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 1935 Epiphone Olympic Masterbilt

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Serial #: 9760, Long Island Masterbuilt label

Body size at lower bout: 14 1/2" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16"

Finish: Original sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; arched figured curly mahogany back and sides; one-piece mahogany neck; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; single-bound body, solid bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge; nickel trapeze tailpiece; nickel open back three-on-a-plate tuners with ivoroid buttons. Vintage correct contoured black pickguard.

Notes: One of the first flight of Epi archtop models, the Olympic first appeared in 1932, and remained in the catalog until 1949. Unlike the Gibson archtops of comparable size, the Olympic has a true long scale neck and suspended fingerboard, enhancing its formidable projection, and permitting installation of a floating pickup if desired.

We'd assumed for years that these models would be fairly plentiful, but once alt-country guitar hero David Rawlings adopted a '35 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, much less in such fine condition.

A wonderful example from upstate New York, this guitar has remained in the care of the same family since it was purchased brand new. With an exceptionally figured back of rare curly mahogany, the guitar has all its original sunburst finish intact, showing light normal playwear, mostly confined to the top and back, and no apparent cracks. The classic C profile neck has smooth low action over a high- precision setup, with a gentle C profile contour, and excellent bridge height. The voice is bright, forward and punchy, with exceptional clarity and projection.

Weighing in at barely 4lb, the instrument is phenomenally light in weight, and beautifully balanced. The tailpiece has been solidly re-brazed, and the original fretwork remains in fine condition, with almost no thumb or fingerboard wear apparent. The original hardshell case is included, a scarce item, as most Olympic models were supplied with flimsy softshell cases at the time. A rare find from the heyday of the acoustic archtop guitar. One only: call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as required; 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 nickel strings (.013-.057). 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: Original Epiphone arched black hardshell case.
































































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