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What a beauty, and a rare one at that! I really wasn't sure what I had until I did some poking around., but i could tell that this was a really good one!
Epiphone shipping totals from the 60s and earlier are out there, as is the case for Gibson instruments of the era. This model was produced in limited numbers with just 24 made in 1968 and 166 in total. It is said that the sunburst version wasn't made in '68 at all, so this is a truly rare item!
Condition overall is near mint. The finish is so beautiful. The guitar is captivating in person.
We are sure that we were the first to turn any screw on the guitar since it was assembled. There's a feeling as you verify a guitar like this as things like the pickup covers come off - they sat against the lacquer so long that they literally left an impression and required a little coaxing to come off. The pickups are so tightly fit and clearly were never disturbed before so we didn't remove them for pictures as we normally would. You can see the slight oxidation on the metal pickup bases - the same white, powdery fluff that builds on pots and switches in untouched guitars.
The control plate removal went similarly. It was a bit nerve racking getting it out actually. The factory foil shielding had clearly never been disturbed so we just took a couple pics and put it back on.
The guitar is pretty unique in other ways than just the low production count. Gibson and Epiphone guitars were built with a 1 916" nut from 1965 into the 70s. This model kept the more desirable 1 11/16" nut width. Additionally, the scale length is 25.5", like a Fender rather than a Gibson or Epi.
The pickups, tone and feel are all Epiphone/Gibson. The guitar plays so well and is set up really nicely. The truss rod was checked and is fully functional. The switching is pretty wild - lots of tonal variations are available.
The original case comes with the guitar - it is a high end Ess and Ess case like those that came with early and mid 60's Gibsons and Epiphones. I would normally think that this case style was older than the guitar, but it is very apparent that this package has been together from the start. The original hang tag is in there to support this. Perhaps someone buying this guitar got a bit luck and got an older case from the dealer back in '68, or this is actually the original. It is in similarly clean condition as the guitar.
- Color: Sunburst
- Weight: 6lbs 9oz
- Body: Semi Hollow, Maple
- Neck: Mahogany
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Inlays: Mother of Pearl Dots
- Frets: Original
- Fret count: 20
- Nut material: Synthetic Bone
- Nut width: 1 11/16"
- Scale: 25.5"
- Radius: 9.5"
- Neck thickness at 1st fret: .84"
- Neck thickness at 12th fret: 1.0"
- Action 1st String at 12th Fret: 1.25mm
- Action 6th String at 12th Fret: 1.5mm
- String gauge: .010-.046
- Hardware: Original Nickel
- Bridge Pickup: Original P-90
- Middle Pickup:
- Neck pickup: Original P-90
- Tuners: Original
- Pots: Original
- Case: ohsc
- Notes: 166 made in total, only 24 in 1968