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1963 Epiphone Deluxe A-212, "Black Beauty"

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Serial #: 62763

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

Finish: Original ebony finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Handcarved, bookmatched solid spruce top; solid maple neck; arched maple back and sides; ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl cloud inlay; ebony bridge with inlaid feet, pearl tree-of-life peghead inlay, 7-ply top binding 3-ply headstock and body binding, 5-ply pickguard binding; neck and back; bone nut.

Hardware: 100% original hardware including twin gold Johnny Smith pickups, quintuple bound tortoise pickguard with controls, switch and mini-jack; gold Grover Imperial tuners, gold Frequensator tailpiece with endpin jack; adjustable truss rod, original medium jumbo frets.

Notes: Introduced in 1932, the Epiphone Deluxe epitomized the glamour and sophistication of New York at the height of the Swing Era. Favored by jazz legends from Les Paul to Johnny Smith, for most of the next four decades the upmarket Deluxe remained the only serious competitor to the Gibson L-5. With the acquisition of Epiphone by Gibson in 1957 however, production of this legendary model dwindled into the low single digits. This spectacular instrument is one of just seven lone Deluxes made that year, before the model was discontinued altogether in 1970.

Acoustic Epi Deluxes with the cutaway body are rare enough as it is. 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. With the Epi buyout, Gibson crafted both Deluxes and Emperors with Gibson's top artisans, on the same production line as the L-5 and Super 400.

Maintained in wonderful condition, this final example has a solid carved quartersawn spruce soundboard, and the deep Epiphone cutaway (2 frets more than L-5C), which allows unrestricted access to the uppermost reaches of the fingerboard. Original twin gold floating Johnny Smith pickups are sweet and warm, and independantly controllable on the bound tortoise guard. The body and neck are in great shape, with just a single short crack soundly resealed in the back, and a trace of light overspray on top, so light that the underlying checking is clearly visible.

The voice of the guitar is particularly open and vibrant, with acoustic response rivalling many of the better non-cutaway instruments. The neck has a effortlessly playable shallow D profile, slim and notably comfortable in the hand, and the original medium jumbo frets play smoothly with a sleek low action. Dramatic looks, superb performance and historical resonance combine in one incomparable instrument: the last of a line of legendary performers.

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 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 deluxe Epiphone hardshell case.





























































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