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1946 Epiphone Deluxe
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Serial # 54661, Blue New York 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: Extravagantly figured bubble maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved spruce top; solid flame maple neck with 3-ply walnut/maple centerstripe; Brazilian rosewood fingerbaord with mother of pearl "cloud" style fingerboard inlay; fancy vine style mother-of-pearl peghead inlay, five-ply body binding, bound fingerboard and headstock.
Hardware: 100% original gold hardware includes 16x1 Epsilon-logo tuners, original gold-plated Frequensator tailpiece, original Brazilian rosewood /maple bridge, original fire-stripe triple bound tortoise pickguard; hex-key adjustable truss rod. Genuine gold DeArmond Model 1100 Adjustable Rhythm Chief pickup with volume and tone controls, 1/4" jack.
Notes: Introduced in 1931 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, the Deluxe 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 show the spectacular figured maple typical of the model, and especially so for the blondes, for whom the builders reserved their most dramatic tonewood.
This most attractive example has all original gold hardware and amber blonde finish, with extravagantly figured bubble maple back and tiger maple sides and neck. At a mere 5lb. 6 oz. this blonde beauty is up to a full pound lighter than most L-5's of it's vintage, and it's a difference you can hear loud and clear. The multi-ply binding is all tight and original, and the guitar is equipped with its original tiger stripe pickguard, the original unstamped Frequensator tailpiece (seen this model year only), and the original serial-numbered maple bridge base, used only on natural finish examples. Best of all, the guitar is fitted with a genuine gold DeArmond Model 1100 Adjustable Rhythm Chief pickup, with original knobs and 1/4" side mounted jack, the most sought-after jazz guitar pickup ever (a value now over $1200 for the pickup alone on the vintage market.)
This New York big band veteran has the resonance, projection and natural reverb found only in instruments with very well played-in soundboards. The back of the neck is as smooth as an old cello, and there's a small patch of knee wear on the treble side, along with a few typical pick scratches near the pickup. A pair of centerseam cracks have been resealed on front and back, along with a tight grainline crack at the bass f-hole, and we've touched up a small patch of buckle wear on the amazingly figured back.
The voice of this instrument is simply thrilling, with astounding depth, clarity and power. Neck profile is typical Epi, smooth and comfy with none of the clubbiness of most '40s guitars, and the action is smooth and low over fresh pro fretwork. With a voice as warm as its looks, this blonde beauty is ready for another half century of hard swinging, right in the pocket.
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 brown Epiphone plushlined hardshell case.