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1940 Epiphone Broadway

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Serial # 14768 Masterbilt label

Body size at lower bout:17 3/8" 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 hardware includes gold Frequensator tailpiece, adjustable rosewood bridge, bound tortoise pickguard, adjustable truss rod. Gold Waverly 16x1 scalloped open-back tuners.

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 1936 and the early months of 1940. 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. Virtually all walnut Broadways were built with the asymmetrical 'Masterbilt' headstock design, but not all. In 1940, Epiphone redesigned their pegheads with a center-dip design, and changed the body on the Broadway from walnut to maple. This very rare transitional example from early 1940 has the older body with the newer peghead, and is only the second such guitar we've seen like it.

Not merely a conversation piece, this guitar has a particularly outstanding voice, with unusually brilliant ringing tone, and wide open volume. Not to mention a wonderful medium profile neck so beloved by modern players. Featherlight in construction, the instrument weighs in at an astonishing 5lb. 2oz. A rare original bound tortoise pickguard remains in superb condition, the binding is tight and sound, and the original gold Frequensator tailpiece is fully intact. The original sunburst finish is in good shape overall, showing a few touchups on top and a bit of typical knee and case wear on the bass side. The original deep sunburst on the back has been protected with a light dusting of true vintage nitrocellulose lacquer, and a wrench for the truss rod is included. Finally, the guitar has been equipped with vintage correct gold Waverly scalloped 16x1 tuners (the most costly machines available), fresh pro frets for smooth low action, and is fitted in its original Epiphone hardshell case.

A handsome instrument with a vibrant voice, and one of the rarest Epiphone models ever made.

Case: Original plush lined Epiphone hardshell case.

















































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