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PRODUCED: 1959-62, 1963-69
TYPE: Semihollow body, twin rounded cutaway, 4-string
BODY: Maple with ivoroid binding
NECK: Mahogany, glued-in, 20 medium frets
SCALE LENGTH: 775mm (30.5-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Rosewood, white dot inlays
HARDWARE: Chrome cover over bridge/tailpiece, 4-saddle bridge, open gear tuners
PICKUPS: Two single-coil units with white plastic surrounds
CONTROLS: Volume, tone plus bass boost switch
FEATURES: Solid centre section to body, f-holes
FINISHES: Natural or three-tone sunburst
COMMENTS: When Gibson bought out the Epiphone Company in 1957 it allowed the company to bypass its rather foolish decision to only supply Gibson instruments to ‘vetted’ music stores in each town. Epiphone allowed them to supply many more.
The EB-2 bass was doing well so it made sense to bring out the virtually identical Epiphone Rivoli just a year later using the same parts. Like the EB-2 the first models had banjo-style tuners with plastic pegs and the pickup resided under a black plastic cover. Both were changed in due course, as was the bridge, which was upgraded to a more adjustable unit.
The boost switch varied from push-on/push-off type to single throw. It was dropped in 1962 but found favour in the UK during the British beat boom so was quickly put back into production. Limited in sound options and heavier than it looks, but a truly great instrument.