Epiphone Custom Historic 1962 Wilshire Westport CT

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.

Music Center Of Westport
(203) 259-7615
1460 Post Rd E
Westport, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
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Instrument Rental: Yes
Website Sales: Yes
Lesson Information
Lessons: Yes
Instrument Repair Information
Repairs : Yes
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Normal Business Hours:
Monday - Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday 10am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 5pm
CLOSED SUNDAYS
See below for info regarding holiday closures, etc.
Summer Hours:
(June 21 -- Labor Day)
Monday - Thursday 10am to 6pm
Friday 11am to 4pm,
but CLOSED FRIDAYS August 6-20.
(Open August 27)
Saturday 11am to 4pm
CLOSED for Independence Day (Fri, 7/3 and Sat, 7/4) & Labor Day (Mon, 9/7)

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Merit Music Store & Lesson
(203) 847-6100
143 Main St
Norwalk, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Zera Musicland
(203) 255-2881
1863 Post Rd
Fairfield, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Acoustic Piano, Band & Orchestral, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Westport-Fairfield Piano&Organ
(203) 331-9000
322 Black Rock Tpke
Fairfield, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano

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Liberty Banjo Co
(203) 374-7072
245 Nancy Dr
Bridgeport, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Guitars & Fretted Instruments

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Piano Matchmaker
(203) 644-9197
112 Harvest Commons
Westport, CT

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Norwalk Music Inc
(203) 847-3925
120 New Canaan Ave
Norwalk, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Black Rock Music Center
(203) 384-2207
3004 Fairfield Ave
Bridgeport, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment

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Fry's Westport Fairfield Piano & Organ Inc.
(203) 331-9000, (203) 778-1234
322 Black Rock Turnpike
Fairfield, CT
 
Altel Sound Sys - Ct
(203) 374-0162
2392 Main St
Bridgeport, CT
Types of Instruments Sold
Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, DJ Equipment

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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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