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 1940 Epiphone Olympic

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 by 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 #: 16809, green New York label

Body size at lower bout: 15 1/2" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16"

Finish: Original sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Hand carved solid Adirondack spruce top; arched mahogany back and sides; one-piece mahogany neck; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; pearl script peghead inlay, single-bound body, bone nut

Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel trapeze tailpiece, open back three-on-a-plate tuners, contoured fire-stripe pickguard, Brazilian rosewood bridge base with compensated saddle.

Notes: One of the original Epi archtop models, the Olympic was introduced in 1931, and remained in the catalog until 1949. Originally sporting a 13" mahogany body, the Olympic was upsized twice to it's final 15 1/2" body design. Unlike the Gibson archtops of comparable size, the Olympic and its other Epi cousins all had long scale necks and suspended fingerboards, thereby enhancing their formidable projection and bark.

Like many, we'd assumed for years that these models would be fairly plentiful. However, after alt-country guitar hero David Rawlings adopted the Olympic as his all-purpose touring and recording guitar, we began getting requests for them that we just couldn't fill at any price. And when collectors began searching them out in earnest, it quickly became apparent just how seldom these rarities come to market, much less in gleaming condition like this.

This remarkable example has 100% original factory finish in virtually unplayed condition, without pick, buckle or fingerboard wear. Apart from a bit of honest thumbwear, the guitar shows few signs of play altogether. The original rosewood bridge base has a compensated saddle added for optimum intonation, and the original three-on-a-plate tuners with oval keys are attached. Best of all, the guitar has a rare original fire-stripe tortoise guard, and its original nickel trapeze tailpiece. The Brazilian rosewood fingerboard has smooth low action over fine original fretwork, and the gentle light V neck profile sits easily in the palm. (The original more reddish finish color of the body may still be seen in a faint wedge shaped pattern on the back, most likely shaded from the sun by a guitar stand.) The guitar has the bark of a true 40's Epi, bright and forward with lots of punch.

An outstanding gleaming example of one of Epi's most sought-after models. One only: call now.

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









































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