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1940 Epiphone Triumph
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Serial #: 15207, Masterbilt label
Body size at lower bout: 17 1/4" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 11/16"
Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type
Materials: Solid hand carved deep tiger flame maple back and sides; solid bookmatched hand carved spruce top; solid mahogany neck with 3-ply walnut/maple centerstripe; highly figured Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with mother of pearl diamond inlays; ornate early "snowflake" style mother-of-pearl peghead inlay, 5-ply top binding, bound fingerboard and headstock.
Hardware: Original nickel hardware includes open-back oval key tuners and Frequensator tailpiece, original adjustable rosewood bridge. Vintage correct bound firestripe tortoise pickguard with Kent Armstrong 2D floating humbucking pickup with volume contropl and endpin jack.
Notes: 1940 was a very good year for the Epiphone Triumph. Virtually without exception the guitars we've found from that year have had a particularly fine voice: dry, clear and wide open, with the sort of clarity and transparency that can't be bought new at any price. And did we mention loud as thunder? Simply amazing.
The body design is also a pleasing transition between the preceding decade and the one to follow. The peghead is the earliest version of the center-dip design, yet continues the graceful snowflake or fleur-de-lis inlay of the 30's. Slightly more compact than later models, this headstock is a short lived variant seen on instruments produced in '40 and '41 only. The f-holes are slightly larger than those found on later models, and the body itself is more curvilinear than later versions.
One of the very last examples to bear the old Masterbilt label, this guitar shows truly exceptional tiger flame in the solid carved maple back and sides, the sort of appearance grade tonewood more usually seen in the upmarket Deluxe or Emperor models. At just 5lb 11oz, (2.62 kg) the instrument is wonderfully lightweight, and powerfully voiced. The Adirondack spruce top is masterfully carved, and the tonewood is well aged, nicely played-in, and deeply resonant, with a voice as massive as a passing train.
The longtime guitar of our master repair foreman Lemuel, the instrument has been manicured for playability and optimized for tone and volume. She's without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, all binding is tight to the body, the Frequensator tailpiece is solidly brazed at the bend, and the action is effortless over fresh pro fretwork and a gentle light vee profile neck. One grainline crack near treble soundhole has been immaculately resealed, and a gorgeous vintage-correct prewar style dark sunburst finish applied throughout. Solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with solid pearl diamond inlays, white prewar Epiphone Masterbilt label. and a gorgeous vintage correct leopard shell bound pickguard has been installed. A final bonus is the Kent Armstrong 2D floating humbucking pickup with volume control and endpin jack (a $400 value with installation) which amplifies the acoustic voice with uncanny accuracy, warmth and fidelity. Vibrant and versatile, this gig-ready classic combines styling, tone, and superb playability in one unbeatable package.
Case: Deluxe arched plush hardshell case.