The original Epiphone Crestwood was built at Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory, alongside Les Pauls and other ’50s classics. A double-cut solid-body, it appeared a full three years before that other double-cut legend, the Les Paul SG.
Epiphone’s new version of the Crestwood is a cool tweak of the original brought to modern specs, but retaining an authentic garage-rock persona.
The Crestwood has a similar shape to the also-reissued Coronet and Wilshire models, but with Epiphone Pro mini-humbuckers instead of P-90s, and a LockTone tune-o-Matic bridge with Tremotone vibrato. It has a mahogany body and neck with a laurel fretboard and a neck scale of 24.7″– a hair shorter than Gibson’s standard 24.75″. The body is light, with a slightly beveled edge and full-access neck heel. Look for Epi’s new “Nashville” headstock, “bikini” logo plate, button tuners, and large oval fretboard inlays.
Plugged in, the Crestwood is a resonant plank. Its C-shaped neck has a full profile and may remind you of an SG, as will the array of knobs on the body. Tone-wise, it has an aggressive bark, ready for your feistiest licks, much like an old Special or Les Paul Deluxe.
With vintage looks, modern hardware, Gibson-approved tone, and a fast neck, the Epiphone Crestwood are both hard to dislike and easy on the wallet. It’s a blast of garage rock and roll.
This article originally appeared in VG March 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.