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Hello & a Question


zombywoof

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Just joined up and wanted to say howdy. Needless to say, I have loved Epis since I first bought a used 50's FT-79 many decades ago.

 

So here is my question. I recently stumbled across a 1956 model - one of the last of the NY made guitars. I am thinking this guitar has a replaced board. It has dot inlays which I have never seen on one of these. Plus, the board binding looks alot newer than the side binding. On the other hand, the board does show some wear. Or is it possible that Epi may have taken some shortcuts to get orders filled in their waning days.

 

The guitar is pretty cheap and I am not a collector - I want a player. But I am curious.

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Just joined up and wanted to say howdy. Needless to say' date=' I have loved Epis since I first bought a used 50's FT-79 many decades ago.

 

So here is my question. I recently stumbled across a 1956 model - one of the last of the NY made guitars. I am thinking this guitar has a replaced board. It has dot inlays which I have never seen on one of these. Plus, the board binding looks alot newer than the side binding. On the other hand, the board does show some wear. Or is it possible that Epi may have taken some shortcuts to get orders filled in their waning days.

 

The guitar is pretty cheap and I am not a collector - I want a player. But I am curious.

 

[/quote']

 

If it dates to 1956 it isn't a New York-made Epiphone...in fact, Epiphone really didn't exist in 1956 and as far as I know the last guitars from The Stathopoulo-owned Epiphone were shipped in 1955...from Philadelphia before Gibson acquired the company in 1957...Epiphone had some serious labor issues and in 1953 most of their craftsmen left to form Guild guitars under a man named Alfred Dronge in New Jersey and the Epiphone "factory" moved to Philadelphia with a hodge-podge collection of employees. The company never was able to recover and never produced guitars in the numbers or quality of the New York era and so was eventually sold to Gibson literally ..lock, stock and barrel. Post some photos and a serial number and someone will get to the bottom of things for you...

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If it dates to 1956 it isn't a New York-made Epiphone...in fact' date=' Epiphone really didn't exist in 1956 and as far as I know the last guitars from The Stathopoulo-owned Epiphone were shipped in 1955...from Philadelphia before Gibson acquired the company in 1957...[/quote']

 

You are, of course, right about Epis being built in Philly after the '53 strike. Brain fart on my part. Ted McCarty always claimed he acquired Epiphone for so little cash he could have paid for it out of his own pocket.

 

I finally did run across a pic of a '55 FT-79 with dot inlays.

 

I don't have the guitar here at the moment. I am hoping to pick it up tomorrow or Wednesday for another test drive (assuming it is stilll sitting in the closet where I ran into it) If I recall, the serial number was 69000 and something which would place it among the last Epis built before the company was sold. The only truly nasty thing about the guitar is someone removed the original pickguard and replaced it with a fugly screwed down white one. That is, however, reasily fixed. And the price is right.

 

Thanks for the info and help

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I still have not been able to find my camera after the last move. But....

 

The serial # is 69407 on an Epiphone, Inc, New York tag

 

The back is arched. Both the back and sides are mahogany.

 

The headstock is brown with a bikini logo.

 

The neck has no binding.

 

Any insight into this guitar would be appreciatred.

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The Fisch and Fred House of Stathopoulo book has a listing of instruments/serial numbers and their year of manufacture, but unfortunately they list serial 69xxx guitars as coming from '54, '55, and '56 (yes, they even have some 68xxx serials coming after some 69xxx). They also point out that instruments produced during this period frequently didn't match catalog specs or pictures; so I get the impression the wheels were pretty much coming off the wagon by then. The book lists two non-cutaway flattops still in production at the end: the FT-79 and the FT-110. Both are also listed as having arched maple backs (they call it the tone back) and bound fingerboards, with either parallelogram or block-style inlay. So it's hard to say what you've got. I have seen mandolins from that period that had the 3-point metal tag instead of the script logo on the headstock, so I think there were some corners being cut for the sake of getting instruments out the door. Anyhow, please post some pics when you can!

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