... Vintage Original 1969 Epiphone FT-90 El Dorado Flattop Dreadnought Acoustic . Working musicians value Epiphone for its inexpensive versions of Gibson’s classical guitars or original models from the century-old brand founded by the Stathopoulo family. In the late 1930s, just prior to America’s entry into World War II, the rivalry between Epiphone and Gibson showed little sign of abating. He attended Columbia University and graduated with honors. $2,695.00. or Best Offer. However, during the first years of production, the Epiphone guitars made in Japan were designs already produced by the Matsumoku Company, with only the Epiphone branding on the headstock. In 1963, the Troubadour, a flat-top steel-string guitar, was introduced. But also guitar collectors look for the old and iconic Epiphones acoustic and Hollow-body such as the Emperor, Casino, Excellente, among others. In this way, Epiphone definitely became the brand of budget guitars that we know today. Also, the Montana plant built 250 Excellente, Texan and Frontier guitars. But at the end of the Second World War in 1945, it had suffered a great blow; the Company had lost its leader when Epi died of leukemia. The variety of musicians that traverse the history of Epiphone is remarkable and extensive. Gibson’s parent company, CMI -Chicago Musical Instruments-, was bought -at least in part- in 1969 by ECL -Ecuadorian Company Limited-, an Ecuadorian brewing company. ... 1969 Epiphone … Also, it eliminated most of the old-style mandolins, while also introducing the Recording line of banjos, then the most popular instrument in the United States. Over the next several years, Epiphone would sell 3,798 instruments in 1961 and in 1965 it would represent 20% of the total instruments shipped from Kalamazoo. Seventy years ago, the “Stathopoulo House” as Epi’s Manhattan showroom was known, was a gathering place for the best musicians in the Big Apple. However, the crisis was not limited to the “invasion” of cheap foreign products, there were also internal problems. By 1979, the Epiphone product list was expanding, with more than 20 guitars. The most famous of these was the Double Cut Casino, first introduced in 1961. The Stathopoulo brothers did not agree with the vision of the future of the company, and in 1948 Frixo sold his shares to Orphie. The pots were replaced so there are no date codes to go by but has the skinny neck that was being used around 1969, so we shall go with that. Voltz contributed to the re-development of Epiphone with the reintroduction of the Masterbilt range along with the 2005 reissue of the Epiphone Paul McCartney 1964 USA Texan. Epi continued to expand the business and also its reputation for quality work. Hey! Epiphone is one of the guitar manufacturers in the United States with more history and tradition, contemporary and direct rival of Gibson for decades, behind this century-old brand there are secrets, myths and truths. This seller has not set a shipping cost for Canada. In 1939, the two firms introduced similar pitch-changing Hawaiian guitar designs, the predecessor of pedal steel. So he offers the company and Ted accepts, which meant his departure from Gibson months later. On Saturday afternoons, Epi would open shop windows and let the leading guitarists of the time – artists like Al Caiola, Harry Volpe and Les Paul – perform while people listened on the sidewalk. I had contact with both companies. Left: Epiphone label as used from 1935 to 1956; this one is 1956. Super light at 5 lbs, 6 oz, plus it plays great and sounds great! Before the sale to ECL, the possibility of producing the Epiphone product in Japan had already been considered. A few years later, Anastasio married and started a family. Those who attended the 1994 NAMM witnessed the reintroduction of Epiphone legends such as the Casino, Riviera, Sorrento and Lower Rivoli. However, since Gibson worked with exclusive distributors and dealers by zone, there were important stores and businesses to which they could not sell because they were in an area that already belonged to another official agent. By 1928, The Epiphone Banjo Company was making banjos for Selmer / Conn and the Continental Music line of stores, a major instrument distributor. Epiphone was one of the biggest brands in the early acoustic and electric guitar years in America. Required fields are marked *. However, new shareholders quickly saw the potential of the more than 100-year-old company. The opening chapter of Epiphone’s history begins in the mid-1870s, when the Greek Stathopoulo family settled in Izmir, a Turkish city with a strong Greek presence. The serial number indicates it could have been made 1966-67 or 1969. Look for guitars similar to yours and record their prices. In July 1936, Epiphone showed several new models at the National Association of Music Dealers (NAMM) show at the Stevens Hotel in Chicago, including an electric piano created with the Meissner Inventions Company in Milburn, New Jersey. Thus, Epiphone is a brand with much more history than the ordinary guitarist knows. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The two companies merged in July of that year, resulting in Norlin Corporation. Epi was only 22 when her father Anastasios died. However, the growth of copies made abroad were stealing the market from instruments made in the United States that were much more expensive. Thus, at the end of the 1960s, these cheap copies gained more than 40% of the market share of Epiphone, Gibson and other American companies, some even ended up melting.