NAMM 2020: Gibson subsidiary Epiphone has announced big plans for 2020, refocussing its product lines to acknowledge the influence of its bigger brother (Inspired By Gibson) and, under the Originals line, start to celebrate the innovative products launched entirely under its own name across its 150 year history.
Inspired By Gibson Collection
These days Epiphone is best known for offering more affordable interpretations of Gibson's classic guitars and this is being formally acknowledged in the rebranded Inspired By Gibson range. This will include the Les Paul Custom, Les Paul Special, Flying V, Les Paul Standard 50s Heritage, SG 61 Maestro, Firebird, Explorer and SG Special.
The aim of the Original Collection is to celebrate Epiphone's own contributions to the instrument world. Most notably, Epiphone is building its first US-made guitar in recent memory (the firm themselves say 'decades') under this banner, in the form of the Made In USA Texan acoustic – once favoured by Paul McCartney and Peter Frampton. Confusingly, for an instrument intended to set the Epiphone brand apart from Gibson, The Texan will be built in Gibson's Bozeman, Montana plant.
Elsewhere, the Masterbilt Original Collection offers a range of affordable acoustics – including an overseas (non-US)-built Texan, plus the Frontier and Excellente – there are also signature models for Alex Lifeson, Vivian Campbell and Jared James Nichols.