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What was your first Epiphone Guitar, and Why?


charlie brown

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So, which "Epi" did you all buy first, and was it for/because of...financial reasons, artitist influence,

or just because you loved it?

 

Mine, was a 1966 Casino, Vintage Sunburst, identical in every way,

to John Lennon's guitar (before he stripped the finish), except it didn't have

the "Goof Ring" small black switch washer. Otherwise, it was identical.

He's the reason I bought one, as well. One of the better purchases, I made,

back then, too.

 

How about you all?

 

CB

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I walked into the local music store just to have a look around, back in 1995 or so and they had this Epi LP Classic Birdseye, a '94 Samick build in amber that some guy had ordered and then backed out on. First time I had seen an Epiphone LP with a set neck and of course back then I was too gullible to realize that the gorgeous maple top I was drooling over was just a veneer... so I wheeled and dealed and traded in a Vantage 12-string plus some cash and I took that baby home.

 

Les%20Paul2.jpg

 

Ended up throwing Seymour Duncans into it, plus a set of real Grovers (not the Korean stuff)... pretty decent axe but I sold it when I needed cash to get an Elitist SG.

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For me, it was Les Paul Deluxe in 2000, I think. I'd wanted a Les Paul since I was a teenager, but couldn't afford one. I played every LP under $1000 in the store and liked the Deluxe (or rather, my SPECIFIC Deluxe) best. It looked good, felt good, sounded good, and was priced at about $400.

 

Later, I discovered that "Deluxe" meant my pickups were mini-humbuckers. This made them somewhat of a bridge between single-coils and humbuckers. One of the things I've come to love about that guitar is how I don't really have to change settings on my amp when I alternate between it and my Strat. It's a *bit* louder than the Strat, but mostly that comes across in a tad more distortion.

 

At first I wasn't sure if I liked the metallic flake red paintjob... but when I saw it under stage lights, I fell in love. Under stage lights it looks like it's been coated in vasalene or something. Incredibly shiney.

 

At any rate, it appears I stumbled upon a two-year or so window when Epiphone was selling Deluxes. Gibson had sold 'em in the 70's (I think), but they didn't do so well. They later re-issued them a couple years back exclusively through Musician's Friend. Other than that, the Deluxe has been completely unavailable on the new market, from what I understand.

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A Casino in 2003. The only reason i bought my casino was because of John Lennon. When the former owner showed it to me, It was the first time I saw a casino in person. I did not asked for some discount so when he told me about the price I immediately paid him the amount. And also I did not know at that time if the guitar is working or not. Funny.

 

pempol

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Third one was a Saein 1999 G-400. I squirrelled away money like a slave to afford that sucker. This was back in the days when I had to pay retail prices for guitars. Couldn't live with all the discrepancies in a so-called 'faithful replica of a '62 SG'. Dumped it and bought a cinnamon Gibson LP Junior lite instead.

 

LPJL.jpg

 

...sure don't miss that G-400 much.

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Bigtime. P-100s rock. Doubt I'll ever regret grabbing the Junior lite; I think I managed to acquire one of the last ones in Canada if not THE last one. Nobody had an idea what I was talking about at the 'big' stores but the guy running the local mom 'n' pop shop cut through all the BS and nailed me that sucker.

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My first Epi was a 12 string accoustic, FT-165. It was a Christmas gift in the early '70s. I haven't seen it in years........hmmmm....do I still have it? Yes. It's got only 6 strings on it now, it needs a new nut and saddle. I picked this out from the other accoustics because it felt good, sounded good, looked good, and best of all.......it was FREE!

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My first Epi is a Les Paul Jr. '57 reissue in a beautiful sunburst. I got it 'cause it gave me really bad GAS!!!!!:D

I was at the music store just about every day for 2 weeks before deciding to put it on layaway. That way no one could steal it fom me and I didn't have the money at the time anyways.

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Les Paul Standard Plus

 

Loved the sound Vandenberg, Schenker, Moore were getting from their Gibsons. (Schenker played a V, love the look but unpractical to play)

Bought an excellent Kasuga Les Paul, almost 25 years ago. Nasty accident after 2 weeks. Started to build my own guitars.

Over the years my passion for playing guitars faded only to resurface a couple of years ago. Bought a PRS Tremonti SE. Close, but no sigar. Enter Epiphone.

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I'm answering this because some of you will get a chuckle out of it. Others may remember the "times" with a certain amount of nostalga. I got my first epiphone 44 years ago. It was a tobaco sunburst, dual single coil pickup Epiphone Olympic. It was my first electric. The cost was $135. That included a hard shell case. I was only working part time so it took a month to pay for it. For those who remember, choices were few. You either bought a Guild, Gretch, Gibson, Fender or an Epiphone. Amoung the few other choices was to go to Sears or Wards and buy a Silvertone, Tuscam, Del Ray. There may have been a couple others, but that was 1964 and my memory is not what it once was. The 60's saw to that. I do remember that even then I liked solid bodies, and the Epi just looked and felt right. The only concerns about sound back then was how loud your amp was. Yes, we did have electricity.

