Epiphone USA Collection Frontier
Passing the Test
Wildwoodians, we are proud to present the Epiphone USA Collection Frontier, a guitar that celebrates a less-known but vital part of American guitar history. You see, Epiphone actually predates Gibson by twenty-nine years--no kidding! Founded in 1873 by a Greek immigrant named Epi Stathopoulo, the "House of Stathopoulo" (a combination showroom and dream factory in New York City) was a hotbed for early jazz musicians and guitar innovators; in fact, the workshop was where Les Paul crafted his legendary solid-body guitar prototype, affectionately dubbed "The Log." However, Epiphone fell on hard times after Epi passed away, and the business was in dire straits.
Enter Ted McCarty, president of Gibson Guitars. One of Epi's sons offered to sell him the company and he accepted because he saw unique opportunity. Dealers all over America were clamoring for Gibson guitars at the time, but Gibson wasn't sure what dealers they could trust to be profitable, so they were very choosy about who got to carry their guitars. As a result, there was quite a contentious situation.
To calm things down without putting Gibson at risk, McCarty decided to use Epiphone as a "tester line" for dealers. Basically, Epiphones were built side-by-side with Gibsons in the Kalamazoo Gibson plant with the same materials and electronics. Then, they sent them off to prospective dealers, and, if they proved themselves by selling plenty of Epiphones, Gibson would award them a coveted dealer contract.
These guitars pay tribute to those magnificent USA-made Epiphones that inspired everyone from Paul McCartney to Noel Gallagher to John Lee Hooker to Les Paul. They're made of all solid woods at Gibson's Bozeman, Montana plant, and they capture the tone and vibe of their vintage forebears beautifully. We are proud to showcase them, we have no doubt they will inspire you endlessly.
The Frontier of Tone
Wildwoodians, we are proud to present one of the finest wooden steeds on this side of the Mississippi, the USA Collection Frontier. It's a reissue of the original FT-110 Frontier, a guitar introduced in 1958 to test out some new design ideas Gibson had for acoustic guitars. As a result, it's a little different than a typical dreadnought. It has a 25.5-inch scale, which gives it a punchier attack with less "give" than short-scale Gibsons, and it has maple back and sides isntead of the more typical rosewood or mahogany.
To put it mildly, the maple back and sides help this guitar put a fresh, new, inspiring spin on the classic Gibson tone formula. It has that classic Gibson woodiness, but with a bit more of a round, piano-like attack. The lows and mids have a surprising amount of punch, and the high-end explodes into a glorious bouquet of crystalline jangling overtones. Bright isn't quite the right word for it--this is a sunny-sounding guitar with sweetness to spare.
The timbre of this guitar would work beautifully in a variety of situations from solo accompaniment to full band, and it would be a powerful weapon in the recording studio since it sits so beautifully in a mix.
We have no doubt that you'll want to explore every edge of the musical Frontier with this killer USA Collection Epiphone!
|USA Collection Frontier
|Solid Sitka Spruce
|Back & Sides Wood
|Solid Figured Maple
|Traditional Hand-Scalloped X-Bracing
|Compound Dovetail Secured with Hot Hide Glue
|.850 1st - .920 9th
|Mother-of-Pearl Slotted Rectangle
|Width at Nut
|Imitation Tortoise with Engraved Lariat and Cactus Graphics
|LR Baggs VTC
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