Epiphone 150th Anniversary Zephyr Deluxe Regent, Sheraton, Crestwood Custom and Wilshire review – original guitar designs that hold their own against Gibson

A century and a half after the seeds of Epiphone were sown, we’re looking at four milestone reissues from the company’s heyday. And, best of all, they won’t break the bank

Epiphone 150th Anniversary Zephyr Deluxe Regent, Sheraton, Crestwood Custom and Wilshire
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

The term ‘punching above their weight’ is somewhat overused, but it perfectly describes our Fab Four here. With impressive looks, tones and playability, these are classic original Epiphone designs that stand apart from Gibson’s own offerings.


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    Lots of guitar for the money.

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    Incredibly handsome guitars, and originals too.

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    All offer superb value for money.

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    Sheraton and Crestwood Custom have dry fingerboards.

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    Crestwood's wooden vibrato insert needs attention.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

While the Stathopoulos musical-instrument-making dynasty took root in 1873, Epiphone didn’t evolve into a bona fide guitar manufacturer until 1928. 

The four electric guitars you see here straddle what we might term the company’s ‘golden era’, from the ’40s to the ’60s. They also mark the change from an independent builder of primarily archtop jazz guitars, to a purveyor of thinline and solidbody blues, pop and rock machines now under the auspices of guitar giant Gibson. And while the Sheraton is clearly a member of that company’s fabled ES-300 family, the other three are purely Epiphone designs.

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.