Epiphone is a musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos. Epiphone was bought by Chicago Music Company, which also owned Gibson Guitar Corporation, in 1957. Epiphone was Gibson's main rival in the archtop market. Their professional archtops, including the Emperor, Deluxe, Broadway and Triumph, rivaled those of Gibson. The company's weakness in the aftermath of World War II allowed Gibson to absorb it. Epiphone is now a subsidiary of the Gibson Corporation. Because of this subsidiary relationship, many of the instruments are based upon the more expensive Gibson versions, but at a more affordable price point. To learn more about Epiphone, see The Unofficial Epiphonewiki.
Samick began building Epiphones in 1984, as they were previously being produced in Japan by Mastumoku, and the prices of Japanese guitars were increasing. Samick became the near-exclusive manufacturer of Epiphones (save for a few special models) until the mid-1990s, when Epiphone began contracting out to a number of different manufacturers. However, Samick was kept on as a contractor and still builds Epiphones to this day, only at their newer Indonesian factory. The Korean factory stopped making Epiphones in 2001.
Samick (Korea)-Produced Models
Note: Many of these models were not exclusively produced by Samick. Only examples of these models with an "S" prefix on the serial number were made by Samick.