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1948 Epiphone Deluxe
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Serial # 57073, 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; birdseye maple 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, f-holes and headstock.
Hardware: All original gold hardware includes Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece and 16x1 "epsilon-logo" tuners; hex-key adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct triple bound leopard tortoise pickguard, adjustable compensated rosewood Fishman bridge with built-in piezo pickup and endpin jack.
Notes: The Epiphone Deluxe was introduced as the company's top-of-the line model in 1931, and upsized to 17" late in 1935. The direct competitor with Gibson's L-5, the Deluxe sold for the same price, though more ornate and typically louder and somewhat brighter in tone. With its tremendous cutting power, the Deluxe was a perennial favorite of big band guitarists who had to face down an entire horn section without an amp. Though cataloged through 1955, few examples are seen after 1951. Guitars with the natural blonde finish are a small fraction of total production, and were typically carved from the most highly figured tonewood, as this instrument amply demonstrates.
This one has it all. The figured birdseye maple back, the tiger flame maple sides and neck, the clouds, the vine: simply one of the most elegant designs to ever grace a fretted instrument. This handsome example features a rare oversize Epiphone script logo in the peghead, and original gold hardware including the Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece and 16x1 "epsilon-logo" tuners. At a mere 5lb. 10 oz. (2.58kg) 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.
This example has been kept in superb condition, with all original original amber blonde finish free of cracks, buckle or fingerboard wear, and shows only very light incidental pick and thumbwear. All binding is original and tight to the body, and the Frequensator tailpiece has been brazed at the bend. The action is smooth and low over a gentle V profile neck, and with excellent bridge height and fresh recent frets this big band veteran has volume, projection, and headroom to burn. A bonus is the adjustable compensated rosewood Fishman bridge with built-in piezo pickup and endpin jack, for plug-and-play versatility. And finally, just the prettiest black alligator plush Epiphone hardshell case you ever saw, complete with the epsilon logo raised in the plush on the underside of the lid.
A perennial favorite, the Epiphone Deluxe is substantially scarcer than its Gibson counterpart, and that goes double for the blondes. It's been quite awhile since the last one of these beauties graced our showroom. If you've been looking for the right one, 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: Original black alligator plush Epiphone hardshell case.