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1962 Epiphone Coronet Colors???


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I've got a 1962 Epiphone Coronet that some nimrod refinished an odd-*** color, and they added a second rhythm pickup to.

The rest of the guitar is nice (great P90, etc...) so I'd like to put this back to stock.


In adding the second pickup the prior owner added one extra hole on the body -- for a jack.


For this reason I'd rather not refin the guitar in Epiphone cherry, because, being a see through kind of opaque finish -- it will not hide the repairs.


I've got the Walter Carter Epiphone book and it doesn't list any colors for Coronets in 1962 except cherry red.


However, I've talked to a couple vintage guitar shop guys who swear they have seen '62 onets in orange, white, and black.


Also, I've seen DWIGHTS that don't look as opaque as regular Coronets -- the red looks more solid and more like cardinal red and not cherry red.


Epiphone didn't come out with the silver fox and greeen fox? colors until '63 or '64.


This guitar was made in Kalamazoo.


It makes sense somebody might have ordered a few in custom colors -- even for a budget guitar like a Coronet.


Any old timers or real Epiphone experts out there who know if Epiphone allowed customers to order 1962 Coronets in custom colors? And, if so -- were they the standard 1962 Gibson colors?


I just want this thing to look right, and undo the past butchering as best as I can. If I ever sell it the buyer will know it's a refin -- but it might as well look as good as possible...


Thanks in advance to any 'gurus' who know this answer...



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Hey steviegitar--


Welcome to the forum.


I'm not an expert by any means, but I find this page a very useful internet resource that has (so far) been very reliable (I've already directed you to the Epiphone Coronet info with the link): Antique Vintage Gutars: Epiphone page


If this page is correct, the Coronet first came out in 1958 in black and sunburst, which might explain the memories of the shop people with whom you've talked. These colors would cover the remembered black and orange, especially if the sunburst had a very narrow dark edge. I've seen sunbursts on Gibsons that I might remember as amber in fifty years myself.


According to that page, yes, the Coronet only came out in cherry in 1960-1963, when the oddly named silver fox finish was added as an option (the guitar is painted green, but they used silver pore filler underneath; as you suggested in your email, green fox seems a wiser name for an obviously green guitar). Interestingly enough, as I saw in both the Carter book and on the site above, the Crestwood Custom came out in 1962 in an optional white finish. That could be what your shop folks are remembering when they recall white finishes.


Again, use this info FWIW: the guy who manages this page is an avid collector/researcher, but I don't think he claims to be the final expert. On the other hand, several of us here in the forum have found this page to be spot-on and very, very helpful.


My instinct is to doubt that custom colors were run on a budget instrument. As soon as you do custom anything, you blow the profit margin on the budget line. Is it possible? I suppose, but given that Epiphone was being run precisely as a low-cost, no-frills attack on the low end market, the possibility is very small. Probably if their memories are not just plain ol' wrong, the shop owners you know could have seen refinished guitars that were done really well and so they took them to be stock.


Given that the guitar has already been refinished once and has at least one extra hole in it (didn't he need to route out the body for the second pickup as well?), I would say that you should just pick a nice color that you like and refinish the guitar in that. The resale value is already shot with all the mods (and it wasn't a hot vintage commodity to begin with) so now you might make it more valuable by making it a really sharp-looking refin in a color you like a lot. Just my two cents.


Last quick note on "opaque": the more opaque something it, the harder it is to see through. I think you may be mixing it up in your comments above. In other words, a solid color is actually completely opaque. The less opaque a color is, the more likely you are to see through it to the wood grain. I just mention this because you want to make sure you don't request a "less opaque" finish when you have the guitar refinished, or you will end up seeing all the repair work.



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Thanks...I'll see what I can find on the Epiphone forum.


I have seen the 'antique guitar' material -- but some vintage experts have told me they have seen '62 Coronets in colors other than cherry semi see through red.


I guess I'm just looking for more evidence their 'sightings' were real -- and not some 60's fuzzy memeories...

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I'm sorry for reposting all the info from the Antique Vintage Guitar pages. I should have asked first. Oh well, it was still fun to learn something new about Epis.


One other thought that struck me is that finishes from the '50s and '60s vary a lot: I have an ES-125, and they can vary from almost natural to an almost completely opaque amber in the center of the burst. It appears the semi-transparent finishes were very individual, depending on who was spraying that day (and maybe even on the paint source). These semi-transparent finishes also seem to age differently. So I would not be surprised if two semi-transparent cherry finishes came out of the shop on the same day yet not only looked very different in terms of their range of opacity but also aged differently as well, with at least one of them appearing almost complete opaque and the other looking much lighter as the years go on.


Early Fender Custom Telecasters that were finished in sunbursts all were tri-burst, but the red faded out entirely over time and in direct ratio to sun exposure. Fender only figured out how to stabilize the red after several different experiments. I mention this a) because Fender introducted triburst Telecasters in 1962 (as I recall) so it is in the same period as you are discussing; and :D it might explain the same instability in the Coronet vs. DWIGHT reds that you have seen. In other words, could the dark reds be the original and the faded reds be the result of aging and/or sun exposure?



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Thanks...knowledge is good to have wherever it comes from.


My 'default' is, if I can't determine with some certainty that '62 Coronets came in colors other than cherry -- I'll have my refinisher just spray a cherry nitro finish that is more red than opaque.


Hopefully this will cover up the wooden plug that will have to be used to hide the past butchering.


By the way...the guitar has a refinished black headstock with what looks like a newer gold Epiphone decal.


Anyoune know a good source for old style decals?


'62 Coronets did not come with the metal headstock badge -- but the 'script/typeface' on the Epiphone decals from the early 60's looks slightly different than the new reissue decals.

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