Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends
Status: Pricing and hold status for all instruments currently available is shown on our Instruments page here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold, and is no longer available. Photos and descriptions of Previously Sold instruments may by found here. To be notified of examples of this model or similar instruments in the future, please contact [email protected],. Please be specific on which instrument(s) you're looking for, and we'll be happy to contact you as soon as they become available.
Serial #: 9888, white Long Island Masterbilt label label.
Body size at lower bout: 17 1/4" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 10/16"
Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type
Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; hand carved bookmatched black walnut back and sides; 5 piece mahogany neck with maple and walnut centerstripe; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with block mother of pearl inlay; quintuple-bound body; abalone vine pattern peghead inlay, asymmetrical 'Masterbilt' headstock design.
Hardware: Vintage correct hardware includes hand antiqued gold Grover Sta-Tite "butterbean" tuners, hand bound swirl tortoise pickguard, compensated adjustable rosewood bridge. Prewar Epiphone trapeze tailpiece.
Notes: If you're one of the lucky owners of a nice old Martin, you might have wondered what an archtop might sound like if it too was made of Brazilian Rosewood. However, because of the cost, weight and difficulty in carving 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 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, rivaling that of a resophonic guitar, but with the warmth and sustain of finely aged wood.
Needless to say, we're always on the hunt for these amazing walnut cannons. Upsized from the 16" body of the early 30's, this 17" version of the walnut Broadway was produced for just over three years, from late 1935 through 1939. Delicate, cello-shaped f-holes made their debut in this variant, replacing the segmented holes of earlier models. The vine headstock inlay and block fingerboard markers in mother-of-pearl lend the guitar a look of understated elegance. The neck profile on Epis of this era is particularly noteworthy. Slim and contemporary, they are notably free of the clubbiness found in many prewar necks.
This outstanding guitar is one of the very first 17" Broadways, and is the earliest example we've found to date. The guitar has been maintained in wonderful condition, with all original sunburst finish, free of pick or buckle wear, and showing only normal thumbwear and scattered finish nicks. All binding is original and tight to the body, and a handsome prewar Epi tailpiece has been installed. A short hairline crack on the back near the endblock has been soundly resealed long ago, and a bit of older lacquer touchup applied to the finish near the treble back waist and treble soundhole. The action is smooth and low over a very gently veed C profile neck, with a set of perfectly dressed pro frets in excellent condition. At just 5 lb. 7 oz. the instrument is phenomenally light weight and responsive, and the voice is supremely open and resonant. Years of play have given the voice brilliant sparkling highs, clear defined lows, and pronounced natural reverb.
Demand for these exceptional guitars is high here: many have sold before they ever reached the site. One only: call now.
Case: Original deluxe black Epiphone plush lined hardshell case.
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 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.