Thank you for signing up to GuitarPlayer. Explore Acoustic Travel Guitar. From 1958 through 1961, Sheratons were equipped with Epiphone’s single-coil New York pickups, white “carousel” tone and volume knobs, gold-plated metal parts and either Epiphone’s Frequensator tailpiece or a Bigsby vibrato. Created to compete with Gibson’s legendary L-5 archtop, the retooled De Luxe boasted a big, 17 3/8-inch lower body width and Epiphone’s newly developed Frequensator tailpiece. It was a marketplace riposte to Gibson’s Super 400, sporting a colossal 18 1/2 inch body width. It covers some of the most recommended and high performing models of both the acoustic and electric guitars. The Model E was at the top of the Recording series, sporting a carved spruce top. For gearheads who came of age during the British Invasion, the Epiphone Rivoli is the epitome of bass guitar cool. Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison all owned sunburst Casinos, and all three were integral to the Beatles’ music. The neck profile on the 1963 and 1964 models make them more desirable to players than the 1965 through 1969 iterations, when the neck became smaller. Epiphone suffered an even bigger setback when Epi died of leukemia in 1943 at age 49. The rivalry probably existed well before then, but as Epiphone eventually transformed its primary focus from building banjos and mandolins to guitars, the competition between the two companies became increasingly evident. With its double-cutaway, thinline, semi-hollowbody design, the Epiphone Sheraton is a close cousin of the Gibson ES-335. Collectors' Dozen: Epiphone's 12 Most Desirable Guitars 1928–31 Recording Model E. Although the Stathopoulo family built numerous guitars on a custom order basis ever since... 1935–40s Masterbilt De Luxe. Every guitar aficionado knows the story of Paul McCartney’s 1964 Epiphone FT 79 Texan flattop acoustic guitar, heard on “Yesterday” and many other Beatles and Macca solo tracks. And it’s been that way ever since. NY 10036. These were right-handed guitars strung for left-handed players, and each came with a label bearing McCartney’s hand-written signature. Epiphone’s guitar production expanded rapidly during the Art Deco Thirties, and the company quickly became known as a preeminent maker of jazz archtop guitars. It was initially viewed as a poor kid’s Gibson Les Paul Junior or SG Junior, although today many consider it an equal. That alone sent Sixties kids scurrying to find one of these symmetrical, sunburst, semi-hollowbody bass guitars. Given that Lennon and Harrison’s 1965 Casinos were used in concert, and thus photographed more often, this iteration is slightly more collectible than the 1962 model that McCartney played. 22 Best Epiphone Guitar Reviews The Epiphone Prophecy Collection features iconic "Inspired by Gibson™" body shapes with a modern twist for players seeking to break tradition and set new standards. As the big band era got underway in the Thirties, Gibson and Epiphone … The body got a little slimmer, the contours a little rounder and it acquired a funky, symmetrical, plastic pickguard. From the moment in December 1927 when Epaminondas “Epi” Stathopoulo officially changed the name of his musical instrument manufacturing company from the House of Stathopoulo to the Epiphone Banjo Corporation (later shortened to Epiphone Inc. in 1935), the company seemed motivated to outdo their main rival, Gibson. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, While Epiphone’s Sixties models are often considered “budget” alternatives to Gibson models, in this case the Excellente was actually an equal counterpart of Gibson’s Hummingbird and Dove models in terms of materials, craftsmanship and style. One of the great jazz archtops, the Emperor Regent represents a high point in Epiphone’s post World War II output. Epiphone’s new solidbody and thinline electric models complemented Gibson’s range of electrics by filling in gaps or exploring alternate approaches, and Epiphone’s flattop acoustic line expanded to provide lower-priced alternatives to Gibson flattops without sacrificing quality. Put it all together and you’ve got a pawnshop beauty that no longer goes for pawnshop prices. Outranking the De Luxe, the Emperor took its place at the top of the Epiphone line. Here are some of the most sought-after vintage Epiphone classics. The “epsilon” E initial on the pickguard, cloud fretboard inlays, and “tree of life” motif adorning the center-dip peghead all proudly proclaim this instrument as an Epiphone. When a big, fat humbucker replaced the Rivoli’s original single-coil pickup in 1960, a legend was born. As the design genius behind the Gibson Les Paul, Flying V, Explorer and ES-335, McCarty successfully ushered Gibson into a new golden era. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links on this page. That was the sound we all craved.”. Lil' Tex Travel Acoustic. As current Epiphone president Jim Rosenberg recently pointed out, “the merging of Gibson and Epiphone turned out to be one of the landmark events in pop culture history.” The new breed of Epiphone instruments helped fuel the game-changing sound of the mid-Sixties British Invasion. Log, at the 2020 Epiphone Riviera and Casino models wide ) and size! 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