Brand Spotlight: Epiphone

Founded in 1873 in the Ottoman Empire, Epiphone is one of America’s oldest and most revered instrument manufacturers. Before moving to the United States in 1903, Epiphone founder Anastasios Stathopoulos manufactured fiddles and lutes in what is now present day Turkey. After moving to New York in the early 1900s, he began manufacturing mandolins until his death in 1915. The company was eventually taken over by his son and produced its first guitar in 1928. From the jazz craze of the 1920s to the British Invasion of the 60s and beyond, Epiphone has made its mark in every decade in history.

Epiphone’s Gibson Merger

In 1957, Epiphone was acquired by CMI, a company who also owned Gibson, Lowrey, and Selmer. As a result, many of its instruments were patterned after more expensive Gibson versions, and the brand became known as a cheaper “companion line” to the Gibson range. However, Epiphone also maintained its its own line of archtop guitars and basses, many of which are played by some of past and present’s most innovative and groundbreaking musicians.

Everyone from Hank Garland and John Lee Hooker to Paul McCartney and the rest of the Beatles played Epiphone. Today, groups like Radiohead and The Strokes play Epiphone guitars, and it’s not uncommon for classic Epiphone instruments to go for tens of thousands of dollars at auctions. The “Epiphone sound” can be heard on albums by a variety of popular bands and musicians, including Nirvana, the Alabama Shakes, My Chemical Romance, Paul Weller, and Lenny Kravitz.

Epiphone’s Growing Popularity

Eventually, the Epiphone brand went from being Gibson’s “little brother” to a brand that’s synonymous with high-quality guitars, basses, and accessories. As a result of this brand distinction, their popularity continued to grow. In fact, Epiphone is one of the most popular models for everyone from professional musicians to beginners, and even those who don’t currently play an Epiphone guitar have probably handled one at one point in their lives. From the classic Les Paul to guitars designed by Nikki Sixx and Tom Delonge, there’s something for everyone in the Epiphone line.

International demand for Epiphones was so high that in 2004 the company opened a new factory in China, the first time Epiphone had its own dedicated factory since its merger with Gibson in the 50s. Epiphone stays popular with current musicians through their constant innovation. Products like the ProBuckerpickup, the Shadow NanoFlexand NanoMag pickup systems, and premier acoustic and electric guitars with eSonic keep Epiphone one step ahead of the game. Whether you’re a musician who is just starting out or a seasoned veteran, Epiphone has something in their product line for you.
Epiphone Masterbilt Century Collection Zenith Classic F-Hole Archtop Acoustic-Electric Guitar The Masterbilt Zenith Classic Acoustic-Electric Guitar is a medium-sized archtop with an arched solid spruce top with traditional Longitudinal bracing, a laminated flame maple body, and classic f-holes. Inside the upper hole is a 1930s-era replica Epiphone label. The Zenith Classic is available in traditional Vintage Natural and Vintage Sunburst aged gloss finishes, each with unique color tones inspired by Epiphone’s priceless vintage collection in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn More

Epiphone’s Guitar Cases

In addition to state-of-the-art guitars and basses, Epiphone also produces a line of high-quality cases that’ll keep your instrument protected as you travel to lessons, gigs, and performances. Many cases are designed and manufactured for specific Epiphone instruments, ranging from the Thunderbird Hardshell Case to the Epiphone EAKCS Allen Woody Bass Case. Since these cases are designed with the unique specifications of your guitar in mind, your guitar will be held as snugly as possible in its case–something that’s recommended for ultimate protection.

Epiphone Thunderbird Hardshell Case Standard This hardshell case for the Epiphone Thunderbird bass guitar is a rugged wood case covered in Tolex and featuring padded plush lining, heavy-duty handle, and accessory compartment. Super-tough hinges and drawbar latches. The Thunderbird hardshell case’s contoured design saves weight while still providing maximum protection. Learn More

Buy Epiphone at Music & Arts

With over 130 stores across 23 states and over 50,000 products on our website, you’ll find one of the largest selections of gear, accessories, and instruments at Music & Arts–Epiphone products included. If you have questions about the specifics of a particular Epiphone guitar or bass, contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find just what you’re looking for.  With one of the largest product offerings in the world, we offer educator-approved instruments and accessories, including Epiphone guitars, basses, and accessories, at competitive prices. Plus, with our very own Lesson Studio, you can sign up for professional guitar lessons, too. Find your local store today!  

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