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Epiphone Riviera

6 March 2011 One Comment

Epiphone RivieraThe Epiphone Riviera is a rather unique instrument not because of what it is, but because of what it represents. To understand the significance of this guitar one must first know a little bit about the history of Epiphone and how the Riviera came to be.

Epiphone got its start back in the late 19th century as a maker of fine musical instruments sold throughout Eastern Europe. After moving to the U.S., the company grew into a direct competitor of Gibson, even threatening the Gibson business with its early arch top models. But when Epi Stathopoulo died in '43, his brothers took over the business and ran it into the ground. Gibson bought the company in 1957, saving it from extinction.

Gibson president Ted McCarty decided to use his new Epi line in an almost experimental fashion. He figured Epiphone could develop new models while Gibson continued to manufacture its own current stock under its own name. The new electric archtops would introduce Epiphone to something it had never done before; produce a thin bodied, semi-hollow electric.

By the time the Riviera debuted in 1962, the retooling of the Epiphone guitar had been complete. The Riviera looked nothing like anything Epi had produced before. Gone was Epiphone's curved peghead shape in favor of the Gibson "dove wing" design, yet new fret markers using rectangles rather than dots separated the Riviera as uniquely Epiphone.

Twin humbuckers were used for the pickups, although to make the Riviera less expensive and stand apart from its Gibson brethren they used smaller pickups than the Gibson humbuckers. The pickguard and tailpiece were also specifically designed to distinguish the Riviera from the Gibson Firebird. As for playability, they were virtually the same.

Unfortunately, the Riviera was discontinued in 1970 when Epiphone production moved overseas. Although good-quality Riviera's can still be found on the used market, the guitar has been overshadowed by the Epiphone Casino and the Gibson ES series.

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VINTAGE 1967 EPIPHONE RIVIERA E360TD 12 STRING BEAUTIFUL 9 10 COND w ORIG CASE
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Epiphone Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Black Royale Electric Guitar Epiphone Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Black Royale Electric Guitar
List Price: $915.00
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With the Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Black Royale semi-hollow electric guitar in your hands, you'll command instant attention. With its three "Dogear" P-90 single-coil pickups, the Riviera Custom P93 Black Royale serves up chimey punch and growl that's quite a departure from the ubiquitous three-pickup solidbody guitars everyone seems to play...

Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Electric Guitar, Wine Red Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Electric Guitar, Wine Red
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The Epiphone Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Electric Guitar is modeled after Epiphone’s classic Riviera. First introduced in the early 1960s, the Epiphone Riviera’s semi-hollow design has been a favorite of players from all genres...

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Epiphone Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Electric Guitar Wine Red 888365103211 Epiphone Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Electric Guitar Wine Red 888365103211
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The warm, clear tone of the Riviera electric guitar makes it a perfect instrument for jazz, blues, or country. Its semi-hollow body is crafted of laminated maple. A set mahogany C-shaped neck provides sustain and playing comfort...

Epiphone Casino Archtop Electric Guitar, Cherry Epiphone Casino Archtop Electric Guitar, Cherry
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Perhaps the most famous Epiphone model of all time, the Casino is still going strong. This thin-line full-hollowbody archtop is constructed with traditional Maple Laminate with a Mahogany neck and gives its classic "sparkle" tone through a pair of authentic "Dog Ear" P-90 Classic pickups.

Epiphone ES-333 Tom Delonge Signature Archtop Electric Guitar Epiphone ES-333 Tom Delonge Signature Archtop Electric Guitar
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Built to the exact specifications of Blink 182's guitarist, Tom Delonge, this cool new archtop combines semi-hollowbody design and the raw power of a USA-made Gibson Dirty Fingers Humbucker pickup in a one--of-a-kind signature model...

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Deep Plush for Protection Accommodates New and Vintage Instruments Arch Top Gives Added Strength Headstock Nesting Insures Neck Safety

Additional Resources for Epiphone Riviera

Guitar makes a buzz when I pluck a string?

I have an epiphone riviera. When i play the open strings there is a rattling/buzzing noise. I don't think it is fret buzz because I think it is coming from the tune-o-matic bridge. Has anyone encountered any problems with a riviera or an archtop guitar?

I have this a bit with my ESP Les Paul model. I think it's that the pick-ups are a bit loose and the vibration of the guitar when you pluck a string rattles them a bit. Can't be sure though.

Solution: Turn the amp up :P
Or else just take it to a guitar shop.

Epiphone Riviera P93 Review

One Comment »

  • phill said:

    Hi. I had this on my Epi Riviera. It was the bridge. I changed it for a genuine Gibson LP bridge & it cured the problem. Nice.

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