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1945 Epiphone Spartan

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Serial #: 53821, blue New York label

Body size at lower bout: 16 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2"

Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; solid black walnut back and sides; one piece mahogany neck; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with enamel inlay; single-bound body, bound fingerboard and headstock; original bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel trapeze tailpiece with Brazilian rosewood crossbar, adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge. Vintage style 16X1 nickel Grover Sta-Tite open back tuners; vintage correct contoured tortoise pickguard.

Notes: One of the most intriguing models in the Epiphone line, the Spartan was introduced in 1934 as a round hole archtop with a maple body, equivalent to the Gibson L-4. By 1936 the model was converted to f-holes and became Epi's top-of-the line 16" guitar. Most distinctively however, the Spartan's body was constructed with back and sides of black walnut, an unusually resonant material that produces a notably clear, bright voice, not unlike Brazilian rosewood.

The legendary prewar Epiphone Broadway was also built of black walnut until 1939, at which time the Spartan became the only Epi model built of this hard, handsome tonewood, and most likely the only professional grade walnut archtop, period. By the dawn of the 50's, the electric pickup had all but drowned out the loudest acoustic archtops, and the Spartan, never produced in large quantities, disappeared altogether.

This example has back and sides carved of all solid woods, in contrast to the laminate material often seen on this model. Also notable is that despite years of vigorous play, the instrument is remarkably free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerbvoard wear. The guitar shows no cracks, and the back centerseam has been soundly resealed. The original dark crimson sunburst finish is well checked, and now protected under a light layer of vintage style nitrocellulose lacquer, which has also been applied to the back. Equipped with a fine set of recent pro frets, the action is smooth and low, and the voice is bright, forward and aggressive, with bark and projection surpassing many larger guitars.

From big bands to string bands, the Spartan combines long-scale volume with a comfortable body size, and a voice no modern guitar can match. One only: call now.

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: Deluxe arched black plushlined hardshell case.




















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