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1939 Epiphone Masterbilt Deluxe

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Serial number: 14426, NY Masterbilt label

Body size at lower bout:17 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Solid handcarved tiger-flame maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved Adirondack spruce top; solid flame maple neck with ebony fingerboard; segmented mother of pearl "cloud" style fingerboard inlay; fancy vine style mother-of-pearl peghead inlay, five-ply body binding, bound fingerboard and headstock; bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes gold 16X1 epsilon logo tuners, hex-key adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct hardware includes bound tortoise pickguard, gold Frequensator tailpiece, adjustable compensated rosewood bridge. Gold Kent Armstrong Ultraslim floating humbucking pickup, with tone and volume controls and endpin jack.

Notes: Prewar Epiphone Deluxes, in the larger 17 3/8" body size, are among the most highly sought Epiphones ever. And for good reason. A pinnacle of Epi's aesthetic design, they are almost invariably excellent sounding and playing instruments as well. And this example is no exception.

Built early in the first year for Epi's natural finish, this pioneering instrument is one of the two earliest blonde Deluxes known at this writing. It's also one of the earliest examples with the center-dip headstock, the hex key truss rod, and the iconic gold epsilon logo tuners, soon a trademark of Epiphone's top-line models. Still bearing the Masterbilt label, the guitar retains the prewar segmented cloud inlays in the fingerboard, and the ornate 5 branch pearl vine in the peghead.

With its extravagantly rollers of tiger flame maple in the body and neck, the guitar presents an unusually striking appearance, and its finely carved Adirondack spruce top reminds the player why this variety is the rarest and most desirable tonewood for archtop guitars. Light, supple and vibrant, this soundboard positively roars to life under the pick.

This striking guitar has been maintained in excellent condition, without pick, buckle, or fingerboard wear, and the vintage nitro finish is now deeply ambered after three quarters of a century. The neck shows a bit of light thumbwear in the lower positions, and one short grainline crack is soundly cleated just above the bass soundhole. Action is smooth and low, with a fresh high-precision setup on fine pro frets, and a notably contemporary gentle C profile neck.

The voice is simply massive: throaty and resonant, with the clarity and depth of a true horn killer. The premium Armstrong floating humbucker faithfully conveys the rich vintage tone to the amp as well, for added versatility. (And whimsically, on the tailpiece next to the endpin jack, careful eyes will note a tiny, delicate engraving of a laughing Buddha, perhaps for good luck in those blistering solos?) All carefully ensconced in its original plush lined hardshell case with brown pigskin covering, Epi's top-of-the-line case.

With its matchless prewar tone, elegant neck, and showstopping looks, this stunning instrument is a superlative combination for the discriminating player. From the Birth of the Big Bandstand Blondes: one only, call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; 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 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 deluxe arched plush lined hardshell case.













































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