Epiphone Guitars

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Epiphone Guitars

Postby Lo-Fi » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:38 pm

For me, Epiphone like Vega and Slingerland are companies I wished had survived in tact. They made some really fine archtops and flattops (the Vega Profundo may be the best ladder braced dread I have ever played) and it would be interesting to see what they would be turning out these days.

Hard to believe now but at one time Epiphone went toe to toe with Gibson in archtops and held their own. Lawdy, did they hold their own. While it appears they may have been somewhat of a sideline, Epiphone also made some really nice flat tops. I have owned one for years and for whatever reason I probably grab it more than my other wood body guitars. Since I play da bluz on it, I guess I think it is a pretty good bluz geetar.

She be 1956 FT-79, which would be resurrected by Gibson as the square shoulder Texan dread made famous by Sir Paulie. This one with its narrow waist and laminate maple back and sides has more of a downsized 1950s Gibson J-200 vibe. She be one of the last Epis ever made before Ted McCarty, enviously eyeing Epiphone's doghouse bass line, snapped the company up for Gibson.

This poor baby had been horribly mistreated somewhere down the road (note the screw holes in the top among other things). I have slowly been bringing it back to its former glory but still gotta a way to go. But I ain't looking to enter it in a beauty contest. What is does have is a good thumping bass, mids with a touch of muted warmth and crisp highs. Loud as all get out courtesy of its big 16" top and arched back.

I know I can't be the only one here who has a thing for Epiphones. I myself am always on the lookout for one of those Epi Blues Masters which I am convinced were discontinued because they could give the Gibson Blues King a heck of a run for its money. So if you love 'em lets hear ya scream it to the world - loud enough for those guys playing Taylors to hear ya.


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If Epiphone had a trademark feature it would be their French Heel neck.
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Cool ceramic bikini logo plate
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Last edited by Lo-Fi on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby kiwiblues » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:47 pm

Nice guitar Lo fi. What do you mainly use it for?
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby leftyguitarman » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:51 pm

If I could find an old, left handed Epiphone that didn't cost an arm and a leg, I'd have one. They were great guitars and the main reason Gibson bought them was to cut down on competition. It's sad what Epiphone has become today. It's not even close to its former glory. Beautiful guitar, man!
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby Lo-Fi » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:26 pm

I am pretty much a multi-tasker with most of my flat tops. But the Epi is more often as not the guitar that is sitting within arm's reach. I will fingerpick or strum just about anything on it - everything from "Big Road Blues" to the Easybeats "Friday on My Mind" (I love that song) with it.

It has an odd nut size - 1 10/16" but the soft V neck is just about as comfortable to play as it gets.

The only way to approach today's Epiphones is to, like you do with any guitar, judge them on their own merits and not how they compare to the instruments from the company's past glory days or their much higher priced Gibson cousins. I think the Masterbilt line (a name Epi used as far back as the 1930s) gives you alot of bang for your buck. And as I said, that little Epi Blues Master (one of their Masterbilts) was one heck of a concert size guitar for the money. But my opinion, for what it is worth, is any guitar that gives you joy is worth owning,
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby kiwiblues » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:52 am

Couldn't agree more Lofi. I had an Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RA acoustic. Beautiful guitar and I sold it and bought a Larivee D-03. Still prefer the sound quality of the Epi and of course I wish I'd never sold it.
Had it on our local version of Ebay and got all these dick heads writing comments about it being a cheap Chinese guitar and not worth the money.
The guy that bought it fell in love with it as soon as he played it and was happy with the price.
Lo-Fi wrote:I am pretty much a multi-tasker with most of my flat tops. But the Epi is more often as not the guitar that is sitting within arm's reach. I will fingerpick or strum just about anything on it - everything from "Big Road Blues" to the Easybeats "Friday on My Mind" (I love that song) with it.

It has an odd nut size - 1 10/16" but the soft V neck is just about as comfortable to play as it gets.

The only way to approach today's Epiphones is to, like you do with any guitar, judge them on their own merits and not how they compare to the instruments from the company's past glory days or their much higher priced Gibson cousins. I think the Masterbilt line (a name Epi used as far back as the 1930s) gives you alot of bang for your buck. And as I said, that little Epi Blues Master (one of their Masterbilts) was one heck of a concert size guitar for the money. But my opinion, for what it is worth, is any guitar that gives you joy is worth owning,
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby leftyguitarman » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:22 am

You liked the Epi Masterbilt better than your Larrivee? A couple years ago I set myself a $1500 budget to get an all solid wood acoustic. I played every Taylor, Martin, Guild etc under $1500 and couldn't find a single guitar than sounded better than my Larrivee L-03. I even played some $3000 and $4000 Martins that couldn't compare in tone. I love my Larrivee and honestly, I cannot see myself buying an acoustic from any other manufacturer. Larrivee makes every guitar left handed at no additional charge and they will literally build you whatever you want. And, IMO, their prices are far more reasonable than any other North American acoustic manufacturer out there.
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby kiwiblues » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:30 am

I love the Larrivee and I agree with your comments completely including comparisons with other guitars and the pricing.
But my Epi was a fingerstyle guitar and seemed brighter at the high end.
I actually sold it because I didn't care much for the V profiled neck as I have small hands and found bar cording difficult.
leftyguitarman wrote:You liked the Epi Masterbilt better than your Larrivee? A couple years ago I set myself a $1500 budget to get an all solid wood acoustic. I played every Taylor, Martin, Guild etc under $1500 and couldn't find a single guitar than sounded better than my Larrivee L-03. I even played some $3000 and $4000 Martins that couldn't compare in tone. I love my Larrivee and honestly, I cannot see myself buying an acoustic from any other manufacturer. Larrivee makes every guitar left handed at no additional charge and they will literally build you whatever you want. And, IMO, their prices are far more reasonable than any other North American acoustic manufacturer out there.
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby ricbleu » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:20 am

My Larrivee LO3R is my #1 guitar too. I had an Epiphone EL00 and I really did try to get that guitar into my heart, but I never could. The best thing about it was the gorgeous sunburst, but the tone was wooly and the neck would have suited an electric guitar. Then quite by chance I played a Larrivee parlour in a music shop and the clarity and purity of tone was what was missing in my Epi. So after much online searching, I went for the L body with rosewood b&s. It was more expensive than the Epi but I've had the Larri for about three years and I'm still in love. :D Peace
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby Lo-Fi » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:51 am

ricbleu wrote:My Larrivee LO3R is my #1 guitar too. I had an Epiphone EL00 and I really did try to get that guitar into my heart, but I never could. The best thing about it was the gorgeous sunburst, but the tone was wooly and the neck would have suited an electric guitar.


I find those Epi L-00 pretty thin sounding. No matter how much you dig into them just no grit or heft.
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby guitarslim101 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:22 pm

I'd gladly play a few of those old Epiphones. And that looks like a real beauty you have there.
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby PHJim » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:02 am

Nice looking Epiphone. It looks nothing like a Texan. I've played several Texans and they were very similar to my brother's '58 J-50, not square shouldered like a Martin D, but slope shouldered.
I agree with you about the new and old Epiphones. The only thing they have in common is the name. What happened to the Washburn and Goya names is a similar story. Some of the older Washburn (Lyon & Healy) instruments were real beauties. The current Washburn company makes some nice instruments, but not the quality of the originals. Swedish Goyas are also far better quality than the instruments made after Martin took the name over. I like the current Vega banjos being made by Deering, but it's a change in ownership of a name here too, although they are making a better effort at producing a similar instrument than Martin or the new Washburns.
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Re: Epiphone Guitars

Postby lapinemike » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:32 am

What a beautiful Guitar!! I have a couple of Older Epiphone electrics, and they are really nice guitars! Slide on Bro!!!
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