Category: History

History Of The Epiphone Guitar

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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History Of The Jackson Guitar

The Company by the name of Charvel Guitar Repair made the first Jackson guitar for Randy Rhoads of Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot fame. Grover Jackson and Wayne Charvel were partners of the company with Charvel having his name on the guitars. Speaking of headstocks, the Jackson headstock is very similar to the Gibson Explorer’s droopy designed headstock in shape except the Jackson is pointier at the end of it. The Jackson guitar is also known for the shark fin design of their fret inlays.

The design of the Jackson guitar is sleek and stylish and fit the guitarists of that era perfectly. In 2002, the Jackson and Charvel Guitar Company were bought by Fender Guitars and moved to a factory in Corona, California.

Today the Jackson guitar is still very popular, especially in the Heavy Metal genre.

By Johnny Stall

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History of PRS Guitars

Paul Reed Smith Guitars (or PRS guitars for short) is a well-known and high quality guitar company. They are known for their famous double-cutaway solid-body guitar and the single-cutaway version of this guitar. PRS was started in 1975 by Paul Reed Smith. Santana was hugely impressed by the guitar and would later use a custom-made PRS model as his main guitar.

PRS bodies are made of mahogany with a flame maple cap on most models. A few do not have flamed tops- the shortlived Metal models, with a graphic finish, the Standard model, which is all mahogany and sometimes painted, some painted EG models, and some McCarty models. PRS guitars use pickups and hardware made in-house. PRS finishes are usually natural, except on the aforementioned graphic-finish Metal model and some Standard and EG models.

By Johnny Stall

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The Washburn guitar Company has been producing guitars for over 120 years. Washburn first starting making guitars in 1883 in Chicago Illinois, just a few blocks away from Maxwell Street. African Americans that moved to this location from the Mississippi Delta started the Delta Blues scene. This then led to the increase in popularity of Washburn guitars as well.

Washburn also makes acoustic and electric bass guitars, amps, banjos, mandolins and even travel guitars.

The Washburn Company is also credited with being the first guitar manufacturer to use artists to endorse their guitars. Just turning a knob on the guitar creates this blend.

The Washburn guitar is still very popular with the great guitar players of today. Some of the talented musicians that use their guitars are Dan Donegan (Disturbed), Dave Bakash (Sum 41), David Brenner, Dean Back and Tyler Connolly (Theory Of a Deadman), Doug Ardito, Paul Phillips and Wes Scantlin (Puddle of Mudd), Greg Tribbett (Mudvayne and Hellyeah), Hugh McDonald (Bon Jovi), JF (Kataklysm), Josey Scott and Wayne Swinny (Saliva), Sammy Hagar, Nick Catanese (Black Label Society), Peter Steele (Type O Negative), Rick Savage (Def Leppard), Roger Waters, and Scott Ian (Anthrax).

By Johnny Stall

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The Dean Guitar Company was established in 1976 by luthier Dean Zelinsky, who was only 18 years old at the time. Dean Began playing guitar when he was 9 years old and was restoring old beat up guitars by the time he was 16. By the age of 18, Dean opened up the Dean Custom Guitars repair shop in Northbrook, Illinois. Dean was determined to make his guitars stand out from the rest with good quality parts and a huge sound. The first Dean guitars that were released had some interesting design and engineering features. “V-shaped” headstocks and pointy bodies made the Dean guitar easy to identify on stage as well as produce an amazing tone and sustain. Medeiros continued to make great quality guitars and even improved the Dean guitars by introducing the “neck-through-body” construction.

Dean guitars went through another ownership change in the late 90’s when Armadillo Enterprises bought it. The Dean Guitar Company is still to this day creating great quality guitars at a reasonable price. Other guitar players who have used Dean guitars are Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Ozbourne and Quiet Riot), Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill (ZZ Top), Eric Peterson (Testament), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), Michael Angelo Batio (Nitro), Michael Schenker (UFO and MSG), Rik Emmett (Triumph), Rik Ocasek (The Cars), Rudolf Schenker (The Scorpions) and CC Deville (Poison).

By Johnny Stall

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