Monday, February 6, 2012

1966 Epiphone Texan

The Epiphone Texan is one of the most HEARD acoustic guitars in history, yet it remains relatively unknown to the guitar fanatics at large.

In 1964, Paul McCartney purchased a Texan while the Beatles were on tour in the US. This guitar became a favorite of his which he uses to this day. The iconic status of this guitar is cemented , however, because his Texan is the guitar heard (tuned a whole step low- DGCFAD, low to high) on the 1965 recording of "Yesterday".

The Epiphone Texan is similar in many ways to the Gibson J-45/J-50, of which it shares its slope-shoulder dreadnought body. The biggest difference, however, is that the Texan is a long scale guitar (25.4") compared to the short scale J-45's (24 3/4"), making the Texan louder and with a more focused low end. All in all, Texans are fabulous guitars, although many modern players don't care for the narrow nut width (1 5/8"). Texan backs and sides also featured a mahogany stain that is very light, and almost blonde in color.

Throughout the '60's, Epiphone guitars were made side by side in the Kalamazoo, MI Gibson factory. The Epiphone brand was used by Gibson as a way to open up more dealers to their product and not compete with other retailers who were selling the distinguished Gibson brand; there is no difference in quality, yet the Epiphones had a slightly lower retail price during this era. In 1970, Epiphone production shipped to Japan, effectively closing the books on US production of this brand.

Images courtesy of the author; c2012 Derek See.

1 comment:

  1. At 12 years old I was lucky to have found an "abandoned" 66 texan in my grandmothers attic. I spent my life savings getting it restored by a luthier. Plays. Beautifully now. And goes wherever I go. I was lucky to say the least.