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1938 Epiphone Broadway

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Serial #: 13174, white Masterbilt label label.

Body size at lower bout: 17 1/4" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 5/8"

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: Original gold Frequensator tailpiece; original rosewood bridge with matching serial # stamped on underside of bridge foot; original gold Grover style Sta-Tite "butterbean" tuners; square head adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct hand bound tortoise shell pickguard.

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 only three short years, between 1936 and 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 example is from the last year for the walnut body. She's been maintained in wonderful condition, free of cracks, and with her original dark sunburst finish showing deep walnut grain and only light normal playwear. All gold hardware is original, with the Frequensator tailpiece seam soundly rebrazed and the multi-ply binding all tight to the body. The action is smooth and low over a very slight V profile neck, with a fresh set of perfectly dressed vintage style frets. At just 5 lb. 6 oz. the instrument is phenomenally light weight and responsive, and the voice is clear, brilliant, and big as all outdoors.

Just because you have the loudest guitar in the room doesn't mean you should always play it full throttle. But it's nice to know you can let it rip when you really need to. 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 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: Original Epiphone plush hardshell case.



































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