Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends


1940 Epiphone Masterbilt Deluxe

Status: Pricing and hold status for all instruments currently available is shown on our Instruments page here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold, and is no longer available. Photos and descriptions of Previously Sold instruments may be found here. To be notified of examples of this model or similar instruments in the future, please contact [email protected],. Please be specific on which instrument(s) you're looking for, and we'll be happy to contact you as soon as they become available. .

Serial number: 15352, Masterbilt label

Body size at lower bout:17 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 11/16" Neck depth: 1st/10th frets: .80/.93

Materials: Solid handcarved tiger-flame figured 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 gold hardware includes patent pending Frequensator tailpiece and triple-bound fire stripe tortoise pickguard. Gold Grover Imperial tuners, adjustable rosewood bridge, hex-key adjustable truss rod.

Notes: Prewar Epiphone Deluxes, in the larger 17 3/8" body size, are among the most highly sought of all Epiphone models. And for good reason. Not only do they represent a pinnacle of Epi's aesthetic design, but they are almost invariably excellent sounding and playing guitars as well. This example is no exception. From only the second year of the natural blonde finish, it has the graceful cloud inlays in the fingerboard, the ornate pearl vine in the peghead, a finely carved Adirondack spruce top, and extravagantly figured tiger maple in the back, sides and neck.

After Gibson acquired the Epiphone company in 1957, factory repair work for Epis was performed at Gibson's Kalamazoo plant. The highly flamed tiger maple neck on this guitar was installed by Gibson most likely in the 1960's, and is stamped with the label number on the back of the peghead. The neck is also fitted with the Gibson adjustable truss rod (a distinct improvement over Epi's version), Grover Imperial tuners, and has an elegant, slightly flattened D profile, very easy in the hand. Gibson also upgraded the fingerboard to solid ebony (Epi used rosewood on most examples), and the fretboard is terminated in the graceful pointed finial of the L-5.

The guitar has been maintained in excellent condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and the vintage nitro finish, also applied by Gibson, is now deeply ambered after a half century of age. The original gold Frequensator tailpiece is in excellent condition, as is the original swirl tortoise pickguard, quite a rarity in instruments of this vintage. It shows no crystallization, and has a small binding shim near the bracket, with a small surface short hairline crack which does not extend through the material. A pair of short grainline cracks have been soundly resealed near the bass soundhole, with a bit of spot touchup applied long ago, and the finish shows a small patch of fading near the bass f-hole.

At a scant 5lb 7oz, the guitar is exceptionally light for a full size archtop, and balances effortlessly in the lap or the strap. Action is smooth and low with a fresh high precision setup, and the voice is big, throaty, and wide open, with a buttery depth and natural reverb that makes it hard to put down. With matchless prewar tone, and an inviting contemporary neck profile, this stunning instrument represents the best of both worlds for the modern player. A remarkable find, and an outstanding value in a spectacular prewar classic: 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: Deluxe arched black plush lined hardshell case.













































Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends