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1955 Epiphone Deluxe Cutaway

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Serial #: 69135, blue NY label

Body size at lower bout: 17 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2" Fingerboard width at nut: 1 11/16"

Finish: Original blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Handcarved, bookmatched solid bearclaw spruce top; fiddleback maple back and sides; tiger maple neck with 3 piece center stripe; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with mother of pearl cloud inlay; Brazilian rosewood bridge, pearl 'tree-of-life' peghead inlay, 9-ply body binding, 3-ply headstock binding; bound f-holes, solid bone nut.

Hardware: Original gold hardware includes 16x1 Epsilon logo tuners, Pat.Pend. Frequensator tailpiece and pickguard bracket; adjustable truss rod, compensated adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge. Vintage correct triple bound tortoise pickguard.

Notes: Nineteen. Total. So describes the entire number of the Epiphone Deluxe Cutaways (or Regent models) to be documented to date, on the most comprehensive New York Epiphone database. We all knew that Deluxes in general were much rarer than their closest competitor, the Gibson L-5. But those seeking a New York Epiphone Deluxe in a cutaway body have discovered that these models are just incredibly scarce. Years could pass before we saw even a single example. And why?

For reasons unclear, Epiphone dawdled on regular production of cutaway guitars until the late 40's, leaving the field to Gibson for almost a decade. This inexplicable delay meant that Epiphone acoustic cutaways, especially the top-of-the line models, remain some of the rarest production archtops in the world. Indeed the entire production run of these magnificent instruments spanned a mere six years, from 1949 to 1955. And in some of those years not a single example left the factory at all.

This spectacular guitar is from the very last batch of Deluxe Cutaways, built just months before the plant closed its doors for good. Meticulously maintained in museum quality condition, this gleaming guitar is graced with outstanding AAAA bookmatched flame maple, with a solid, carved, quartersawn soundboard, whose reddish grain is strongly suggestive of rare Adirondack spruce.

A rare original blonde example, the finish is warmly ambered from decades of age. The guitar shows no cracks, and is astoundingly free of playwear of any kind. Indeed, even the typical light finish checking almost universal in guitars of this vintage is almost completely absent. The gold hardware is all original as well, including the trademark epsilon logo tuners, and Pat. Pend Frequensator tailpiece, whose plating is still astoundingly brilliant. Remarkably, this pristine guitar shows no sign of ever having a pickup attached at any time since it left the factory.

The deep Epiphone cutaway (2 frets more than L-5C) allows unrestricted access to the uppermost reaches of the fingerboard, which is inset with the classic cloud inlays, a signature of the model since the mid-30's. The neck has a fine solid C profile, gently rounded and notably comfortable in the hand, and the original medium fretwork remains in place, with a fresh high-precision setup. Binding is tight and all original, with only a few tiny shims adhering it closely to the body.

The voice is unusually powerful, especially for an example that shows so little play over its long career. With the clarity and punch typical of the model, it has exceptional volume and projection, with brilliant, singing reverb in the upper register. Epi's last hurrah, and surely one of the finest surviving examples of this scarce model: a fitting legacy of a builder who helped define the modern jazz guitar. One only: 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; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge phosphor 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 deluxe arched plush lined hardshell case.




















































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