Epiphone Custom Historic 1962 Wilshire Bellevue NE

The Custom Historic 1962 Reissue is a convincing rendition of the scant handful of early- ’60s Wilshires. Examining it with reference to my memory of these vintage Wilshires—and what written specs I have on hand—I find nothing that gives me pause in the accuracy stakes. Read on to get more information about this.

Midwest Sound & Lighting
(402) 731-6268
4318 S 50Th St
Omaha, NE
Types of Instruments Sold
Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, DJ Equipment
Instrument Repair Information
Pro Audio Repairs, speaker re-coning
(amps, mixers, processing, analog & digital recorders, keyboards, guitar amps, etc.)
Hours
Monday through Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday closed

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Joe Vodas Drum City
(402) 301-1060
809 S 49Th St
Omaha, NE
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Drums & Percussion

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Keyboard Kastle Ltd
(402) 593-9400
4433 S 84Th St
Omaha, NE
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Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Print Music
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Website Sales: Yes
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Lessons: Yes
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Electronic Organ and Keyboard Service
Church Organ Service
Hours
Monday-Friday 10:00-6:00pm
Saturday 10:00-5:00pm
Sunday 1:00-5:00pm

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Direct Pro Audio, Llc
(502) 893-6624
3424 W Broadway
Council Bluffs, IA
Types of Instruments Sold
Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion

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Music Center
(402) 592-1053
Po Box 24146
Omaha, NE
Types of Instruments Sold
Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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D Rocks Music Inc
(402) 330-1310
147 N Washington St
Papillion, NE
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Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Nielsen Violin Shop
(402) 342-5880
1904 Farnam St Ste 630
Omaha, NE
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Band & Orchestral

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Rainbow Recording Studios Inc
(402) 554-0123
2322 S 64Th Ave
Omaha, NE

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National Sound
(402) 346-7744
3921 Farnam St
Omaha, NE
Types of Instruments Sold
Sound Reinforcement

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Reniers
(402) 551-6364
4900 Dodge St
Omaha, NE
Types of Instruments Sold
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard

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Epiphone Custom Historic 1962 Wilshire

FOR YEARS THE EARLY-’60S EPIPHONE WILSHIRE (Model SB-432) held the honorable position of being a semi-undiscovered vintage gem, and was often sold as a “poor-man’s Les Paul Special”, but that description doesn’t fully capture the nuance of the Wilshire’s slightly altered design. By the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Wilshire was still a steal compared to the rapidly appreciating Special, though both emanated from the same Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, MI, and offered great appeal to anyone willing to take up the Epiphone badge in lieu of the more recognizable brand. This state of affairs didn’t last long, though, as the Kalamazoo factory turned out far fewer Wilshires (a mere 180 in1962) than it did either late-’50s Les Paul Specials or early-’60s SG Specials. Following the simple laws of supply and demand, this secret players’ bargain turned into a bona fide collectible, with prices for good original examples soaring upwards of $5,000 to as much as $10,000!

Enter the 1962 Wilshire Reissue ($4,832 retail/$2,899 street), manufactured in Nashville, Tennessee, by Epiphone’s Custom Historic division, in cooperation with Gibson Custom. The revival brings this much-loved model back at a more palatable price than its current vintage value, although it’s still made in limited numbers, restricted to a run of 100 guitars. (100 more Wilshires, in white, will be available by the time you read this.) The first Wilshire arrived in late 1959, designed as a rival of sorts to Fender’s Stratocaster, which its rounded double horns aped more than they did those of its sibling double-cutaway LP Special. The guitars from 1962 are often considered to be the pinnacle of the model, and mark the last Wilshires that followed the more Gibson-like design spec. The following year, the Wilshire went both more Stratty with a six-on-a-side headstock design and offset double-cutaway body with longer bass side horn, and less Stratty with two minihumbucking pickups.

The Custom Historic 1962 Reissue is a convincing rendition of the scant handful of early- ’60s Wilshires I have encountered over the years. Examining it with reference to my memory of these vintage Wilshires—and what written specs I have on hand—I find nothing that gives me pause in the accuracy stakes. The edges of the one-piece Peruvian mahogany body are smoothly curved, with an appealing handfinished look to the portions of the cutaways that run from flat to radiused. The nitrocellulose finish, although buffed to a high gloss, is thin enough to have dimpled into the grain of the wood, giving the guitar the impression of an instrument that is aging gracefully. The slight dimpling in the finish on the upper edge of the unbound rosewood fretboard is less appealing, though not a major turn off. The rest of the neck is smoothly executed, though, with a beefy rounded C profile that is full yet comfortable in the hand, and a headstock that’s back angled to a period-correct 17 degrees. The Wilshire’s solid neck joint is aided by a n...

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