Epiphone has distinguished itself as a major player since its inception in1873, and through every era of 20th century popular music. From the mandolin craze of the turn of the century, through arch-top guitars of the big band era, and on into the British invasion with their electric guitar designs, Epiphone has been a highly respected manufacturer and distributor of fine stringed instruments for well over a century. Epiphone merged with Gibson Guitars in 1957. Today Epiphone serves as Gibson's overseas subsidiary, famous for high-quality reproductions of Gibson's classic designs like Les Paul, SG, Flying V and numerous other classics, all reproduced with exacting quality control in state-of-the-art factories in Asia. They additionally retain their own unique identity, and continue to innovate in the constantly changing world of electric and acoustic guitar design and manufacturing.