Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends



1947 Epiphone Spartan

Price and Status: For pricing and hold status of this instrument, please check here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold. To be notified of examples of this or any other model in the future, please email your specific requests to [email protected].

Serial #: 56023, blue New York label

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

Finish: Original amber blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

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

Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel open back tuners and Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece. Vintage correct tortoise pickguard, adjustable rosewood bridge.

Notes: One of the scarcer 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. Though offered in the postwar Epi catalog, the Spartan is rarely seen on the vintage market, and this is one of only two blonde examples we have found to date. The Spartan was the only postwar 16" Epi made with pro series appointments like the solid carved top *and* back, and the Frequensator tailpiece, neither of which are found on the Blackstone, Zenith or other smaller Epis. 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 blonde Spartan is further distinguished by a body of solid birdseye maple, a tonewood now quite rare and highly desired for its handsome figure. The only solid maple back Spartan we have ever had, this striking instrument is notably lightweight and resonant; and at a mere 5lb. 2oz in weight, she's loud and bright as a cannon. A well maintained example, the guitar is free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Tone and action are enhanced with a fresh set of smooth pro frets and a recent neck set.

The original amber blonde finish of the top is protected with a light overcoat of true nitrocellulose lacquer, and the neck is soundly fixed to the body with an older maple dowel in the heel, near a short repaired crack in the side. The voice is bright, forward and aggressive, with projection surpassing many larger guitars. Long 25 1/2" scale for punch and projection, 1 11/16" nut for easy fingering. Smooth low action, comfy neck profile, huge acoustic volume and cutting power. We are always delighted to turn up a Spartan, and this example is surely as striking a specimen of this rare model as we've seen.

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 black plushlined hardshell case. 













































Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends