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1940 Epiphone Emperor
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Body size at lower bout: 18 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Materials: Highly figured tiger flame maple back, sides and neck; hand carved solid spruce top; 7-piece maple-walnut neck; 7-ply ivoroid body binding; triple-bound heel cap, neck binding, f-holes and head stock; solid Brazilian fingerboard with "split-block" mother of pearl inlay; ornate pearl tree-of-life peghead inlay.
Hardware: 100% original gold hardware, including Frequensator tailpiece and 16X1 Epsilon-logo tuners, triple bound tiger stripe tortoise shell pickguard, adjustable compensated ebony bridge, Epiphone truss rod at fingerboard extension, original bone nut.
Notes: Massive. Rich. Commanding. The experience of playing a genuine prewar Epiphone Emperor is not soon forgotten. Built to lay an unshakeable foundation for the most raucous horn section, the Emperor produces a rich, buttery pulse like no other. But the big guitar is not merely a rhythm machine. It's lightly carved soundboard ranges effortlessly through the range of the fretboard with brilliant clarity and projection. Small wonder many veteran players regard the Epiphone Emperor as the finest big band guitar of all time.
This example is a rare prewar model, with the split-block fingerboard inlays, and pearl triangle above the nut. As befits its regal heritage, it is graced with highly flamed wood in the muliply neck, and exceptionally tight bubble maple back. The tonewood of the top is finely graduated of exceptionally fine grained spruce, perfectly bookmatched and quartersawn. All gold hardware is original, including the magnificent multi-ply tiger stripe pickguard.
The voice is exceptionally rich and open, with particularly deep, cavernous bass and brilliant sparkling highs. The Brazilian rosewood fingerboard shows the early split-block inlay pattern, and the pearl work in the peghead contains the triangle over the nut, a prewar trademark. The extravagant multiply binding is tight to the body, and the original gold Frequensator tailpiece is solid at the seam. The deep sunburst finish is virtually without pickwear on the soundboard, and the centerseam of the back has been soundly resealed. A patch of buckle wear has been blended in with a bit of spot finish, some touchup has been added to the dark sunburst near the waists on both sides of the back, and a bit of wear is visible on the back of the peghead. Tone and action have been optimized with a fresh set of high, polished frets, and the action is smooth and low over a remarkably contemporary light D profile neck. A wonder of opulent design, this guitar is ready again to continue its distinguished reign in style.
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; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.
This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze 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 brown hardshell case with blue plush lining.