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Superb Epiphone E-452T Sorrento from 1961, in very good condition.

Behind the unassuming appearance of this thinline hollowbody model lies a real surprise for anyone looking for an unusual instrument. At first glance, we find all the markers of an Epiphone produced in Kalamazoo under the supervision of Gibson, following the 1957 purchase of the company by CMI (Chicago Music Instrument company, which had already acquired Gibson in 1944): the Sorrento seems to be nothing more and nothing less than a Gibson ES-125TC, the two models having been introduced at the same time in 1960. In essence, the models produced by Gibson between 1957 and 1969 under the Epiphone brand follow the same logic as the models built under the Kalamazoo brand in the 1930s: instruments built under the second brand could not be the equal of a Gibson guitar. Thirty years earlier, this meant guitars with parallel bracing instead of X-bracing, necks without trussrods, or with stripped-down hardware or finishes. From 1957, the difference would be more subtle, in that an Epiphone was not so much an instrument of lower quality, but of simpler appearance, with somewhat bland Sunbursts, more sparse hardware or mini- humbuckers instead of the full-size pickups present on Gibsons at the same time. Despite all this, the Gibsons and Epiphones of the period remain mostly identical in appearance, and in the success they experienced: this gave us instruments like the Sheraton, or even the Casino which became legendary in the hands of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

The Sorrento contrasts with this system, in that it outperforms its Gibson brand equivalent in at least one area! Rather than being equipped with the venerable P-90 single-coil pickup that the ES-125T still carries, it sports a mini-humbucker which, we were very happy to discover, bears a Patent Applied For label. So we have a half-sized P.A.F. (which certainly doesn’t sound half as good as a full-sized pickup) on this ultra-light hollowbody guitar – in short, the ideal instrument for unpretentious and very immediate rock’n’roll! The guitar is in very good condition, with all its original hardware and electronics, and has benefited from a complete setup in our workshop.

Sold in a modern soft case.

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