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When did they start?


pohatu771

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This may be a silly question, but when exactly did Epiphone start making Les Pauls and SGs and such?

 

Through the sixties they made the archtops, and Wilshire, Coronet, Crestwood, and Olympic.

 

Then in the seventies they moved to Japan. From what I've read, most of what was built there was just the guitars the Japanese factories were already building, until they introduced their own lines, like the Scroll.

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I believe it might have been a little earlier than that guys.

I knew a guy who had an Epi LP back around 1978-79. I remember it because I remember some of us making fun of his Gibson "Copy". We gave him a real hard time. I was in high school and didn't know better.

But I know it was before 1980.

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I believe it might have been a little earlier than that guys.

I knew a guy who had an Epi LP back around 1978-79. I remember it because I remember some of us making fun of his Gibson "Copy". We gave him a real hard time. I was in high school and didn't know better.

But I know it was before 1980.

 

The first Epiphone Les Pauls (made by Samick in Korea) came out in about 1988 and SG's followed a year or so later. In about this same time frame c.1988 the Orville brand of Japanese-made Les Pauls appeared. The Orvilles evolved into Epiphone Japan (c.1995) and Epiphone Japan evolved into the Elitists.

 

...and Al's your uncle.

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It's possible the Czech Epi LP's were earlier than 1988?

 

Seems to me we went through this on the old Epi forum years ago and someone came up with a pre 1988 Czech one' date=' but my failing memory is foggy on it.[/quote']

 

Norlin was pretty adamant about making even legitimate copies of the Gibson models (which is why the Epiphone higher end (1975-1986) Matsumokus were only the previous Epiphone models) so before 1988 there were no authorized copies of Gibson models with any name on the headstock. Hence why the Burneys and Tokais were so popular. When Henry J and company took over in 1986 there was nothing they'd stop at to make a buck...but to their credit they also lifted the over-all quality of the entire Gibson/Epiphone line above the level of mediocrity...and they decided to exploit the consumer market with pretty high quality imported Epiphones and appeased the professional market by raising the bar on the Gibson product quality level. But it's like a new restaurant...once they establish the clientèle they start the shortcuts and make the cost cuts ostensibly to increase the bottom line but which usually results in a drop in product level followed by an increase in price to compensate for the loss in revenue from the loss of bottom line because of the drop in product level...rather paradoxical and confusing...I don't even think the Czech Republic factory opened until after the 1993 division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia so I don't think there were any pre-1988 (at which point Czechoslovakia was then a closed Communist economy) Czech Republic Epiphones.

 

 

...and Al's your uncle.

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I believe it might have been a little earlier than that guys.

I knew a guy who had an Epi LP back around 1978-79. I remember it because I remember some of us making fun of his Gibson "Copy". We gave him a real hard time. I was in high school and didn't know better.

But I know it was before 1980.

What about the Lawsuit LP's?

the ones that Univox was pumping out?

was that not late 70' early 80's?

Could be wrong, just curious.

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There was no mention of Epiphone Les Pauls or SGs on there... just the Epiphone solidbodies I mentioned in my original post.

 

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what Rockin Dude was alluding to by showing the lack of LP's and SG's during those years.

 

That page reinforces the contribution by Iconoclast.

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What about the Epiphone Spirit? They looked like a Les Paul DC and were made prior to '88' date=' though they didn't call them a "Les Paul." Maybe that's what your friend had.[/quote']

 

It very well could have been an Epiphone Spirit from the 80's. They were built in the Kalamazoo factory in Michigan right along side their Gibson cousins. If memory serves they had the Gibson "open book" headstock and had "Epiphone USA" at the top. And I think they may have had the "Dirty Fingers".

They were not as flashy as the Gibby's, mostly solid colors, every now and then one will pop up on eBay.

Love those double cuts!

The 80's USA Epiphone Spirit was light years better than the "Baldwin Spirit" LP copies that are in your local best buy.

There is no comparison.

As far as the Univox LP's and the notorious Ibanez LP's they were very playable "copies" but they were not Epiphones. The Tokai's were the spot on copies for that era.

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