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1940 Epiphone Triumph
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Serial #: 15211, 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 bookmatched hand carved spruce top, solid hand carved maple back and sides; solid cherry neck with 3-ply walnut/maple centerstripe; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with mother of pearl diamond inlays; ornate early "snowflake" style mother-of-pearl peghead inlay, 3-ply top binding, bound fingerboard and headstock.
Hardware: Original nickel Pat. Pending Frequensator tailpiece. Vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard, nickel Grover 18x1 Sta-Tite tuners with butterbean keys, and adjustable compensated ebony bridge,
Notes: 1940 was a very good year for the Epiphone Triumph. Every one we've found from that year (and there haven't been near enough) has 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 a piano? Flat 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 only on instruments produced during this model year. The f-holes are slightly larger than those found on later models, and the body itself is more curvilinear than later versions.
Well played and well loved, this guitar is a true bandstand veteran, and has the wide-open voice to prove it. At just 5lb 10 oz, the instrument is wonderfully lightweight, well balanced and deeply resonant. The Adirondack spruce top is masterfully carved, and well played-in, with a voice as powerful as an oncoming train. All binding is tight to the body, the Frequensator tailpiece is fully intact, and the action is smooth and low over fresh pro vintage style fretwork and a gentle C profile neck. The original sunburst finish has been touched up with a light dusting of vintage style nitrocellulose lacquer, and shows typical playwear for an instrument of its vintage, with a number of finish dings and some checking. One hairline crack has been soundly resealed near the pickguard, and another by the neck heel in the side. A handsome vintage correct bound tortoiseshell pickguard has been installed, along with a fine set of nickel Grover 18x1 Sta-Tite tuners with butterbean keys. Finally, a Kent Armstrong Handmade 2D Ultraslim humbucking pickup has been installed, with volume and tone controls and an endpin jack, an upgrade package worth almost $500 alone.
A true player of the old school, this guitar combines styling, tone, and playability in a versatile high-performance package.
Case: Deluxe plush fitted arched hardshell case.