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 1933 Epiphone Olympic Masterbilt

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Serial #: 7184, silver Epiphone "Art Musical Instruments" label

Body size at lower bout: 13 5/8" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .87/1.05

Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; arched mahogany back and sides; one-piece mahogany neck; solid rosewood fingerboard; single-bound body, solid bone nut; pearloid peghead facing with decal logo.

Hardware: Original nickel hardware includes open back three-on-a-plate tuners and trapeze tailpiece. Period adjustable compensated rosewood bridge; vintage correct contoured bakelite pickguard, with aged nickel bracket.

Notes: One of the first flight of Epi archtop models, the Olympic first appeared in 1931, and remained in the catalog until 1949. This rare example from 1933 shows the earliest design for the model, with a 13 1/2" mahogany body. Unlike the Gibson archtops of comparable size, the Olympic and its other Epi cousins all had long scale necks and suspended fingerboards, thereby enhancing their formidable projection and bark.

We'd assumed for years that these models would be fairly plentiful, but once alt-country guitar hero David Rawlings adopted the Olympic as his all-purpose touring and recording guitar, we began getting requests for them that we just couldn't fill at any price. And when collectors began searching them out in earnest, it quickly became apparent just how seldom these rarities come to market.

This veteran player is from the last year for the smaller body, with the segmented 3 piece soundholes of the earliest Epi models. At just 3lb 11oz, the guitar is one of the lightest archtop guitars we've ever played, and simply floats on the lap or the strap. The body shows no cracks, and the top retains its original sunburst finish, with the playwear of a long career. Additional vintage style nitro lacquer has been applied to the back, sides and neck, and a small hairline crack near the peghead has been soundly resealed.

Unique to this model, the peghead is faced with green pearloid with a Masterbilt logo decal. The solid rosewood fingerboard has original dot inlays, and smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup, on the gentle D profile neck. Clear and open after decades of vigorous play, the voice of the guitar is particularly brilliant, with exceptional punch, projection, and carrying power far in excess of many larger instruments.

A rare and compelling find, from the very dawn of the acoustic archtop guitar. One only: call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut; bridge radius inspected and recurved; 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 4/64" to 5/64" 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 black arched plush lined arched hardshell case.
































































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