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1933 Epiphone Broadway, Wide Inlay

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Serial #: 6553, Gold "Art Instruments" label.

Body size at lower bout: 16 1/2" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 3/4"

Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; highly-figured hand carved bookmatched black walnut back and sides; 5 piece mahogany neck with centerstripe; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with block pearloid inlay; triple-bound body; 3 banner peghead inlay in asymmetrical 'Masterbilt' headstock design.

Hardware: Original gold Grover Sta-Tite tuners. Early 30's vintage Epiphone nickel trapeze tailpiece, vintage correct contoured Bakelite pickguard, compensated single-footed adjustable rosewood bridge.

Notes: If you're one of the lucky owners of a prewar Martin, you might have wondered what an archtop might sound like if it too was made of Brazilian Rosewood. But because of the cost, weight and difficulty in working this exotic hardwood, rosewood has never been commonly used on archtop guitars. However, between 1931 and 1939, the Epiphone Company, alone among major builders, produced it's upscale Broadway model with back and sides of solid black walnut. The result was a guitar with unusually attractive looks, but more. The voice of these unique guitars is absolutely unique among acoustic jazz guitars. The hard, thin walnut back and sides produce a tone that is distinctly more brilliant than ordinary maple guitars. The mids and highs have exceptional projection and a brilliant bell-like tone, making these guitars particularly well suited for acoustic lead guitar. The cutting power on these instruments is simply phenomenal, with the warmth and sustain of finely aged wood.

This example from 1933 is the rarest version of this legendary model, with full-width block pearloid inlays across the full width of the fretboard, seen only that year. The 16 1/2" body has the 3- banner Masterbilt headstock, 3-piece segmented soundholes, and the generous 1 3/4" Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with comfy 9" radius. Well played and well loved, this guitar has been maintained without cracks, and shows all original sunburst finish without overspray. Binding is original, in excellent condition, and all tight to the body. The nickel Grover Sta-Tite tuners are original as well, and in fine working order.

Originally built as a lefty, the guitar retains position dots on the treble side of the neck, and the pickguard, nut and bridge have all been configured for conventional play. The back centerseam has been resealed at both ends, and the finish shows moderate play wear, with pick wear near the upper bass fingerboard, some buckle wear at the center back, and assorted scattered finish nicks and dings. Thumb wear the length of the neck suggest a pro-played instrument, which may be a clue to the instrument's clear, powerful voice, well played-in over many decades. The lowest headstock banner, bearing the 'Masterbilt' logo, has been professionally replaced, with an inscribed inlay of white pearl. Action is smooth and low over freshly leveled fretwork, and the neck has a gentle D profile, wonderfully contemporary in feel.

Walnut Broadways were built only prewar, and only in small numbers. They are unexcelled among archtops for acoustic lead playing, and perform brilliantly in ensemble situations, big jam sessions, and outdoor events. This remarkable guitar is only example of the wide inlay Broadway we have found to date, and we're not expecting to find another anytime soon. One only: call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as necessary; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridgewheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished. This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Deluxe arched plush lined hardshell case.




































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