The early Gibson-made Epiphone guitars are without question some of the coolest electrics on the market. From 1958-1969, there seems to be an endless stream of model variants with unique aesthetics and pickup configurations that were just different enough from their Kalamazoo shop mates to stand out in the crowd. And that they do! Take this lovely 1963 Epiphone Sorrento for example...
In what we'd describe as nearly time-capsule level condition (quite literally discovered in a home after decades of dormancy), this E452T Sorrento was built in Kalamazoo, Michigan right alongside fellow Gibson hollowbody electrics. Following the model style of Gibson's ES-125T model, it features a 16" lower bout thinline hollow body with a single florentine style cutaway. All-maple laminate construction for the body and a Mahogany neck with a Rosewood fingerboard round out the tonewood, matching up with the ES-125T identically. Beyond that, the Sorrento brings something different to the table in a few ways.
First off, check out that finish! An exclusive to the Epiphone line, the green-ish burst is formally known as Royal Olive. It's such a great color that is further highlighted by some excellent figuring in the top, with speckles of birdseye and flame throughout. the Walnut-stained back and sides provide nice contrast as well, and share some great figure themselves.
Forgoing the P90 of the ES-125T for a factory mini-humbucker is where the Sorrento separates itself tonally. The mini-humbucker provides more depth of tone with a richer bass response and clear highs, all while remaining hum-free. This Sorrento also packs some serious acoustic resonance and response for a laminate-bodied guitar. It's a total joy to play both unplugged and plugged in.
Other early 60s Epiphone features like the smaller open-book headstock shape and oval fingerboard inlays add to that unique look that is far less common than the more production-heavy ES-125T. It's got a 1 11/16" nut width and an accurate '63 neck carve that leans more slim than chunky, but has a smooth taper for great playability regardless of position. Factory single line Kluson tuners with original white buttons still work very well with just a touch of that vintage resistance.
This one is truly as clean as it appears in the photos. The lacquer still looks almost as fresh as the day the guitar was finished, with minimal lacquer checking and wear throughout. Even the nickel-plated hardware retains much of its shine with only the slightest bit of oxidation and patina found.
If the cleanliness of the guitar wasn't enough, it comes with a beautiful example of the rare gray Epiphone form-fitting hardshell case with blue interior.
This 1963 Epiphone Sorrento is a great lightweight jazz, blues, or motown box with some killer tone and looks.
- Laminated Maple top, back, and sides
- Original Royal Olive nitrocellulose lacquer finish
- Mahogany body with Rosewood fingerboard and oval inlays
- Slim/Medium C neck profile: .81" @ 1st fret / .93" @ 10th fret
- 1 11/16" nut width
- Original Mini Humbucker: 7.35k output
- Original pickguard and reflector knobs
- Original Kluson single line tuners
- Original trapeze tailpiece
- Rosewood bridge (replacement)
- Weight: 4lb 13oz
- Original Epiphone hardshell case