1965 Epiphone Frontier
Posted on August 16 2013
In 1957 Gibson bought a failing manufacturer of musical instruments called Epiphone. This company had been their biggest rival until management issues started affecting it around the late 40s. In 1970 they moved the production of the Epiphone brand overseas and made budget instruments. But, for about 12 years Gibson manufactured guitars in their own factory with Epiphone on the headstock. The product line was just as high of quality or higher than their own brand. The Epiphone Frontier (FT-110) was the same build of the Dove but had a different style motif and headstock shape.
I don't normally look for 60s era Gibson acoustics but I fell for this one really bad. It has flame Maple back and sides, a scale length of 25.4" and of course, a lasso and cacti motif on the pickguard. The most surprising part of this one was of course, the TONE.
This is a big, rumbly strummer through and through. I was always told that the ADJ bridge was a tone killer but this one has a couple of secret weapons. First, the Maple back and sides. It's a harder wood and seems to reflect volume really well. Second, the longer scale length. This takes a little more string tension to get up to pitch resulting in a little more volume. The downside is that it is a bit more tiring on the fingers.
If you are a cowboy chord strumming songwriter then string tension is much less of an issue. What that person needs is a guitar that will make him/her pick it up and strum some chords. After a morning of fruitless writer's block the only thing left is to play your favorite song. A subtle twist of a melody or chord change is all it takes to get those creative juices flowing.