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1956 Epiphone FT-79
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Serial #: 69220, blue label
Body size at lower bout: 17 3/8" Body depth at endpin: 4" Scale length: 25 1/2". Nut width: 1 10/16"
Finish: Tobacco sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type
Materials: Solid quartersawn bookmatched spruce top, arched maple back, maple sides; solid mahogany neck with walnut centerstripe; dot mother-of-pearl fingerboard inlays; enameled peghead nameplate; unbound Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard, single-ply body binding.
Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel open back white button tuners, original Brazilian rosewood bridge with white pins and compensated bone saddle, hex-key adjustable truss rod, enamel headstock logo plate. Vintage style dark tortoise pickguard with original epsilon logo.
Notes: What did Jimi and Paul have in common? Besides the hit records, world tours and the adulation of millions? Well, look no further, podner.
Epiphone's most popular full size flat top guitar, the FT-79 model was introduced in 1941 as a square shouldered dreadnought, a massive 5 3/8" in depth. By 1949 the body had been rounded to a slope shouldered jumbo with an arched back, the design that lasted until Epiphone ceased production a few months after this guitar was made. After the firm was acquired by Gibson in 1957, the FT-79 was renamed the Texan, the arched maple "tone back" was replaced with one of flat mahogany, and the model eventually discontinued in 1970.
According to Hendrix' manager Chas Chandler, Jimi worked out most of his arrangements for his epic Electric Ladyland album on his own beloved FT-79, a sunburst guitar made a few years before this present example. And a few years earlier, a British songwriter name of McCartney wrote at least one pretty good tune on a Texan, too. The working title was "Scrambled Eggs", but after the lyric was complete, the world would come to know the ditty as "Yesterday."
This guitar is one of the last made by the Epiphone company in its final full year of production, and has the blue New York label in the soundhole. The instrument has been maintained in wonderful condition, without wood cracks, and only light incidental playwear near the soundhole and pickguard. The all-original finish shows light normal checking, and a pair of hairline cracks in the finish only, one at either end of the bridge. All hardware is original as well, with the addition of a vintage correct short teardrop tortoise pickguard with the original epsilon badge attached.
String action is low and fast, over smoothly dressed fretwork on a straight Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with adjustable truss rod. The jumbo body and arched back combine to produce a voice of exceptional power and depth, combining the sustain and bass response of a fine dreadnought with the clarity and projection of the better archtop guitars. True Epi-made flat tops are scarcer by far than their Kalamazoo successors, and fewer still have survived in this splendid condition. Your hit record is waiting: call now.
Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; 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 flatwound 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 plush arched brown hardshell case.