 

Ps. Back then, I been ..ez was an incomlete statement. Your Johnson was a body part. Prs was somthing your mother had, and wash burn was what you got from using the wrong soap.

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My first Epi is an flat-top acoustic bought in a pawn shop for almost nothing (I still have it). It has a blue label inside that states Epiphone in Kalamazoo and also Made In Japan, but the model number and serial number have faded. The unusual thing about this guitar is that it has a semi-adjustable bridge - not pitch wise but height.

 

Why? Getting an Epiphone was an accident. I just couldn't pass up the price. I don't much though. I had never played acoustic guitar before, always doubling on the electric that was supplied by the guitarist in the band (while I played sax). I found the acoustic uncomfortable to play and although I like acoustic when someone else is playing it, I don't have the desire to play like that (at least right now -- that could change anytime).

 

 

The first Epi I intentionally bought is my Casino (which is als0 my first electric Epi).

 

Why? I loved my Gibson ES-330 but it is now a collectors item, so I only play it at home where I can be careful with it. The Casino is the closest thing to the 330 currently in production. To tell the truth, if Gibson still made 330s so that new or slightly used ones weren't in the multi-thousand dollar range, I probably would have gotten another 330. On the other hand, I'm glad I got the Casino, it exceeded my expectations.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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My first and only Epiphone is my Les Paul.

 

I didn't intend it to be, though. When I decided to get back to playing guitar after 20 years, I wanted to get a Gibson (mostly because I'd been indoctrinated into the brand by most of the guitarists I like.) I thought an SG was the way to go, but then I found out how much a Gibson SG Standard cost. After doing some more research into how to get a cheap Gibson, I learned of the Epiphone brand and it's role in the world. So, looking through the Epiphone offerings, I fell in love with the now discontinued G-400 Deluxe with the flame maple top and vintage sunburst finish. Not your usual SG. However, after heeding the advice from folks who know better, I went to a bunch of local music shops and tried them out. I hated them. I couldn't get comfortable behind any G-400. So, I tried a bunch of other guitars (not only Epiphones and Gibsons, but a number of other big-name brands) before finally finding that the Epiphone Les Paul (which was last on my list of possibilities) fit me really well. It was a comfortable fit in terms of the neck and body shape. I decided to pull the trigger, but did so through Musicians' Friend when they had that odd value-pack deal.

 

My next guitar is going to be a semi-hollow, with the leading contenders being the Epiphone Elitist Sheraton and the Gibson ES-339 with a '50's neck. But I am also intrigued by the Epiphone Nick Valensi Riviera, and the Epiphone Wildkat, and the Elitist '63 Dot, and...

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Blondy. My Sheraton II.

I was looking for an acoustic.

Local prices were insane. Found a nice washburn on sale blem for forty dollars more than catalog price.

Sent back two other Washburns to Sam Ash. Twisted necks!

(too bad too.. great tone and beautiful guitars)

Finally I saw a sale catalog..

local price was like 800.00

 

epi sheraton any finish hardshell case included. 428.00

I really thought.. probably seconds, blems, refurbs..

nope. pristine perfect.

Never looked back.

 

Bought a Taylor 310 later on. gonna sell that soon.

 

But since Blondy.. I always check out epiphone.

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A friend of mine picked up one of the scroll guitars in the late 80s and loaned it to me. I loved it. So I never looked down my nose at Epiphones. In an earlier thread I mentioned the mid-60s Epi I passed up because the store owner wanted $25 more than I was willing to part with. Sigh..

 

I picked up my G-1275 this past January. The store gave me a great deal on it, and I thought it would be a great visual addition to the band. I was right...the first gig I brought it to was a place that serves food as well. A family of four was eating dinner while we were setting up. I pulled the two-headed beast out of the case and heard a little voice piping, "WOW! Mommy, Daddy...look at that guitar!" I had to smile...

 

I followed that up with my '56 Gold Top last month. I absolutely love this guitar. My Washburn HB-35 needs some work on the neck, so for the time being, my Epis are the two guitars I'll be gigging with.

 

Future Epis...I'm looking at them, but the wife has suspended my line of credit (so to speak) for the time being...

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My first was a '64, Kalamazoo FT45 Cortez acoustic and was given to me a by a bandmate. I think the original cost was $110 and it was considered to be less than wonderful... lol I still have it though but I've had to repair a few things here and there including changing the bridge etc. etc..........J

 

EpiFT45Cortez001.jpg

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