NVGD! 1960 Epiphone Wilshire

teleking36

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,013
A few days ago I took receipt of this Gibson-made beauty, a 1960 Epiphone Wilshire!

This is likely one of the earliest Wilshires shipped, and it has all of the V1 features like the bikini badge on the headstock, ink stamp serial number, and early control configuration carried over from the '59 Crestwood. It's got more of a '59 neck carve, which is what makes it really special. Most of the Wilshires that followed have the more common early 60s slim neck - not this one! The electronics are all original as well, with all four pots featuring the same '6027' date codes (I've spoken to other Wilshire owners that have guitars from the first run who also have '6027' pots in theirs).

It once rocked a Bigsby, which required the then-owner to have a new switch hole drilled about 1/2" from the original location to accomodate the Bigsby base. The person I bought it from bought it from the original owner (an LA session musician) approximately 15 years ago, which was the person who initially had the Bigsby installed. It was returned to stock at that time of that original sale, save for a 60s chrome plated aluminum stop bar replacing the original nickel stop bar. One of the studs also looks to be a 60s replacement. The 3-way switch was then moved back into its original hole. I have plans of handing it off to a local guitar builder (Glenn Nichols of Retrograde Guitars) who is going to plug the additional switch hole and fill the Bigsby holes for me. Although purely cosmetic, I'll feel better having them plugged in the long term.

It sounds absolutely fantastic! The P90s are very open and clear sounding, with great balance across all positions. Middle position is the real winner- everything I love about that position in a Gibson electric is inherent in this one, and frankly better sounding than some of the other Gibson solidbodies that command higher price tags. I guess I just got lucky! And I can't say enough about the neck. I've played my fair share of early 60s Epiphones, and none of them have had a neck like this one.

It's nice and light at 6lb 5oz, and still feels very well balanced. It holds tune very well, and the original single-line Klusons still work great. I'm still deep in that Christmas morning vibe every time I open the case, but I don't think that'll really go away. I've been a huge fan of the early Gibson-made Epiphones for a long time, and it's really special to finally own one! Here are some pics I took the other day. I'll probably circle back with some post- cosmetic repair photos once I have it back from Glenn as well. As for now, I'm just going to continue to play the hell out of it. I'm in love!

wQOIKb8.jpg


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92zZy4B.jpg


wrHcOO3.jpg


HWtaQoB.jpg
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,276
Congrats, that's the best version with the P-90s and regular controls layout.
Now I want one to keep company to my '61 Coronet, thanks.
Glenn does great work, and his guitars are awesome.
 

84Bravo

Member
Messages
11,971
That looks exactly (if it came from St Louis it might be the same) like the one I found in a mom and pop music store in Quincy, Illinois in 1989 for $100. Mine had a stop tail, no Bigsby. Wish I still had it. Congratulations!
 

teleking36

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,013
That looks exactly (if it came from St Louis it might be the same) like the one I found in a mom and pop music store in Quincy, Illinois in 1989 for $100. Mine had a stop tail, no Bigsby. Wish I still had it. Congratulations!
The gentleman I bought it from was out in California. He bought it from the original owner 15 years ago in Florida, and the original owner was a session player who had moved from CA to FL apparently.
 

Chris Scott

Member
Messages
9,352
The lion's share of the ones I've played were slim-necked as well...the only negative for an otherwise perfect solid-body P90 guitar imo.

Color me green, and Merry Christmas mate. ;)
 
Messages
503
Nice! I’ve always had a soft spot for the Wilshire/Coronet line. I bet that thing rings like a bell, in only the way a thin mahogany body can.

There’s something about symmetrical guitar bodies that just does it for me.
 

Jack Daniels

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,381
Can't quite figure out the tailpiece location on the OPs guitar. Its seems to be further toward the tail/end pin then others I have seen which then crowds the switch. Is it possible this came with a bigsby or other tailpiece and then was modified to a stop tail?
 

Kevbo599

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
664
Can't quite figure out the tailpiece location on the OPs guitar. Its seems to be further toward the tail/end pin then others I have seen which then crowds the switch. Is it possible this came with a bigsby or other tailpiece and then was modified to a stop tail?
OP mentioned it had a Bigsby installed by a previous owner, they had to move the switch to accommodate the Bigsby.
 

Boddah

Member
Messages
69
A few days ago I took receipt of this Gibson-made beauty, a 1960 Epiphone Wilshire!

This is likely one of the earliest Wilshires shipped, and it has all of the V1 features like the bikini badge on the headstock, ink stamp serial number, and early control configuration carried over from the '59 Crestwood. It's got more of a '59 neck carve, which is what makes it really special. Most of the Wilshires that followed have the more common early 60s slim neck - not this one! The electronics are all original as well, with all four pots featuring the same '6027' date codes (I've spoken to other Wilshire owners that have guitars from the first run who also have '6027' pots in theirs).

It once rocked a Bigsby, which required the then-owner to have a new switch hole drilled about 1/2" from the original location to accomodate the Bigsby base. The person I bought it from bought it from the original owner (an LA session musician) approximately 15 years ago, which was the person who initially had the Bigsby installed. It was returned to stock at that time of that original sale, save for a 60s chrome plated aluminum stop bar replacing the original nickel stop bar. One of the studs also looks to be a 60s replacement. The 3-way switch was then moved back into its original hole. I have plans of handing it off to a local guitar builder (Glenn Nichols of Retrograde Guitars) who is going to plug the additional switch hole and fill the Bigsby holes for me. Although purely cosmetic, I'll feel better having them plugged in the long term.

It sounds absolutely fantastic! The P90s are very open and clear sounding, with great balance across all positions. Middle position is the real winner- everything I love about that position in a Gibson electric is inherent in this one, and frankly better sounding than some of the other Gibson solidbodies that command higher price tags. I guess I just got lucky! And I can't say enough about the neck. I've played my fair share of early 60s Epiphones, and none of them have had a neck like this one.

It's nice and light at 6lb 5oz, and still feels very well balanced. It holds tune very well, and the original single-line Klusons still work great. I'm still deep in that Christmas morning vibe every time I open the case, but I don't think that'll really go away. I've been a huge fan of the early Gibson-made Epiphones for a long time, and it's really special to finally own one! Here are some pics I took the other day. I'll probably circle back with some post- cosmetic repair photos once I have it back from Glenn as well. As for now, I'm just going to continue to play the hell out of it. I'm in love!

wQOIKb8.jpg


VX6Q3a1.jpg


1SbedFA.jpg


92zZy4B.jpg


wrHcOO3.jpg


HWtaQoB.jpg
Absolutely gorgeous, I love how dark that finger board is, dream guitar for sure, you lucky devil!.
Peace.
 

Boddah

Member
Messages
69
Nice! I’ve always had a soft spot for the Wilshire/Coronet line. I bet that thing rings like a bell, in only the way a thin mahogany body can.

There’s something about symmetrical guitar bodies that just does it for me.
Satellite guitars where making amazing repro coronet/wilshires until Gibson hit them with a lawsuit forcing them to stop.
They won't say a mumbling word about the literal boat loads of "chibsons" but attack small U.S builders!.
How sad is that?.
 




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