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Product 518414

Epiphone Elite Riviera-6 Electric Guitar

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The Elite series are instruments that approach custom shop perfection. They're made with premium woods, fitted with American pickups and circuitry”ev...Click To Read More About This Product

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From the new top-of-the-line Epiphone series.

The Elite series are instruments that approach custom shop perfection. They're made with premium woods, fitted with American pickups and circuitry”even American-made toggle switches and Grover tuners. They are made at a special factory exclusively devoted to their manufacture where they receive a high degree of hands-on luthier attention. Here Epiphone has beautifully produced one of the warmest, sweetest-toned guitars of all time”a jazz, blues, and country classic. Includes hardshell case.

  • 5-ply maple back, sides, and top
  • One-piece mahogany neck
  • 24-3/4" scale
  • Neck set at the 19th fret
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • 1-5/18" bone nut
  • 22 frets
  • 60NYR USA New York Mini humbucker rhythm pickup
  • 60NYT USA New York Mini humbucker treble pickup
  • 2 volume, 2 tone, 3-way toggle
  • Grover tuners
  • Nickel hardware

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 9 customers

Displaying reviews 1-9

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


straight-up DL on the Elitist Riviera

By Freddie Flesh

from Atlanta, GA

In my six-month search for a quality hollowbody, I decided on the Elite Riviera after looking at all the other guitars (here at MF and elsewhere) in the $1000 - $2000 range. Mind you, I've tried every hollowbody and semi- that I could get my hands on from G&L and Fender teles to Gibby 335s and a host of knock-offs; please note that I couldn't find a Heritage to try around town (their loss, Epi's gain, I guess). Although the Gibson 335 is a fine guitar, I found out that I actually prefer the brighter, more distinctive sound of the Epi's mini-humbuckers to the 335's '57 Classic hbs which I played at several local shops. Trust your ears as I did mine and you'll get the sound you want! Other differences between the Riviera and the 335 are minor in my opinion; for example, the frets on the Riviera do not have "nibs" (that would make them flush with the binding) like a 335 does and, of course, the frequensator tailpiece on the Riviera is nothing like the 335's stoptail. Both of these differences are apparent, but not significant in terms of playability or tone and they may even be preferable for some players. In my view, the frequensator is preferrable to the stop tail as it means fewer holes in what is clearly a beautiful maple body and its art-deco-esque design is attractive in itself. Visually this guitar is stunning, the abalone and MOP inlays, the Grover tuners, and the hardware all sparkle. The cherry finish is almost as dark as burgundy, the poly coat is thin and even, and the creamy binding is flawlessly done. The instrument's tone (clean or overdriven) is beautiful and its sustain is better than all of the Gibby LPs I've tried. The Riviera is an excellent compliment to my Gibson SG Classic as their pickup output is about the same and their necks are very similar (chunky, but fast) with more high fret access than, say, an LP or even a Casino. This makes switching between guitars very easy for me as fx and amp settings don't need major readjusting and the neck-feel is nearly identical. The Riviera is lighter than any LP, but noticeably heavier than the wispy SG -- still, the Riviera's an easy burden to shoulder given the ton of tone you get in return. Also, the Epi comes with an excellent key-locking case, the sturdiest HS case I've ever had (short of a flight case). My rating takes points off only for the following: the frequensator (which I prefer to stoptail for its appearance) is slightly harder to string than a stop tail would be, the bone nut (which is an otherwise 1st-class feature) needed some extra filing to keep strings from catching, the real MOP inlays on two of the upper frets look a tiny bit sloppy along their bottom edges, the re-sale value of an Epi hollowbody is not as good as a Gibby's, and the Riviera advertised here as an "Elite" is (upon arrival) actually an "Elitist," a name that I feel is unfortunate because it connotes "snobbery" more than it denotes the notion of a "top of the line" guitar such as this. Aside from those very minor points, I think this guitar is a great buy if what you're really after is great craftsmanship and superior tone in a guitar that you are actually going to play a lot. Strange to say, but, given made-in-the-US components, the skillful luthiers at the Terada, Japan factory where this Riviera was made really know how to make an American guitar. FYI Guitar Player mag gave the 12-string version of the Elitist Riviera an Editor's Pick Award and, in my experience, the 6-string is easily in the same league (without the tuning nightmare)! This Epi is not meant to be an heirloom investment to hang on the wall or stash in the attic, it's an instrument meant to be played, and mine's definitely a keeper.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


This guitar is cool

By Gdogg224

from somewhere

I don't like the color, but I like how it's hollow. I don't like that it's so small.


