Epiphone Coronet SB-533 Solid Body Electric Guitar (1963)

Epiphone  Coronet SB-533 Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1963)
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Item # 11979
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Epiphone Coronet SB-533 Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1963), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 107934, cherry lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, tweed hard shell case.

This is a nice player-grade example of an early-style Epiphone Coronet, with an old headstock repair but a fine gigger nonetheless. This model was the Epiphone-brand equivalent to Gibson's SG Junior, designed primarily as a student guitar but offering a fully professional sound and feel. To this day the unsung Coronet remains a somewhat unexploited treasure in the Kalamazoo-made fold with the same sonic characteristics as the more familiar the Les Paul/SG Junior.

Compered the Junior the Coronet is built with the same materials and fittings on a slightly larger symmetrical double-cutaway mahogany body. Like that more ubiquitous Gibson model this is a very comfortable, easy handling and very powerful sounding guitar. This second-generation example dates to early 1963 features the familiar Gibson cherry finish on the body and neck, topped off with a 3-layer white pickguard.

The lone pickup is the standard Gibson single-coil P-90, still under the old "dogear" black plastic cover used since the 1940s. The earliest 1959 Coronets used some actual New York made Epiphone parts, but by the time this one was made those had been exhausted. The neck is wider at the nut than later models, with a slim round backed profile. The Kluson Deluxe tuners on the wide single-sided headstock are the integral strips with plastic buttons. These symmetrical-bodied early '60s Epiphone solids were phased out at the end of 1963, replaced by the newer more Fender-like models.

This guitar came with the simple stop tailpiece setup and no vibrato, which most modern players prefer. The Coronet saw only 368 examples shipped in 1963, a fraction of the over 2300 SG Juniors the Kalamazoo factory sent out the same year! The list price in late 1963 was a modest $162.50, plus case. This is a neat and very functional early 1960's Epiphone solidbody even with the repair, cool looking, great playing and offering the typical rampaging tone of these light-bodied mahogany P-90 guitars.
Overall length is 37 1/2 in. (95.2 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a nice player's example of this cool Epiphone semi-rarity, with some wear and tear, including as noted an older headstock repair. The cherry finish is somewhat faded (mostly on the face) but not too heavily worn with some fine lateral checking and a collection of dings, dents and scrapes. The back of the neck has some small dings and dents but nothing major.

The headstock suffered a fairly symmetrical "smile" crack at the base on the rear, in a typical spot. This looks to have happened long ago and been repaired at the time possibly with a couple of pins, which appear to have been later removed and the repair cleaned up. It is completely solid now. There is light overfinish to the back of the headstock, and the face was overfinished as well. The nut and truss rod cover are replacements. The Kluson strip tuners and metal-capped knobs are correct style repros.

Other than this repair the guitar remains original including the plastic-covered P-90 pickup, pots and wiring, nickel stud bridge and the pickguard which even has the Epsilon "E" is still in place. There is some scuffing and typical shrinkage to the pickguard, with the upper rear corners cracked and the lower one missing.

The neck joint is very solid (some are not!) and the neck angle quite good which is not always the case with these. Overall this is a great playing and superb sounding example of the Epiphone Coronet, bloodied but unbowed and ready for another 60 years of Rocking, or whatever comes next. Overall Very Good Condition.