The Epiphone Zephyr
The Epiphone Zephyr Electric Guitar was one of the “jazz” archtop guitars produced by Epiphone that established them as one of the leading manufacturers of archtop guitars of their generation.
The Epiphone Zephyr was first produced in the 1930’s and went through a number of modifications over the next 20 years – starting with a single bridge pickup this evolved to two mini humbucker pickups. The guitar featured a number of designs with both a non cutaway and a single cutaway version available. Hardware configuration also changed with the guitar featuring a variety of setups including a frequensator tailpiece, flat backed neck unlike Epiphone’s usual “C” shape.
Tonally the guitar was great for blues, jazz or swing and benefited from the quality Epiphone build . The guitars sounded bright when played acoustically and when plugged in produce a full and fat tone. The vintage pickups were quite loud and gave a crisp Jazz tone which could sound brittle at high volume. After 30 years of manufacture the original incarnation of the Zephyr was discontinued in 1964.
The Zephyr brand was reintroduced by Epiphone in the 1990’s and featured as an alternative to the Gibson ES-5., in its reincarnation Epiphone offered a variety of Zephyr guitars with ra range of setups and configurations, the Epiphone Zephyr regent featured a single neck humbucker and Mahogany body, Epiphone also released a Zephyr Blues deluxe which featured 3 P90 pickups, and a maple body.
There is still a vibrant used market for Vintage Zephyrs which appeal to those looking for a authentic vintage Jazz tone – these guitars can fetch a moderate sum so those looking for this line, who are on a budget, may look at the reissues first!
Filed under: Guitar Gear
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!