Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips

1940 Vega De Luxe Model C-86

Serial #: 40922, white Boston label

Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 25" Nut Width: 1 10/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .89/1.03

Finish: Original blonde finish, nitrocellulose type

Materials: Hand carved 5 piece solid Adirondack spruce top; arched tiger flame maple back and sides; steel reinforced solid mahogany neck with triple centerstripe; solid ebony fingerboard with scribed Art Deco block inlays; 7-ply bound body; bound f-holes, ornate multi-segmented peghead inlay and logo.

Hardware: Original hardware includes bound tortoise pickguard, gold trapeze tailpiece, adjustable compensated ebony bridge. Period gold Grover Imperial tuners.

Notes: The pinnacle of the Vega catalog, the top-of-the-line De Luxe Model C-86 is the most richly appointed guitar ever produced by this legendary Boston instrument builder. Priced at a staggering $285 (without case!) the ultra premium C-86 was even more expensive than the industry standard Gibson L-5 itself. While Vega archtops in general are not plentiful, the C-86 is vanishingly scarce: to date, we'd only ever seen this flagship model in a rare prewar catalog. (Even as prolific a collector as Akira Tsumura never seemed to have bagged any Vega higher than a C-66.)

With its ornate 18 piece peghead inlay, hand engraved fingerboard blocks, and extravagantly flamed maple body, the De Luxe Model C-86 was an Art Deco masterpiece, rivaling the presentation quality banjos upon which Vega had built its reputation for generations. This stunning example has 100% original finish and its original hardware includes its translucent bound tortoise pickguard, gold trapeze tailpiece, and adjustable compensated ebony "Acoustic-Balanced" bridge. (The C-86 was the only Vega archtop fitted with Grover Imperial tuners, and this guitar is equipped with a fine set of more recent vintage.)

This example has been maintained in magnificent condition, with particularly intense tiger flame figure in the sides and back. The original amber blonde finish is without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and shows only very light scattered checking. Apart from a tiny tight veneer crack on the back upper bout, the instrument is otherwise without cracks of any kind in the soundboard, neck or sides.

The voice is bright and forward, with brilliant projection and clarity, with smooth, low action over a gentle C profile neck, with a fresh high precision setup. Vega archtops are standouts among prewar guitars for their slim, fast neck profiles, and this guitar is no exception. It plays effortlessly with a gently rounded C neck, a precision leveled solid ebony fingerboard, and fresh pro fretwork with smooth low action.

An exceptional find, and a sumptuous feast for the eye, ear and hand alike. One only: call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision levelled, recrowned and polished as necessary; 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 bronze strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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 brown Lifton plushlined hardshell case.








































Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips