Epiphone 1962 Wilshire Custom Historic USA

In the build up to Namm, Epiphone has announced a few new models, including this 1962 Wilshire Custom Historic USA. Part of what Epiphone calls its Historic Custom USA collection, the 1962 Wilshire re-issue commemorates the solid body guitars the company made in the late-fifties and sixties in Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory.

The 1962 Wilshire Custom Historic USA is based on the 162 Wilshire SB-432 and comes in Cherry Red. It has a Peruvian Mahogany body and glued-in set neck. Its rosewood fretboard has 22 frets with pearloid dot inlays, and the headstock is set at 17 degrees with three Vintage Kluson machine heads on each side.

The pick-ups are soapbar P-90s with adjustable pole pieces and there’s a three-way selector switch with volume and tone controls for each pick-up.

Only 100 of these special issue WIlshires will be made and each includes an original style hard case, cerstificate of authenticity, vintage coiled guitar lead, a 1962-leather strap and commerative picks and a t-shirt.

The 1962 Wilshire is very different to later models, such as the one on which this Wilshire was based, which had humbuckers and a ‘bat wing’ headstock.

Jimi Hendrix and Roger Daltrey are among the musicians to have played original Epiphone Wilshire models.

Epiphone Byrdland

The Epiphone Byrdland, part of Epiphone’s Elitist range of guitars, is a stunningly beautiful archtop hollow-body electric guitar that was born to play jazz.

Originally designed and built by Gibson in 1955, the Epiphone Byrdland takes its name from its two designers, jazz guitarists, Billy Bird and Hank Garland.

The current incarnation of the Byrdland has a single Venetian cutaway, the same as the original Gibson Byrdland. Gibson modified the cutaway between 1961 and 1968, using the deeper and more rounded Florentine cutaway.

The carved solid spruce top is complemented by AAA flame Maple sides and back. The maple/rosewood neck is a five-peice job, having been three-piece on the original Gibson model between 1955 and around 1965. Fingerboard is ebony with trapezoidal inlays and the nut is bone. Tuners are Grover with Imperial buttons, which really look the part in 24K gold.

Down at the other end, the neck is set at the 24th fret, and the rhythm and treble humbuckers each have volume and tone control pots. There’s also a three-way pick-up selector, making it easy to switch between rhythm, treble, and both pick-ups. And the lovely 34K gold tailpiece and black scratchplate look perfect next to the carved spruce top.

Click here to see Epiphone Byrdland guitars currently listed on Amazon

The Byrdland has been available in a number of finishes over the years, including Natural, Sunburst, Wine Red, VIntage Cherry Sunburst, and Ebony. The Epiphone Elitist Byrdland is available only in Natural.

Interviewed in 2004 by Epiphone, The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn described his Epiphone Byrdland as ‘a beautiful guitar, probably the most beautiful guitar I’ve seen in my life! The, wood, the gold hardware and pickups, made with Japanese precision, it’s just gorgeous’ High praise, indeed.