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1945 Epiphone Emperor
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Serial #: 52835
Body size at lower bout: 18 1/2". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16" Neck depth: .92/1.04, 1st/10th frets
Materials: Extravagantly figured bookmatched tiger flame maple back and sides; hand carved solid spruce top; 7-piece maple-walnut neck; 7-ply ivoroid body binding; triple-bound heel cap, neck binding, f-holes and head stock; solid ebony fingerboard with "split-block" mother of pearl inlay; ornate pearl tree-of-life peghead inlay.
Hardware: 100% original gold hardware, including Frequensator tailpiece and Epsilon logo 16X1 tuners; translucent triple bound zebra- pattern tortoise shell pickguard, adjustable rosewood bridge, hex-key truss rod at fingerboard extension.
Notes: The glory of the Epiphone line, the blonde Emperor is the rarest and most desirable instrument produced in the New York factory. One of the last to be made with the prewar split-block inlay pattern, this spectacular example combines breathtaking tiger flame maple with thundering volume and projection.
The back of the instrument is hand-carved from chevron pattern book-matched tiger flame maple of exceptionally intense depth and symmetry, erasing any doubt that the finest appearance grade tonewoods were reserved for the natural finish guitars. The sides are illuminated as well by deep, wide rollers of big flame maple. The top is hand graduated of solid quarter-sawn bookmatched spruce with exceptionally abundant cross grain silk.
With its massive 18 1/2" lower bout, this top-of-the-line guitar is the largest production archtop ever made. Yet due to its slightly smaller upper bout, many players find the Emperor profile markedly easier to hold than the somewhat bulkier Super 400. The neck profile is notably comfy as well, with a gentle C profile, and sits very smartly in the palm, with smooth low action over a fresh high precision setup.
The guitar has been well maintained, with all original hardware, right down to the lovely firestripe pickguard. The natural blonde finish is deeply ambered to a rich golden hue, with some typical scattered lacquer nicks, mostly confined to the soundboard. The center seams have been resealed, a few grainline cracks near the f holes have been rejoined, and a few small areas of binding have been reattached, all work professionally executed.
The voice is every bit as monumental as the appearance. The guitar has massive acoustic volume with exceptionally warm lower and middle register and the clear, brilliant highs of a superbly played-in instrument. The professional pedigree is further evinced by the smooth patina of thumbwear on the back of the neck. Between the second and tenth frets the highly flamed maple has the sort of look and feel one might expect of a well-played vintage cello.
A stunning example of Epi's supreme creation, and one of the finest sounding models of all time. One only: call now.
Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard conditioned; body and neck cleaned and hand polished. Action is set from 4/64" to 5/64" at the 12th fret, with medium gauge .013 phosphor bronze strings.
Case: Deluxe black arched plush lined hardshell case.