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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: pre-gibson buyout epiphones....?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/92211

Gibson Gangsta - Posted - 08/30/2007:  10:59:54


anyone play a prewar, pre-gibson buyout epiphone? I always wanted to convert an old tenor to a 5....didn't know much about them, anybody play one? or have information? or ever seen one? enlighten me!!!

pickin' aint easy.......or cheap! so hire me for all your art related needs!

BANJO MAFIA......this 5 string thing of ours......

mcanaedi - Posted - 08/30/2007:  12:21:50


Gangsta,

They are wonderful. I would say they are (IMO) probably the next best thing to a Gibson. I'm sure I could start a fire saying that? I found a five string Epiphone "B". There is some question as to whether or not it is really the original neck. The neck has the same inlays as the link below with a silver pot assembly like the one in the link below. I put a set of cryrogenic strings on it. It is an archtop. My banjo teacher loves it. He wanted to trade me his 60's Ome for it. The neck is a three piece neck w/o the truss rod. Maybe this weekend I'll rough out a sound file for you. Just beware I am rough at this point. U'll get the idea though. If it weren't for the poor fit to the pot I would say it is original. If it is a conversion, it is an old one. The original tuner screw holes are in the back of the peghead before they put on a set of old planetary(?) tuners.

http://www.banjoworld.de/High362.htm Bandmaster "B"
http://www.banjoworld.de/High149.htm Fretboard
http://www.banjoworld.de/Epiphone.htm Pot assembly

Dave

May Your Grove Be Phat (George Porter, Jr)

DHutchens - Posted - 08/30/2007:  14:12:25


An Epiphone was just fine for Eddie Adcock for all but the last few months he was a Country Gentleman. Many Many wonderful recordings were done.

Doug

mcanaedi - Posted - 08/30/2007:  16:20:13


Which album was it that Eddie Adcock and Earl Scruggs where on the cover with Earl and his Gibson and Eddie with his Epiphone?

DHutchens - Posted - 08/31/2007:  07:15:36


I think that was Don Reno and Eddie on REBEL 1482.

Doug

Gibson Gangsta - Posted - 08/31/2007:  12:03:56


I think thats right......

pickin' aint easy.......or cheap! so hire me for all your art related needs!

BANJO MAFIA......this 5 string thing of ours......

stanger - Posted - 08/31/2007:  12:26:16


Hi, GG...
All the Recording Series banjos are hard to find, relative to Gibsons, Vegas and others from the same time period. Epiphone made many lower-grade banjos that are quite good sounding and very sturdy, but the Recordings wee the top of the heap. The 'House of Stapautholo' banjos are from the same company, but are older. When Epinophoulo (Epi) took over his father's company, he changed the company name to Epiphone. Under his father's tenure, many banjos were made, mostly open-backs.

Epiphone dropped out of the banjo business almost completely in the mid-30's, so finding an Epi Recording that was made after 1935 is real tough. After WWII, a music conglomerate, Continental Music, took over the management when Epi died, and introduced several new guitars. They may have made some new banjos then, and Eddie's may have been from that time.

I've never seen any of these post-war banjos, but the picture of Eddie's has a very post-war look in keeping with Continental's designs. Any Epi original 5-string is exceptionally rare, but the old House Of... 5-strings are much more common. These banjos are similar to Vegas and other brands of the 1900-1918 era.

The Recordings are all arch tops. There are two distinctly different tone rings, which produce very different tonalities. The later ones are cast bronze, but they don't sound like a Gibson much... they have a bright tone, but fuller than most Gibson archtops. They are also very heavy.

It may be possible that Eddie's banjo is a post-buyout floorsweep that Gibson assembled from Epi parts. There were enough parts left then that Gibson was able to produce floorsweep Epi guitars for over a year before they needed to start making bodies, and the Epi pickups continued to be installed for at least another year after body production began.

regards,
Stanger

"Sometimes I like green shade, and sometimes I like dry shade"


Edited by - stanger on 08/31/2007 12:30:24

phischer - Posted - 08/31/2007:  13:01:32


I have always wanted one the old Epis, seems just like anything else, some years back you could pick up an Epi REcording cheap. I would like to hear yours Dave.

