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Epiphone is a guitar manufacturer better known as the modern-day budget arm of the Gibson company. While Epiphone creates excellent quality copies of established Gibson guitars at more affordable prices, it has branched into creating some new and entirely independent models of its own, harking back to the days when it was Gibsons main rival.


Early Business

Epiphone dates back to the 1870s, in Smyrna, Turkey, where Greek founder Anastasios Stathopoulos made his own fiddles, lutes, and Lioutos. Stathopoulos moved to the United States of America in 1903, and continued to make his original instruments, as well as mandolins, from Long Island City in Queens, New York. However, Anastasios died in 1915, and his son, Epaminondas, took over. After two years, the company was known as The House Of Stathopoulos. Just after the end of World War I, the company started to make banjos. The company produced its Recording Line of Banjos in 1924, and, four years later, took on the name of the Epiphone Banjo Company. They produced their first guitars in 1928. Epi Stathopoulo died in 1943. Unfortunately, control of the company went to his brothers, Orphie and Frixo, who were not as capable an owner as Epi. In 1951, a four month long strike forced a relocation of Epiphone from New York to Philadelphia.

The company was founded by Greek national Epaminondas ("Epi") Stathopoulos (in Greek, Επαμεινώνδας Σταθόπουλος) when he inherited his father's business, The House of Stathopoulos, in 1915. The name Epiphone (a combination of Epaminondas' nickname "Epi" and "phone", Greek for "sound") would not appear until 1924. The company had a heated history of competition with Gibson until Stathopoulos died in 1943, when it fell into a commercial slump. Weakened, it would be bought out by the competition in 1957

Epiphone Today

Epiphone is now a subsidiary of Gibson, somewhat like Squier is a subsidiary of Fender (the chief difference being that the Squier line of guitars was created in-house by Fender; in other words, there is no such thing as a "pre-Fender" Squier guitar). Because of this subsidiary relationship, many of the instruments look the same as the more expensive Gibson versions. However Epiphone still maintains its own line of professional-quality Archtop Guitars, a type of guitar used in Blues and Jazz music styles. The instruments given the Epiphone badge usually have roughly equal quality components to the Gibson ones, but may not be quite as elaborately decorated (such as gold hardware on a Gibson model and chrome on an Epiphone model).

Index of Epiphone Guitars

Epiphone Dot

Epiphone Casino

Epiphone Riviera

Epiphone Goth Les Paul

External Links

Epiphone Official Website

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