Retrofret Stock # 3520. Epiphone Wilshire Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1963), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 122748, cherry lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case. One of the rarer and more interesting solid-bodies to come out of Kalamazoo in the early 1960's, the early Epiphone Wilshire is an often overlooked P-90 tone machine. The cherry-finished double cutaway guitar is the equivalent of the SG Special in the Epiphone line, but in some ways is a more deluxe guitar. This 1963 example is very lightweight with a wide, chunky neck and handles perfectly. By the end of 1963, these Epiphone solid-bodies would be re-designed in a more Fender-like mode, making this one of the last of the original (and much better loved) style. One sonic distinction of this model is that the neck pickup is mounted quite far back on the face of the guitar, resulting in a rather distinctive tone both by itself and when mixed with the bridge unit. The Wilshire is also one of the very few solid-bodies combining the 1960's P-90 sound with a tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece (SG Specials use the non-tunable bar bridge), which gives the guitar especially good playing characteristics.Overall length is 37 3/4 in. (95.9 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This guitar remains beautifully original with only minor wear overall. There is a tiny check on the headstock wing seam under the bass E string tuner that is completely solid but can be felt. There is one other oddity -- the bass pickup route and mounting hole in pickguard have been enlarged just very slightly even though the correct stock P-90 is still in place. We're not sure when or why this was done but it is the only alteration to this otherwise very clean and nicely original guitar. All the original wiring is intact with only the solder joints to the neck PU being re-done. The original no-wire nickel-plated ABR-1 bridge is present, but the saddles are more recent metal, most likely replacing original nylon saddles. This guitar remains a fantastic player and a rare early 1960's Gibson solid-body, and includes a later 1960's Gibson SG rectangular case. Excellent Condition.
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