C Fischer

Bill Rogers - Posted - 08/31/2007:  16:55:30


Hmm, I'd always assumed that someone made a neck for Eddie's pot with inlays mimicking those of a D-45.

Bill

Gibson Gangsta - Posted - 08/31/2007:  20:04:24


thanks for the refresher stanger.....you forgot to add that the remaining brothers (forget thier names but could check....I have the biography of gibson and it goes into detail about the "epiphone" purchase so I'm familiar with thier history) after epi died bickered over the company until one left and the other made it fold up and be sold to gibson in the 50s.....think I might have heard that story before....but does anyone know one would go about finding one? I've been watching ebay....I'm not REAL serious yet.....as I think it might be a conversion project....I know epiphone made banjos as early as 1910s I think....maybe before that....looks like I gotta go re-read my book.....hang on...gimme the weekend...haha

pickin' aint easy.......or cheap! so hire me for all your art related needs!

BANJO MAFIA......this 5 string thing of ours......

stanger - Posted - 09/01/2007:  01:53:22


Hi, GG...
There were two other brothers and a sister. All four of the kids were involved throughout most of the lives with the company. Epi was the oldest, then Minnie, then Orphie and Frixo. Minnie was the bookkeer. Orphie took over after Epis sudden death, and had always been in management. Frixo, the youngest, liked to build 'em, and was the floor manager.
Orphie got into trouble with the workers returning from WWII who wanted to unionize, and turned management over to Continental, who just messed things up. Orphie took the company back, had more troubles, and turned it over to Frixo far too late. Frixo closed the doors, and the unemployed workers all made a big bonfire of half-finished guitars and most of the wood stocks and sat around and got whopping drunk.

There is a book devoted to Epiphones and their history... and it's very good.

Finding an original Epiphone is tough. Don't hold your breath, but keep yer eyes peeled.
regards,
Stanger

"Sometimes I like green shade, and sometimes I like dry shade"

Gibson Gangsta - Posted - 09/01/2007:  10:25:54


cool thanks stanger! do you know the name of that book by chance? also.....was it the fired epiphone workers that where hired by guild.....or am I thinking of something else?

pickin' aint easy.......or cheap! so hire me for all your art related needs!

BANJO MAFIA......this 5 string thing of ours......

DHutchens - Posted - 09/02/2007:  14:54:49


The Epiphone that Eddie Adcock played was not an origional 5 string, the neck was built by Tom Morgan using the D-45 martin style fingerboard inlay and the large diamond and Epiphone inlayed in the peghead.
You can go to www.emusic.com/.../10864513.html and www.charliewaller.net/.../site_index.htm and see a photo of the banjo. There was a real neat shot of the Early Country Gentlemen with Eddid and the banjo out front, not long ego, but I can't find it right now.

Doug



DHutchens - Posted - 09/02/2007:  14:57:11


Opps almost forgot, the Epiphone had a deep resonator that after all these years I beleive was probably one of the deep Recording King resonators(the one with the little fan shaped pearl inlays, style 11 peghead shape and thin style 00 rim.

Doug

stanger - Posted - 09/02/2007:  15:36:06


quote:
Originally posted by Gibson Gangsta

cool thanks stanger! do you know the name of that book by chance? also.....was it the fired epiphone workers that where hired by guild.....or am I thinking of something else?

pickin' aint easy.......or cheap! so hire me for all your art related needs!

BANJO MAFIA......this 5 string thing of ours......



Hi, GG...
You're correct. Guild picked up a lot of the former Epi workers, as they were also a New York factory at the time. Early Guilds show a lot of the Epi influences from this.

The name of the book is:
Epiphone: The House of Stathopoulo by Jim Fisch & L.B. Fred

It's very thorough, and very good. Most of the stuff centers on the guitars, which were Epi's main business, but it covers everything that was made to some degree. It's a standard trader's reference book now.
regards,
Stanger

"Sometimes I like green shade, and sometimes I like dry shade"

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