Fun guitar, easy to play!

By Zeewilly

from Massachusetts

See all my reviews

I have the cheaper Made-in-Korea 6-string Riviera from Epiphone. I cannot imagine how much nicer the Elitist version of this guitar could be, honestly. It is a fantastic guitar, beautifully built and easy to play. The mini-humbuckers give a brighter sound, somewhere in-between a Rickenbacker and an Epi Dot.


Awesome guitar!

By Zeewilly

from Massachusetts

See all my reviews

I have the less-expensive Made-in-Korea Riviera 6-string, and it is a fabulous guitar, especially when played through a tube amp with just a little overdrive. This is a very comfortable instrument to play, with a smooth easy neck, solid tuners, and able to cover lots of different playing styles and music. The minihumbuckers and unique tailpiece design give you a slightly different sound than other semi-hollowbody Gibson-style 335s. I wouldn't hesitate to trade mine in for the Elitist model, which has better quality wood and electronics.


it looks and plays awesome.

By TheFinestPoint

from Millbrae,Ca

i have had many experiences with this product. ive played shows with it, and my favoirite bands lead guitarist uses it.


excellent pro guitar!

By Lend27

from Westport, MA

The Elite Riviera 6 is an excellent guitar. Great sounds, playability, and value. You can't go wrong with any Epi elite!


Riviera-the jack of all trades guitar

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

This is a very high quality, easy playing and great overall value of a guitar. This Riviera Elite brings back all the good stuff of those awesome early 60's Rivieras, Sheratons, and Casinos Epiphone used to put out in America. And right on time, because finding a good one out of Epiphones regular line of guitars is like a street shoot of craps, even if you hit 7 or 11 you dont know if your going to get your money. Out of all the new regular Epi's there would always be some one or two big things that would keep me from buying it, ex.(bow or bent neck, bad intonation, weak sounding pickups, leftover finish in f-hole sides, ect.). But enough beating on regular epi's; this is the one I'm reviewing. This Riviera elite has all of the great features that are listed in the product description and with no flaws. That pretty much says it all. I can only think of about ten guitars on this websight that I can say that about! It is also versitile like a Jack of all trades that can play any style of music and it's only one grand. The only reason I didn't give it a ten overall is Epi should have put in the Gibson NY Mini-Humbuckers and not the Epi-USA copy of the NY Minibucks. But with all the money you save you can put those in. P.S. Please don't take into account the review on April 17th or 27th 2004 by g-dogg or what ever the name is. That review is worthless, for anyone to base their purchase on or lack of purchase on the guitar because of it would be a sin. Plus that review disrupted the real score this guitar got, and thats not cool especialy if your droping a grand on a guitar and want honest reviews, good or bad, about the product.


an excellent guitar

By John-nlyiM

from Texas

See all my reviews

The Riviera has a wonderful unique sound that is unlike any other guitar on the market. The minibuckers are amazing, they work wonderfully for rhythm playing.


Excellent price for an excellent guitar

By DeverHo

from Mishawaka, IN

This is an extraordinary guitar. It can easily be played with any style of music. The action on it is unbelieveable! I have owned it for close to a year and i have been to my share of guitar shops, and I still have not found a guitar to match or come close to the action on this guitar. It is the same height above the ridiculously comfortable frets all the way up the fingerboard. Despite what others may say, there is no problem with keeping it in tune. The only difference with mine is that i have normal sized stock humbuckers instead of the mini's on this model. The nut is the perfect height and the bridge action doesn't need any adjusting. All in all, great to look at, better to play. However, dont cradle it too tight, cuz if you do, look under your shirt and there will be a nice pink ridge thats shaped just like the guitar! I had one of these for about 2 weeks straight...But if you want a great rock/country guitar or a better jazz guitar, look no further.

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