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 1935 Epiphone Olympic Masterbilt

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Serial #: 9716, Long Island Masterbilt label

Body size at lower bout: 14 1/2" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .87/1.01

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: All original hardware includes adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge; nickel trapeze tailpiece; nickel open back three-on-a-plate tuners with ivoroid buttons, contoured black bakelite pickguard.

Notes: One of the first flight of Epi archtop models, the Olympic first appeared in 1931, 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.

With an nicely figured back of rare curly mahogany, the guitar has 100% original hardware and finish. Weighing in at barely 4lb, the instrument is phenomenally light in weight, and beautifully balanced. Fine pro fretwork is newly installed, and the classic C profile neck has smooth low action over a high- precision setup.

The voice is bright, forward and punchy, with exceptional clarity and projection. The instrument shows normal playwear, mostly confined to the top and back, with a grainline crack on the bass side resealed long ago, along with a short hairline crack on top near the tailpiece. Finally, a deluxe recent fitted hardshell case is included, complete with shoulder strap.

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 phosphor bronze strings. 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.

































































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