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masterbuilt

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  1. The pictures show two Epiphone Century Spanish models from c. 1948. Note the "Tone" and "Gain" dial plates which are typically seen on these only in the immediate post-war period. The example on the left has a nonadjustable Tone Spectrum pickup which Epiphone introduced around 1948. The example on the right appears to have an older Epiphone pickup retrofitted(?). The E logo on the pickguard was not introduced before 1949 when the Century received a nonadjustable "New Yorker" pickup without the "Tone" and "Gain" plates. So a 1948 Epiphone would look perfectly correct without E logo on the pickguard. (However the damaged E logo pickguard could be original if the guitar didn't leave the factory before 1949 for some reason, but more likely it was a 1950s replacement because the original got damaged). Felix Visit NY Epi Reg - The Unofficial Epiphone Registry
  2. The archtop guitar in the stage photos appears to be an Epiphone Olympic, c. early 1940s. The guitar body shown in the album is another brand (not Epiphone).
  3. I own a bunch of old Epiphones - some of the oldest shown in the picture below, from left to right: 1932 Zenith, 1933 Olympic, 1931 Adelphi Mandolin, 1935 Blackstone, 1940 Triumph. BTW I am working on a research project on pre-Gibson Epiphone instruments - see my website: "The Unofficial NY Epiphone Registry" - http://wiedler.ch/nyepireg/ . There you find a lot of info on model/feature history, vintage catalogs for download, and more. Owners of Epiphone instruments from the years 1930-56 are welcome to submit instrument info to the registry database that currently includes >3000 instruments documented with serial number and photo. If you have any questions on vintage Epis I am happy to discuss and share what I know. Thanks and best regards, Felix
  4. Interesting early Epiphone Electar amp - it is basically a Model M amp, but with a Tone control added. Probably made around 1938.
  5. Not really interested in the discussion of what's better, new or old - I like and play both - but nice to see pre-Gibson Epiphones discussed here. I just want to let you know about my history research project on vintage Epiphone instruments (pre-1957 era): NY Epi Reg - The Unofficial New York Epiphone Registry - http://wiedler.ch/nyepireg/ Centerpiece of the website is the Registry database – so far listing >2900 documented instruments (model, serial number, many with photo). There is a (growing) section on Epiphone models with descriptions of their typical features and changes over the years. Furthermore you find also a text about my ongoing research on Epiphone serial numbers (explaining my findings and revised serial-number-to-year allocation for certain periods). Owners of pre-Gibson Epiphones are invited to submit info about their instruments. I am happy to discuss any questions regarding vintage Epiphones. Cheers, Felix
  6. Hallo - habe hier geantwortet: http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/115110-gibson-from-the-year-1945-founded-4-wg-32583/page__p__1558752__hl__%2Bmandolin+%2B1945__fromsearch__1#entry1558752 Mandoline ist eine Gibson A2 von 1919.
  7. Interesting piece - from what I can tell looking at the pics this is a Gibson A2 model with a 555xx serial number which suggests a 1919 shipment date. So this mandolin was made long before 1945. It looks to be in somewhat rough condition, so probably needs some work - which will have an impact on its value.
  8. It is indeed an FT-79 however built a bit earlier than tvguit suggests - I guess between 1949 and 1951, still at the NY factory. Typical for this period are the mahogany back and sides, parallelogram fretboard inlays, and the metal truss rod cover. Later pre-Kalamazoo examples usually had maple b+s, a white plastic truss rod cover, and most of them the "bikini" logo plate on the headstock.
  9. ... the s/n suggests c. late 1935. First year of the Spartan with f-holes (earlier ones had a round soundhole).
  10. Nice - from the pics I would say c. 1937. What's the serial number? Strings: For acoustic playing I suggest Bronze Wound 12s or 13s.
  11. sorry, late to the discussion - great looking FT 50. Epiphone used that green label only c 1940-1944. I know of another FT 50 with similiar specs, s/n 17120.
  12. A very cool guitar indeed and great story to it! Unlike other Epiphone flat tops of that era these had a more Martin-like "square shoulder" body shape. Not many of these are around, so I am sure some collectors would be very interested. I am quite interested in the history of the old NY Epi instruments - and so I was surprised to see that it has the so-called "Masterbilt label": a serial number of 18905 seems unusually high/late for this type of label! I looked through my files and as far as I am aware the last Epiphones with a Masterbilt label show a s/n around 16xxx. After that they changed to a different "green label", until s/n 20xxx. (Even later when Epiphone introduced a new serial number system in c. 1944 - starting with s/n 50000 - a "blue label" was used.) Looks like maybe someone at the factory grabbed an "outdated" label in those chaotic years when Epiphone like many other companies partly shifted to war-related production - or maybe it was actually produced earlier and someone mistyped an "8" instead of a "6"... (?) Anyway, congratulations on your great find, and thanks for sharing!
  13. According to the serial number this Epiphone Triumph is from 1946 (approximate date as with all New York Epis). Tailpiece and pickguard are non-original. Tuners and bridge (with natural base) look correct (but close-up pictures would help). Nice, well worth restoring! F
  14. Great info and photos - thanks! Interesting: the headstock decal is the same as on the early/mid 1930s Epiphone Olympic (see my Avatar). Question: Is there an internal label with model name and serial number? Felix
  15. great photos - great looking guitar, congrats! i love these early epi archtops. matching epi s/n to years is only approximate since no reliable company records are known to exist for new york epis. according to fisch/fred's book s/n between 7200 and 8000 were made in 1934 (as gruhn said). we have 3 pre-ww2 epi archtops in our home: c.1933 olympic, c.1935 blackstone, and c. 1941 triumph. felix
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