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 1949 Epiphone Spartan

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Serial #: 58750, blue New York label

Body size at lower bout: 16 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth: .93/1.00, 1st/10th frets

Finish: Original sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

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

Hardware: All original nickel hardware includes compensated adjustable rosewood bridge.

Notes: The time machine doesn't stop here often. But when it does, hold the phone.

One of the scarcest models in the Epiphone line, the Spartan was introduced in 1934 as a round hole archtop with a maple body, roughly 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. Like the legendary prewar Broadway, the Spartan was the only other Epi model constructed with back and sides of black walnut, an unusually resonant material that produces a notably clear, bright voice, not unlike Brazilian rosewood.

When the walnut Broadway was discontinued in 1939, the Spartan became the sole Epiphone model built of this hard, handsome tonewood, and indeed the only professional grade walnut archtop of its day. By 1949 when this guitar was crafted, the electric pickup had all but drowned out the loudest acoustic archtops, and the Spartan, never produced in large quantities, disappeared altogether.

It is no stretch to state that this gleaming guitar is simply the finest example of the model we have seen to date. Preserved in 100% original condition, the guitar has all original finish and hardware, and no apparent cracks or repairs. Unusually free of pick, buckle, thumb and fingerboard wear, the guitar has fine original fretwork, and apart from a few scattered lacquer nicks, appears to have been virtually unplayed. Even the finish checking one typically expects in an instrument of this vintage is notably absent.

One of the last Spartans ever built, this guitar is fitted with upscale hardware unusual on the model, including the Frequensator tailpiece and bound tortoise pickguard, typically seen only on Epi's uppermost offerings. The voice is exceptionally brilliant: bright, forward and stunningly clear, with projection leaving many larger guitars in the dust. With smooth low action over a fresh high precision setup, the gentle C profile neck is simply a joy to play as well.

We are always delighted to turn up a one of these rare beauties, and this handsome postwar guitar has been delivered to us in virtual showroom condition, right down to its epsilon-logo original hardshell case. May as well get the best one. 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 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-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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 Epiphone logo arched brown plushlined hardshell case.






















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