ... more
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1964 Epiphone Wilshire Rare Custom Color Blue w Hard Case

1964 Epiphone Wilshire Rare Custom Color Blue w Hard Case



Vintage original Epiphone 1964 Wilshire in super rare blue finish.
We have taken the guitar apart and it appears the finish is completely original. It is our understanding Epiphone did a rare batch of this model in a orange and some in blue.
Neck is straight and plays great. It has a small, thin profile. Great for someone with smaller hands. It plays with a good action and no buzz or issue. Beautiful Rosewood fretboard. No cracks or breaks. Serial number on back of ... more
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Vintage Epiphone Olympic Special 1963 - Sunburst 5lbs 9oz

Vintage Epiphone Olympic Special 1963 - Sunburst 5lbs 9oz

Huntington, Indiana, 467**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


For sale is an Vintage Epiphone Olympic Special 1963 - Sunburst in Good Condition!
Similar to Gibson's later iteration of the "Melody Maker " , this guitar has tons of vintage charm and is a really solid player!
Serial Number: 57767
The guitar has been recently restored, here is a list of all the work that was done:
Original pickup rewoundBrand new electronicsNew bone nutChicken knobs installed for vol / toneNew Strap knobsAction set up low and plays great!Some of the tuning machine ... more
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1967 Epiphone Olympic Mahogany w case

1967 Epiphone Olympic Mahogany w case

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 189**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1967 Epiphone Olympic MahoganyWeight: 5 LBS 13 OZmostly original guitaronly changed parts are the strap buttonsnarrow 1 9 / 16" nut which is common for 1967not 100% positive the frets are original but they are medium sized frets (not small) have no notable wear on them and are in excellent conditionIf they were changed then it was a pro job and they are excellentneck is straightaction is nice and low and easy to playtrem works niceits a really cool vintage guitaroriginal cherry finished ... more
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2024 Epiphone USA Coronet Ebony Finish Electric Guitar w / OHSC

2024 Epiphone USA Coronet Ebony Finish Electric Guitar w / OHSC

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


2024 Epiphone USA Coronet Ebony Finish Electric Guitar w / OHSC
Located At IVG Burbank
New From The Factory On Display In Our Shop
Mahogany Body And Neck With Rosewood Fingerboard
Ebony Finish
Weight 6lbs 8oz
Nut Width 1 7315 "
Neck Depth At 1st Fret .85 "
Neck Depth At 12th Fret .94 "
Comes With Original Hardshell Case
Made In USA
... 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


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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1963 Epiphone Olympic (Melody Maker) Sunburst Finish Electric Guitar w / HSC

1963 Epiphone Olympic (Melody Maker) Sunburst Finish Electric Guitar w / HSC

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


1963 Epiphone Olympic (Melody Maker) Sunburst Finish Electric Guitar w / HSC
In Very Good Overall Condition (See All Photos)
Shows Cosmetic Playwear And Finish Checking Throughout
Mahogany Body
Mahogany Neck
Rosewood Fingerboard
Weighs In At - 5lbs 6oz
Nut Width - 1 63 "
Neck Depth At 1st Fret - .81 "
Neck Depth At 12th Fret - .93 "
Made In Kalamazoo, MI
Includes Non-Original Hard Shell Case As Shown
... more
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Pre Owned Vintage 1965 Epiphone Olympic Black With Gig Bag

Pre Owned Vintage 1965 Epiphone Olympic Black With Gig Bag

Santa Monica, California, 904**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


[contenteditable]{ pointer-events: none; }
You want a vintage piece that is exceptionally simple to rock? Behold this Epiphone Olympic!  It's in the only color you need it to be in, which is Black   It's quite the find in this condition
This guitar features one single-coil pickup with a volume and tone control - simple, easy to dial in, and all that you need   This a slab mahogany body with two cutaways for easy access to the whole fingerboard. The Olympic has a slim vintage '60s neck ... more
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1963 Epiphone Olympic

1963 Epiphone Olympic

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1963Epiphone Olympic, Sunburst, Double cutaway, 1 & 11 / 16 inches wide at thenut, Black single coil pickup, Stud tailpiece, Gold knobs, Vertical logo, Lightweight, Fine instrument, EC, Gig Bag... more
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* chrome cover has yellow paint around the edges
* 7, 4 K OUTPUT
CHECK OUR SHOP OUT -------------->>>>>
... more
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Epiphone Coronet, Baujahr 1963, Cherry, Vibrator

Epiphone Coronet, Baujahr 1963, Cherry, Vibrator

Bad Schwartau, 23***, GERMANY


Ich biete eine sehr schöne Sammlergitarre, vintage, Epiphone Coronet in der Farbe Cherry, Baujahr 1963 an. Die Coronet ist mit einem Vibrator ausgestattet, mit double cutaway, one pickup und case. Die Gitarre ist made in USA. Hervorragender Zustand (near mint). Gerne Abholung. Privatverkauf... more
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1969 Epiphone Olympic - Made in USA

1969 Epiphone Olympic - Made in USA



EPIPHONE OLYMPICmade in USA by GIBSON / 1969BODY MATERIALMAHOGANY - a stop tail piece was installedNECKMAHOGANYFINGERBOARDROSEWOODINLAYSDOTSPICKGUARDoriginal, wornFRETSare in good shapeTUNERSNEW tunersPICKUPS1 original singel cpoil & 1 Peavey humbucker was installedCONTROLS1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector , all new partsBRIDGEchrome tunematic styleOTHER PARTSnew pot knobsFINISHES2 tone sunburst, has laqur checking and wear... more
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* finish stripped
* NO breaks
* needs parts
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1965 EPIPHONE WILSHIRE - made in USA :
* finished is stripped, original inverness green still visible in cavities
* small patch of wood on back=check pic 6
* serial number is faint
* no other parts included
CHECK OUR SHOP OUT -------------->>>
... more
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1965 Epiphone USA Olympic Double - Cherry Red  /  Vibrato with Hard Case

1965 Epiphone USA Olympic Double - Cherry Red / Vibrato with Hard Case

Nottingham, NG1***, UNITED KINGDOM


Beautiful Epiphone Olympic Double model, dating from 1965 and produced at the Kalamazoo factory, USA

A lovely example of Epiphone??s 60s student model - the Olympic. This is the lesser-seen, desirable double pickup model, featuring 2x single coil pickups that were also used on Gibson Melody Maker models.

All original from head to toe, no routing, no finish work and retaining all of its original parts

Super lightweight, playing beautifully and sounding great. ... more
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1967 Epiphone Wilshire Vintage Rare Collector

1967 Epiphone Wilshire Vintage Rare Collector

Paris, 75***, FRANCE


The real deal circa 1967

Straight from the Kalamazoo factory and from the family of the original owner.

This one appears all original with the exception of one changed saddle on the bridge, a neck reset, a missing string ferrule and potentially the nut

The PAT # pickups as well as all the electronics are original. Same goes for the full set of tuners, bridge and tremotone (missing arm)

Super light and resonant guitar. This one will definitely get ... more
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bluesboybrown Comment left 29th April 2013 05:05:06 reply
Hey, I need an epiphone solid body vibrola, the early style also used on the SG special. Cash waiting. Any heads up welcome
faversham Comment left 3rd March 2012 21:09:38 reply
Looking for orig. 1961-63 molded Epi gray tolex/blue interior case(s) for my (2) '61 Wilshires.


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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

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1961 Hohner Zambesi

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1963 Vox Super Ace

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1966 Vox New Escort

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1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

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1973 Eko Ranger Folk

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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.