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History on Epiphone FT-140?

#1 User is offline   FT140 

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 04:26 PM

My parents bought a used Epiphone FT-140 for me for Christmas 16 years ago (my first guitar) and as I was changing the strings tonight, the nut broke to reveal wood that looked significantly older than 16 years. So...now I'm interested. I've gleaned some information about this model, but I'm looking for some specifics (construction, average price new, how many were sold, other players' experience with them, etc).

This is the guitar I cut my teeth on, and consequently is the standard that I measure everything against. It's been a real trooper and has really good tone...I even felt a bit guilty when I purchased my Martin D-28...kind of like I was cheating on the Epi...

Anyway - any information the forum could pass along would be greatly appreciated....

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:05 PM

Quote

My parents bought a used Epiphone FT-140 for me for Christmas 16 years ago (my first guitar) and as I was changing the strings tonight, the nut broke to reveal wood that looked significantly older than 16 years. So...now I'm interested. I've gleaned some information about this model, but I'm looking for some specifics (construction, average price new, how many were sold, other players' experience with them, etc).

This is the guitar I cut my teeth on, and consequently is the standard that I measure everything against. It's been a real trooper and has really good tone...I even felt a bit guilty when I purchased my Martin D-28...kind of like I was cheating on the Epi...

Anyway - any information the forum could pass along would be greatly appreciated....


The FT-140 was introduced in 1979 and was part of the third and final wave of Matsumoku(Aria)-made Japanese Epiphones along with the Presentation and Nova lines and it stuck around for a couple of years until about 1981 or so...in 1983 all of the Japanese-made Epiphones with the exception of the up-market set-neck arch top line were discontinued with new product lines moved to Samick in Korea for production. The Matsumoku set neck arch top line moved to Korea and Samick in 1986. I'm not familiar with that particular model but for the most part these acoustics were bolt-on neck-ed (though some have a heeled neck that appears to be a set neck but is actually a bolt-on), completely laminated-bodied acoustics that maybe weren't the best acoustics ever made but weren't the worst either. I think it needs to be understood that at the time Japanese guitars ran the entire spectrum from very impressive (the early Tokai Love Rocks and Springy Sounds and Burney Les Pauls) to quite respectable (The set neck Epiphone arch tops from Matsumoku) to the quite viable and utilitarian (these Epiphones and other Japanese lines such as the red label Nippon Gakki Yamahas and Ibanez) to complete crap (the dozens of cheap brands such as Checkmate and Teisco del Ray). As such, this line was a viable and sound choice for a mid-level hobbyist instrument . What I have a slight problem with is that often these instruments are offered for ridiculously high amounts on places such as E Bay because there's a false perception that old equates to valuable and while there were some exceptional Japanese guitars from this era the majority including these Epiphones were at more the middle of that spectrum. Even though I own three of these instruments, I don't believe they're worth more than perhaps $200 when beyond that figure very good acoustic guitars with true set necks and a minimum of a solid wood top can be had. If you already own the guitar this isn't an issue but to pay beyond a couple hundred for these isn't a wise expenditure. Some of the FT bolt-on neck acoustics were susceptible to neck block issues (the glue drying out) resulting in the collapse of the neck which caused body damage in some cases. This didn't always occur (None of my bolt-on FT's have demonstrated any of these conditions) but problem does seem to be somewhat common. If you like the guitar, and the guitar is playable and has personal history then nothing else matters and that guitar is in deed worth as much as any guitar might be worth to you. Good luck.

...and Al's your uncle.

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