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1945 Epiphone Deluxe
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Serial # 52851, Blue NY label
Body size at lower bout:17 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 11/16"
Finish: Amber blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type
Materials: Solid handcarved tiger-flame figured maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved spruce top; solid flame maple neck with 3-ply walnut/maple centerstripe; mother of pearl "cloud" style fingerboard inlay; fancy vine style mother-of-pearl peghead inlay, five-ply body binding, bound fingerboard and headstock.
Hardware: Original gold hardware includes Frequensator tailpiece, adjustable compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge, hex-key adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct triple bound tortoise pickguard, gold Grover Imperial 16x1 tuners.
Notes: Introduced in 1932 at the debut of the Epiphone archtop catalog, the Deluxe was the top of the line in every respect. From the vine peghead inlay to the signature clouds in the fingerboard, this model represented a pinnacle of art-deco design, with power to burn on the bandstand. This lovely example has the big open sound of a hardworking pro, with excellent bridge height and fresh recent frets giving it headroom to spare.
The maple body shows the spectacular flame typical of the model, especially the blondes, for whom the builders reserved their most dramatic tonewood. The guitar sports its original unstamped gold postwar Frequensator tailpiece and original adjustable rosewood bridge, along with a correct triple bound tortoise pickguard with Bartolini floating humbucker, volume control, and endpin jack. The ornate vine peghead is topped off with a set of gold art-deco Grover Imperial tuners, and the guitar remains securely tucked in its original plush lined brown pigskin hardshell case.
The natural blonde finish is richly ambered, with the back finish professionally replaced some years ago, most likely when the center seam was resealed. A short hairline crack on the back, and one near the bass soundhole have both been soundly resealed. The instrument is substantially free of buckle and fingerboard wear, and shows only very light normal pick and thumbwear. Tailpiece shows typical thin stress crack at edge, stable for years. Action is smooth and low with fine pro frets over gentle C profile neck, and the voice is full and throaty, with exceptional projection, clarity and punch.
A perennial favorite, the Epiphone Deluxe is substantially scarcer than its Gibson counterpart, and that goes double for the blondes. With its warmly mellowed soundboard and accurate modern pickup, this pretty old box is ready for its next half century of hot licks and sweet rhythm.
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; 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-.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 deluxe Epiphone plush lined brown pigskin hardshell case.