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Vintage Epiphone Acoustic


EsharpFnatural

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Hello! I am not really sure how this site works, but I would really like some help/ verify my research on my old Epiphone guitar. So, I have an old guitar inherited through the family which I believe to be pre-Gibson. The old documents on insurance and such was lost, which make this task all the more difficult. I believe it to be around 1944, because it has the "blue label" where the s/n's started at 50000, and states that it was manufactured in New York (which is why I believe it to be pre-Gibson since Epiphone moved to Michigan when bought by Gibson in 1952). The serial number is 59656. It is an F.T. 79 flattop guitar. I also believe it to have walnut back and sides, a spruce top, rosewood bridge and fingerboard, and a cherry neck (Mother of pearl inlays on head and fingerboard) (I am by no means an expert at telling woods apart, especially when a finish is added, it makes it very tricky for me, haha!). It has 16" wide body, and an 18" fingerboard with 20 frets. Also I believe it is a 1940's guitar because it has a metal truss rod cover. It also has open back tuners (at least the tuning gears aren't bridged together into two pairs of three) and a natural finish. I have looked at pictures of Texans and Violaos, but they just don't seem the same. (Sidenote: Also, this guitar may have had some minor repairs that I don't know of. So, I am a musician. I am great with theory and such, but when it comes to instruments...I feel as though I am knowledgeable but by no means an "expert". This is why I have come to whoever reads this to help me out. Please ask any questions, and Thank you for reading! I will post pictures later/hopefully tomorrow.

 

P.S. This guitar does have high sentimental value, so if for some reason I find out that it is just a really old fake, I will be heart-broken, but this would be news I need to know.

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I believe it to be around 1944, because it has the "blue label" where the s/n's started at 50000, and states that it was manufactured in New York (which is why I believe it to be pre-Gibson since Epiphone moved to Michigan when bought by Gibson in 1952).

Just an FYI - Epiphone moved it's factory from New York to Philadelphia in 1953. Gibson purchased Epiphone in 1957, and the first Gibson made Epis appeared in 1958.

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Check out this link, Esharp; and see if this looks like your guitar:

http://www.replayacoustics.co.uk/product_detail.asp?Product_ID=8

The 'Texan' name didn't come into play until after the Gibson buyout, and the Texans are different guitars than your New York-era FT-79. Dating by serial number is kind of tricky with pre-Gibson Epiphones, but according to this site:

http://home.provide.net/~cfh/epiphone.html#serial

Yours is from 1950. Post some pictures if you can!

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Check out this link, Esharp; and see if this looks like your guitar:

http://www.replayacoustics.co.uk/product_detail.asp?Product_ID=8

The 'Texan' name didn't come into play until after the Gibson buyout, and the Texans are different guitars than your New York-era FT-79. Dating by serial number is kind of tricky with pre-Gibson Epiphones, but according to this site:

http://home.provide.net/~cfh/epiphone.html#serial

Yours is from 1950. Post some pictures if you can!

 

hey, that guitar looks just a little familiar. where have i seen it before?....haha, yes! that is exactly the one. thank you so much, i just couldn't find it for some reason, but you have, so thanks! and does that mean it is a 1951 like it says on the site, or a 1950, like you said? and i will go take some pictures now!

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hey, that guitar looks just a little familiar. where have i seen it before?....haha, yes! that is exactly the one. thank you so much, i just couldn't find it for some reason, but you have, so thanks! and does that mean it is a 1951 like it says on the site, or a 1950, like you said? and i will go take some pictures now!

 

sorry i didn't see the other link, so according to that second site, it is indeed a 1950. and it says i can't upload the pictures because the file is too big. :/ i will find a way!

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post-35218-029994000 1313721820_thumb.jpgpost-35218-088299400 1313722319_thumb.jpgpost-35218-002514300 1313722331_thumb.jpgpost-35218-072132800 1313722338_thumb.jpgpost-35218-006660100 1313722364_thumb.jpg

 

sorry i don't have enough room to upload the last picture of the label inside. and i also apologize for the lessened quality of the pictures due to having to resize them for the internet. and i would also like to add that the broken tuning peg for the d string is a fairly recent problem. they are the original tuners and the thumb grasp is plastic, so due to age (i assume) it has weakened. the d tuner completely broke and the low e tuner is stripped and does not change the picth. oddly enough, the guitar is still in tune to itself. when compared to a perfect pitch, it is a little flat, but they are all perfectly out of tune haha, so all chords and still sound great. also, yes, i know that those strings are old.

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... the guitar is still in tune to itself. ...

 

i.e. it has good intonation.

 

 

Replacement tuner buttons are available from Stewart McDonald. You may be able to match it up. Best get a full set. All those buttons are just as old as the two which have gone bad.

 

There are a couple schools of thought here. If it is to be kept as a collector's piece, to be displayed and not played, leave the buttons alone, then hang the whole works on the wall.

 

If it is to be a player, replace the buttons and string her up. You may want to have a competent luthier take a look at it to see if it is still structurally sound.

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i.e. it has good intonation.

 

 

Replacement tuner buttons are available from Stewart McDonald. You may be able to match it up. Best get a full set. All those buttons are just as old as the two which have gone bad.

