Epiphone is one of the oldest US brands producing musical instruments. It is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and its product range includes various musical instruments and equipment like electric, acoustic, archtop and resonator guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, amplifiers, effects units.
The story of Epiphone begins in Smyrna, Turkey, where a Greek immigrant Anastasios Stathopoulos established his own music factory. Due to high taxes he was forced to move his business to America. Later on this business was inherited by his son Epaminondas (Epi). Epi continued running his father’s business very successfully and with the time renamed it into Epiphone which referenced to his own name and the Greek word “phone” (sound). At the same time the brand name may also refer to the Greek word “epiphonous” which means one sound on another.
Epiphone was one of the leaders among musical instrument manufacturers and successfully competed with Gibson until Epi’s death in 1945. Epi’s younger brothers Orphie and Frixo were less successful with running this business. So by 1957 Epiphone was absorbed by his main rival Gibson. Nowadays Epiphone is Gibson’s budget brand. However it still remains quite popular and provides good quality at a very affordable price.
There are 4 series of Epiphone electric guitars available – Archtop, SG, Designer and Les Paul. Until 1969 Epiphones were manufactured in the United States. Early in 1970s the production was reallocated to Japan, then to Korea. Nowadays Epiphone guitars are mainly produced in China. Nevertheless the quality of their guitars is good.