Premiere Guitar Builder Profile: Epifani Amplifiers

Nick Epifani with jazz/fusion bassist Brian Bromberg at Winter NAMM

Nick Epifani with jazz/fusion bassist Brian Bromberg at Winter NAMM

Call it fate or call it destiny, some things were just meant to happen. When Nick Epifani started his journey from Torino, Italy, to New York City, he had no idea that one day his ideas and innovations would shape the way bass gear is manufactured, designed, and heard. And this from a drummer-turned-guitarist who started a company in his garage and played mad scientist with bass-cabinet designs. As a chronic tinkerer, Epifani had been modding guitar amps and cabinets from day one. Never quite satisfied with tones, he set out to either make a better cabinet or alter the amp to his liking. The result was a cab that not only shook foundations (literally and figuratively), but broke new ground for the bass world. His bass cabinets and amps have steadily risen in popularity over the years, and they can now be found onstage with many of the most capable bassists on the planet.

But while Epifani may not have foreseen how his design would change the bass universe, his success was no accident. His first cabs were labors of love produced one at a time at home. For 10 years, he worked there by day, and every night he’d set out to jazz clubs to introduce his wares to players around the city. After a fateful meeting with representatives from Fodera Guitars, his business really caught afire as players such as Matt Garrison (Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock), Lincoln Goines (Mike Stern, Carly Simon, Robert Palmer), and Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Madonna) began using his cabinets and amps onstage and in the studio.

We recently spoke with Epifani about his innovations—from the first cabinet he built in Italy for his brother to his latest digital amps and cabinets—his perseverance, and his steadfast determination to blaze a path all his own.

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Nick Epifani