 

There are a couple schools of thought here. If it is to be kept as a collector's piece, to be displayed and not played, leave the buttons alone, then hang the whole works on the wall.

 

If it is to be a player, replace the buttons and string her up. You may want to have a competent luthier take a look at it to see if it is still structurally sound.

 

 

yeah.

 

and yeah i know, i've just been putting it off because i want to make sure that it is done right, because i love that it is a collector's piece and has good history to it too, but it is such a great guitar that it's hard not to play it. so i want to get get new tuners but without altering the headstock AT ALL. and then of course keep the originals. i kinda want to get the best of both worlds.

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FWIW. Matching the tuner backs will be nigh on impossible. Anything you put on there will not look original. The shadow of the current tuners will still be evident. If in the remote chance you or subsequent owner decide to re-install the old tuners, they will then have the shadow of the replacement tuners embedded into the finish.

 

In my not so humble opinion, replacing the tuner buttons with those which look close is the best option for making this guitar serviceable while retaining it's factory character. Cream or Ivoroid would look original. Black ebony would look good too. As the tuner buttons are now, they are slowly, but surely turning into corn meal. 25 years from now those tuner buttons will be a pile of dust in the bottom of a box. I would only replace the tuners if they were mechanically unsound. At which point I would go with a vintage looking Waverlys. They will set you back a chunk, but they will look the best.

 

 

But, it's your guitar, do as you wish.

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FWIW. Matching the tuner backs will be nigh on impossible. Anything you put on there will not look original. The shadow of the current tuners will still be evident. If in the remote chance you or subsequent owner decide to re-install the old tuners, they will then have the shadow of the replacement tuners embedded into the finish.

 

In my not so humble opinion, replacing the tuner buttons with those which look close is the best option for making this guitar serviceable while retaining it's factory character. Cream or Ivoroid would look original. Black ebony would look good too. As the tuner buttons are now, they are slowly, but surely turning into corn meal. 25 years from now those tuner buttons will be a pile of dust in the bottom of a box. I would only replace the tuners if they were mechanically unsound. At which point I would go with a vintage looking Waverlys. They will set you back a chunk, but they will look the best.

 

 

But, it's your guitar, do as you wish.

 

 

i was planning on ordering ivoroid tuning buttons from stewert macdonald first, the actually tuning gears aren't great, but they could be worse, and then look more in depth on replacing the tuners, tuner parts, or something else (whatever solution comes to me along the line). because it also occurred to me the very reason you said of matching the tuner backs being nigh impossible, that is pretty much the main reason i haven't done it yet. haha, but yes i totally understand what you're saying and agree. thanks for the help.

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Hey E very nice old FT-79 its a Jumbo new style body from 1950 and in what looks to be very good condition ( excellent ) which can make it fairly valuable on todays market. But before you replace the tuners check out all the places to look for replacement parts, there are groups out there that sell these things on-line and craigslist,e-bay and check even other guitar sites and ask if anybody has replacement parts for it ( original parts should be mentioned ) and such so that way you keep in amoungst the line ( Epiphone parts )once you replace the tuners with something else of course the value goes down from 10%-to a high of 25% if you have to drill new screw holes.She is pretty to look at.ship

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You might be able to give the tuners a tune-up and get them working better. Dis-assemble them, clean them up, and put a spot of oil where ever metal moves against metal. Just be careful not to lose parts. I'd work over a terry cloth bath towel. Dropped parts are not as likely to bounce and end up in a dark corner or under the refrigerator. [blush]

 

Just to dis-assemble them all at one time. You may need to refer to an assembled one for re-assembly of the others.

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I also have one of those guitars. The one thing you could do which will do the guitar absolutely no harm and help the sound is to replace the wood saddle with a bone or tusq one or something.

 

Also, a bit more history - Jimi Hendrix played an early 1950s burst FT-79 he bought used in NYC. He used it to work out the tunes for Electric Ladlyand. There is a clip of him playing it somewhere on Youtube. His Epi was auctioned off about ten years ago.

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I also have one of those guitars. The one thing you could do which will do the guitar absolutely no harm and help the sound is to replace the wood saddle with a bone or tusq one or something.

 

Also, a bit more history - Jimi Hendrix played an early 1950s burst FT-79 he bought used in NYC. He used it to work out the tunes for Electric Ladlyand. There is a clip of him playing it somewhere on Youtube. His Epi was auctioned off about ten years ago.

 

 

i also heard that his girlfriend at the time said that it was his favorite guitar

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You might be able to give the tuners a tune-up and get them working better. Dis-assemble them, clean them up, and put a spot of oil where ever metal moves against metal. Just be careful not to lose parts. I'd work over a terry cloth bath towel. Dropped parts are not as likely to bounce and end up in a dark corner or under the refrigerator. [blush]

 

Just to dis-assemble them all at one time. You may need to refer to an assembled one for re-assembly of the others.

 

 

haha that was another thing i was thinking of doing, i just didn't know if it was a dumb idea, so i didn't say anything, haha! i guess your mind and mine think somewhat alike. anyway, yeah i was talking with my brother about it and told him that we could do that and replace the buttons with those stew mac ivoroid ones. and thank you for the cloth idea, knowing my luck i probably would loose parts.

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