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1939 Epiphone Broadway

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Serial # 14803, white Masterbilt label

Body size at lower bout:17" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 11/16"

Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Solid handcarved figured black walnut back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved spruce top; Honduras mahogany neck with 3-ply walnut/maple centerstripe; mother of pearl block style fingerboard inlay; fancy vine style mother-of-pearl peghead inlay, triple bound body; bound fingerboard and headstock.

Hardware: Original gold hardware includes Epiphone epsilon logo tuners, Pat. Pend Frequensator tailpiece, adjustable truss rod. Later Epiphone bound tortoise pickguard, adjustable rosewood bridge.

Notes: Alone among major builders, the Epiphone Company produced it's upscale Broadway model with back and sides of solid black walnut, beginning in 1932. 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 bodies.

Upsized from the 16" body of the early 30's, the 17" version of the walnut Broadway was produced for less than four years, between late 1935 and mid-1939. Delicate, cello-shaped f-holes made their debut in this version, 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 slim and contemporary, and free of the clubbiness found in many prewar guitars.

This historic guitar is the last walnut Broadway recorded in the Epiphone database. Virtually all previous examples were built with the asymmetrical 'Masterbilt' headstock but in mid-'39 Epiphone redesigned their pegheads with a center-dip design. This very rare transitional example retains the walnut body, but is fitted with the newer center-dip peghead. It is also the first Broadway on record to be equipped with the iconic Epiphone 'epsilon logo' tuners, with their stamped, sealed housings and modern 16:1 gearing, and one of the first to be fitted with an adjustable truss rod as well.

At just 5lb. 4oz. the guitar is particularly light in weight and well balanced, with a clear, brilliant voice, and excellent volume and projection. The neck profile is a gentle medium C, comfy in the hand, with smooth low action over fine original fretwork, and a fresh high-precision setup. The original binding is all tight and sound, and the original gold Frequensator tailpiece is fully intact. Well maintained, the instrument is free of pick, buckle, or thumbwear, with only a few scattered nicks in the amber blonde finish, which we estimate to be now at least several decades old, and highlights the attractive figure in the walnut back to great advantage. The bound tortoise pickguard bears the Epiphone logo, and appears to be of similar vintage as well. The back centerseam has been solidly resealed on both ends, and the body shows no cracks otherwise. Finally, the instrument comes complete with its original Epiphone hardshell case, with the epsilon logo in raised plush under the lid.

A striking instrument with a vibrant voice, and the last of the legendary walnut Broadways. One only: call now.

Case: Original Epiphone deluxe brown arched plush lined hardshell case.

















































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