The Epiphone guitar officially got its name for the first time when it was registered in 1924. The following year, Epi changed the company’s name once again to reflect the major changing of his company. With the success of Epiphone’s Recording Series banjos, Epiphone bought out the Favoran banjo company in 1925, to keep up with the demand. The sales of these banjos were so great and Epiphone’s name was known so much for them, Epi changed the name of the company to the Epiphone Banjo Company in 1928.

Epi decided that the company should focus more on selling its guitars and the Gibson Company was their main competitor.

In 1934 Gibson increased the body width of one of their existing models to compete directly with the Epiphone Masterbuilt guitar. In 1935, Epiphone introduced the Electar Series to compete with Rickenbacker’s electric guitars. By the time 1937 arrived, Epiphone’s sales had doubled. The rest of the 30’s continued with Epiphone and Gibson competing against each other and both companies introduced similar types of Hawaiian guitars.

McCarty agreed and Epiphone was taken over by Gibson in 1957. In 1964, The Beatles discovered Epiphone guitars and John, Paul and George bought some of the Casino models. Epiphone was once again one of the top names in guitars.

This cut into the sales of the Epiphone and Gibson guitars and the company decided to give the Gibson line more attention. Soon the Epiphone guitar was selling well again.

In 2002, Gibson luthier Mike Voltz is moved over to Epiphone to take care of their acoustic guitar production and marketing. The demand for Epiphone guitars grew so much that in 2003 they opened a factory in China strictly for Epiphone. In 2005, Epiphone reintroduced Paul McCartney’s 1964 USA Texan guitar.

In 2008, the Epiphone guitar is still going strong and more popular than ever.

By Johnny Stall

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