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A Gallery Of Gibson And Epiphone Guitars Since Passed
Some time ago we had a gallery dedicated to discontinued Fender guitars. As the industry would have it the legacy of trial and error, successes and failures, icons and the forgotten is not exclusive to Fender. Gibson and Epiphone have had their fair share of guitars that just didn’t have what it took to survive the test of time regardless of how good they may have really been. Either that or they were just always intended to be limited editions.
At this point it doesn’t really matter. They used to be available and now they aren’t.
The ambitious goal behind the Recording was to build a guitar that could attain as many guitar tones as possible and replicate any of the popular guitar sounds of the time. Call it the 70s’ version of tone modeling. The expected features include the bass and treble knobs, a volume knob, an input jack, and a three-way pickup selector switch.. The decade control knob is used as an eleven-way tone knob to help shape the highs. It also includes a phase control switch and an impedance selector.
Gibson All American II
The All American II model surfaced in the 90s as a double cutaway kind of like the SG, but with curved horns instead and it used two single coil pickups and a tremolo bridge as though it were offering itself as a competitor to the Stratocaster. If it was then it didn’t pull it off because the guitar ceased production in 98.
The Hawk was, like a great number of Gibson’s guitars, a re-imagining of the Les Paul. It featured an indistinguishable Les Paul body aside from a few small differences like the flat top body and the lacking pick guard. It also seemed to have a bit longer of a scale length from the average Gibson going up to 25 1/2” from the more common 24 3/4” length.
Gibson The Paul II
The Paul II was not only an exercise in innovating model names, but also a means to offer more affordable alternatives for would be guitarists of the 70s and 80s who just couldn’t save enough of their lunch money to get a new Les Paul. Technically this model’s been discontinued, but the legacy of more affordable guitars still lives on, so in a sense they’ve just changed the name of the model… and the body… and the hardware. See it practically never went away.
The Gibson Spirit was practically the poster child of how supply and demand works. When there is a supply for something there is no demand for nothing good can happen. The model was produced by both Gibson and Epiphone, and it stuck around for a few years, mostly in stores. If they wanted to sell something there wasn’t a demand for they should have hired Steve Jobs to be their spokesman.
Gibson Reverse Flying V
The Gibson Reverse Flying V. Does this guitar even need an introduction? I still remember when this thing hit the market back in the late 2000s. I saw it. I laughed. Then they sold like hot cakes. It was one of those “who’s the real asshole” moments. Originally intended to be manufactured once as a limited edition, the demand was there enough for Gibson to justify producing a second line as another limited edition. Since then there haven’t been any more though so now it resides on this list.
The Chameleon wasn’t really a new model itself, but rather a Les Paul with its own category highlighting the paint finish. The Chameleon line had a two-color finish that would change depending on the lighting. They came in the colors bronze/salmon, silver/lime, and allegedly blue/green.
The Evolution was a simple redesign of the Explorer as Epiphone to a stroll down BC Rich’s alley and made it resemble a bat wing a bit more. For whatever reason they didn’t really catch on and Epiphone decided to not do anything else with the model so now it’s drifted into obscurity. For any eBay addicts they can be snatched up for a reasonable price.
The Crestwood was first produced back in 1958 and actually did see reasonable success. It lasted for 12 years which wasn’t too far behind how long the original Les Paul had lasted before its hiatus. Its body style was more like the Wilshire in that it looked like it was treading that Stratocaster territory, and at that time that was a dangerous game to play. Though it did precede the Wilshire by a year market ended up with two very similar guitars out to wage the same war.
Epiphone SG Pierced
Have you ever thought to yourself, “gee this SG of mine sure is swell, but it could use a big ‘X’ drilled into the body”? Well the guys at Epiphone thought in advance for that aching need. Enter the SG Pierced.
Warning: Only the most extreme of souls can harness this kind of guitar.
Addendum: I am not extreme enough.
Inquiry: Are you?
This was kind of another one of those guitars that stuck around for a few years, but made a quick, subtle exit out the back door when no one was looking. The Genesis has earned more of a nostalgic cult following over the years to make up for the lack of appreciation it had back in the 70s when it first surfaced.