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1950 Epiphone Triumph Regent, Whit Smith
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Serial #: 61065, blue New York label
Body size at lower bout: 17 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .83/.97
Materials: Bookmatched solid carved spruce top; solid carved slab cut maple back and sides; solid 5 piece cherry neck with walnut centerstripe; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with diamond mother of pearl inlay; pearl column peghead inlay in stained holly headstock veneer, triple-bound body, bound fingerboard and headstock.
Hardware: Original nickel hardware includes Epiphone epsilon logo tuners, Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece, adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard installed (original included), adjustable compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge, Kent Armstrong 2D Handwound floating humbucking pickup, with thumbwheel volume and tone controls, 1/4" jack, and endpin jack.
Notes: Until his passing at age 88, Andrea Mosconi checked in every workday at the Museo del Violino in Cremona, Italy, home to the most outstanding collection of string instruments in the world. His job was to make sure their peerless collection of Stradivari, Amadi, Guarneri and other priceless instruments stayed in top voice. By playing each one, every day, as he had for decades.
All of which is to prove the old luthier's axiom: 'The more they're played, the better they sound." And no guitar could demonstrate that better than this fine old New York Epi, a true veteran of stage and studio* worldwide.
Almost twenty years ago, we sold this classic acoustic Epi cutaway to Whit Smith, co-founder and hotshot guitarist in the Hot Club of Cowtown. Since 1998, they've thrilled audiences around the globe with their fresh take on Western Swing classics and originals. When this guitar began it's globe trotting trek from our shop in 2004, little did we suspect this old friend would show up here again, almost two decades and untold concerts, dances, and recording dates later.
The rare cutaway version of Epi's most popular professional archtop, the Triumph Regent was introduced in 1949, with a production run of only about five years. Accordingly, the Regent is a much scarcer item than the non-cutaway Triumph, or its Gibson cousin, the L-7C. The Epiphone cutaway is several frets deeper than its Gibson counterpart, and allows enhanced access to the uppermost frets as well.
Examples in natural blonde finish are rare, and sold for a premium price over their sunburst counterparts. Carved of all solid tonewoods, the guitar is notably lightweight at just 6lb 3oz, and perches smartly on the lap or the strap. With their fully carved bodies, and generous, full size 1 11/16" fingerboards, these original New York Epis truly outclass the later Gibson-made Triumphs, with their laminate backs, and fingerboards as skinny as 1 9/16".
This handsome guitar is equipped with its original nickel hardware, including 16X1 Epiphone tuners, and the Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece, still solid at the bend. A vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard is fitted to the guitar as well, including a Kent Armstrong 2D Handwound floating humbucking pickup, with thumbwheel volume and tone controls, and 1/4" jacks at both the endpin and side.
Well played and well maintained over a long professional career, the guitar has a warmly ambered original blonde finish, with honest playwear including patches of arm, thumb and buckle wear. All binding remains tight to the body, with a few small shims in place. A short hairline crack south of the bass f-hole has been soundly resealed, in a finely graduated soundboard whose grain and color are strongly suggestive of Adirondack spruce.
Powerfully voiced, these guitars some of the very few acoustic cutaways to rival the better noncuts in pure volume, projection and tonal focus. The voice on this veteran player is particularly clear and open, with the deep, vibrant resonance only decades of vigorous play can impart, and the cutting power for which Epis are justifiably renowned. The action is smooth and low over the solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, on the classic Epiphone light vee profile neck, and a fresh high precision setup over fine pro fretwork.
A stunning example of a rare '50s all-carved acoustic cutaway, and a true road warrior, ready once again for the spotlight. One only: call now.
Case: Period arched black plush lined hardshell case.
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; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.
This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings. 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.
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