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Tell me about the '71 Epiphone Riviera


badtzwang

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Hi. I've come across a '71 Epiphone Riviera and the seller claims it is Japanese made. I don't know much about the Riviera history except for the fact that the American made ones stopped production around the 1970's. I want to make sure that this is indeed legit. Can anyone enlighten me?

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Hi. I've come across a '71 Epiphone Riviera and the seller claims it is Japanese made. I don't know much about the Riviera history except for the fact that the American made ones stopped production around the 1970's. I want to make sure that this is indeed legit. Can anyone enlighten me?

 

The early '70s models were MIJ by Matsumoku, but they were not very good. They had bolt on necks and were basically the same as the inexpensive Japanese imports like Aria with the Epiphone name on it.

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How much would you figure a '71 Epiphone Riviera to be?

 

More than it's worth.

 

and I'm also going to add that there's no such thing as a 1971 Riviera unless we're talking Buicks here. In 1970 Epiphone ceased making the Kalamazoo-made Riviera and the following year they began importing a very low end line of Japanese-made guitars that were actually Aria models that were re-labeled with the Epiphone brand and had some cosmetic changes. One of these models, the Aria 5103T became the Epiphone 5103E which was a very cheap hollow body electric with a bolt-on neck, a cheesy tremolo and cheesier electronics. The following year the model without any real changes became the Epiphone EA-250. In about 1974 the EA-250 was offered with a walnut finish, chintzy gold hardware and a Frequensator tail piece and this was called the EA-255 and in the years that followed the EA-255 model number was extended with the "Casino" as well as the "Riviera" model name designations with no apparent differences between the two. They go for around $300 but they're worth about half of that at most. They have absolutely nothing in common with the Epiphone Rivieras and Casinos that preceded it or any of those same models that followed it. There are of course those who like them and to that I say "Horses for courses". My advice: save your money.

 

...and Al's your uncle.

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