Gone: 1939 Epiphone Broadway - When only the best will do!

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danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
edited August 28 in Guitars £
Back for sale. I’m rationalising my small family of instruments and have decided to let go of my 1939 Epiphone Broadway.

Need to raise funds but would consider a lesser priced arch top with pickups in it or a nice 335.

Pre-war Epiphones are one of the reasons Gibson opted to buy out their competitor and deemed to be some of the best Archtops ever made. Their answer to Gibson’s motto of ‘only a gibson is good enough’ was ‘when only the best will do!’. 



This one is a joy to play, is very well set up and has a beautiful 1940s swing jazz tone with a lot of bark and cuts through like you would expect such an instrument to. 

The equivalent instrument in the Gibson line in 1939 was the L-12. A good pre-war L-12 runs north of £5-6k nowadays. The Epiphone is generally deemed to be the better instrument in pre-war circles. I've never had the opportunity to compare.

This one is likely one of the first ones to come out of New York with a centre parted headstock and maple back and sides. According to the Epi reference book I have Epi Stathopoulo would have personally checked over this instrument before it left the workshop. Not many were made. 

The top is hand carved Adirondack Spruce according to 1930s documentation and solid curly maple hand carved back and sides. Brazilian rosewood fretboard (not subject to cites due to age). Neck is mahogany with maple and walnut sandwich for stability. It has a truss rod though I probably wouldn't play with it. The neck is dead straight, is stable and plays faultlessly with 12 flatwounds. 

The guitar currently has upgraded (and reversible install) Waverley tuners and its original retired Grovers are in the original Epiphone branded Lifton case. The guitar has been refretted, the frequensator arms replaced. Original tailpiece has been repaired as is the case with almost every pre-war epi with it. 

I suspect the neck has had some clear lacquer over sprayed at some point many decades ago to protect wood from wear, the whole guitar glows under blacklight at a similar shade. 

Pickguard is likely later replacement as originals were self destructing. Bridge looks like could be 40s/50s replacement (though I have seen this particular bridge model listed as an Epiphone bridge) and is well set up and intonated. I have since had an exact copy rosewood bridge made by a luthier, to the original Epiphione engineer's plans I was able to source.

The whole instrument has little marks and touch ups from 82 years of playing. 

Sale will include some rare bits that make up a nice collectors set, an original 1939 George Van Eps Epiphone Guitar Method and a set of old stock frequensator arms.

£3500 - I’m not particularly keen on posting this one but I would be willing to travel to hand deliver depending on distance. I’m based in Swansea, South Wales. - now gone

https://youtu.be/eVr_PHOQDq4

You can see a full high resolution picture set here: https://ibb.co/album/5TS8NQ

A couple of interesting documents:

1939 catalogue Download PDF
1940 A picture Story Of The Making Of A Guitar Download PDF

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IMG-3849  IMG-3864 IMG-3856     IMG-3869 IMG-3870 IMG-3871 IMG-3882 IMG-3879   
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Comments

  • DB1DB1 Frets: 3646
    Superb, Fred. Must have been a difficult choice, as this looks and sounds great.
    My girl, she don't stand no cheating
    Cos she's a sheep and just stands there bleating
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  • MoominpapaMoominpapa Frets: 1483
    Good lord! That just oozes swing. GLWTS.
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  • NibulniblinNibulniblin Frets: 107
    That's edible.  :)
    The Future is simply time waiting to become History.
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    DB1 said:
    Superb, Fred. Must have been a difficult choice, as this looks and sounds great.
    Cheers, Dave. I am pretty much only playing plugged in at the moment so it's a bit indulgent to just have it in its case for an occasional play.

    Have uploaded a more detailed set of images as the first ones were a bit blurry
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  • rogdrogd Frets: 432
    Arrrgh. Please don't. I'm only just recently solvent!!
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    Nudge
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 3690
    Phwoar!  And, indeed, burble.

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  • joeWjoeW Frets: 118
    That is a stunning piece of history. 
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    Cheers chaps, agreed. The New York dealer that brought it back to market in 2010 purchased it from the estate of the family that had owned it from new. Being a high-end instrument at that time it's unlikely that it was used as a student or enthusiast guitar which explains why pretty much every pre-war Epiphone you see of this caliber having been properly played, and likely in a band setting. Approximately 80-90 of these would have been built in 1939.
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    edited July 29
    Up
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    back up
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  • FatboylimFatboylim Frets: 12
    That is one heck of an instrument! 
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  • SRD81SRD81 Frets: 166
    Absolute stunner that one. GLWTS
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    Thanks @Fatboylim & @SRD81 ;
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  • What a beautiful, majestic instrument!
    I hope you find a buyer who will take good care of her. 
    GLWTS 
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    bump

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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1443
    Have a bump for being a lovely  thing
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    Have a bump for being a lovely  thing
    Thanks Jez :)
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  • droflufdrofluf Frets: 1323
    That is beautiful! Good luck with the sale
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1783
    Bump, will entertain a sensible offer
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