The Epiphone 1962 Collection includes Sheraton with Mini HB

Epiphone Guitars has recently released their 1962 Collection. The collection consists of three historic electric guitars as they were made in 1962. The three are the Sheraton E212TV, the Crestwood Custom SB332 and the Sorrento E452TDN.

If you love solid body electric guitars and want something similar to a Gibson SG yet unique, the the Crestwood is worth looking at. But I am going to talk mostly about the Sheraton.

First, it bears mentioning, that if you love Gibson guitars but are on a budget, you’ll love Epiphone. Epiphone is a division of Gibson and makes some mighty nice imported models, often based on classic Gibson designs. Your savings can be as much as 90% over a Gibson and you’ll probably save at least 60% on even the more expensive models.

But the reason I’m writing today is because Epiphone got this Sheraton re-issue right! You may have seen my recent post about the Gibson ES-330 and how twenty years of re-issues have failed to replicate the “classic” design of the ES-330. The best ES-330 is the Casino made by Epiphone  Well, Epiphone has done it again and done an excellent job getting the details correct on the Sheraton.

The details on the early Sheraton models are that the guitar is on par with a Gibson ES-355. That is, it is a fancy thinline semi-hollow electric in the ES-335 family. The unique aspects are two mini-humbuckers instead of full sized pickups and a Frequensator tailpiece. The tailpiece is split trapeze design where the string length to the tailpiece is longer on the bass strings.

The question you might have is do you want these unique differences from standard ES-335 designs? Maybe and maybe not.

Mini-humbuckers generally give a cleaner sound because (generally) they are wound to a lower resistance and they have a smaller magnetic field. If you’re looking for a loud guitar to overdrive your amp, there are better choices. But the pickups probably have more depth than P90s or other single coils yet have some of that bell like tone you get with single coils.

The Frequensator tailpiece is another item that might not suit you. One of the features that made the Gibson ES-335 such a great rock and blues guitar was the stop tailpiece. The solid attachment to the center block gave a bright tone and great sustain. Trapeze tailpieces are more common on hollow body guitars. They give less snap but a more mellow tone. Because I love jazz and blues, I’m not bothered by a trapeze tailpiece. In fact, I’ve always liked the 1970s ES-335s that had small block inlays and a trapeze tailpiece. I’ve read these were a failure in the marketplace and have much less value to the collector.

The Sorrento is another interesting guitar. It’s not often re-issued and is somewhat difficult to find. The comparable Gibson model is the ES-125. It is a fully hollow thinline, single cutaway electric with mini-humbuckers. It has a trapeze tailpiece (not a Frequensator model).

Both the 1962 Sheraton and Sorrento are nice guitars if you are looking for something a little different. Thank you Epiphone for such a great job on these re-issues.

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