1939 Epiphone Triumph Carved-top Archtop Guitar

This New York-made Epi is another customer's guitar that came in for a bit of work after purchase. Like the Gretsch in the last post, this one has been refinished, but the cherry sunburst job on this one is quite pretty. It reminds me of early 60s Gibsons. There's other, older work on this one but most of it was well-done including a refret, neck reset, and some minor crack and seam repairs. It was used for electric work for a long while and came with a Tune-O-Matic style saddle installed, but I swapped it back to the ebony saddle that came in the case.

Other work of mine included fitting the bridge a lot better, a light fret level/dress to clean-up some slightly-worn frets, and a good cleaning and setup. I also cleaned up some separated binding at the bass f-hole, too. The truss rod nut was "pinched" and worn-out and because of the construction of these rods and the difficulty of replacing said nut, that means it's pretty much "stuck." I strung it up with 50w-11 to play it safe and the neck is holding straight just fine. I then tuned it up a full step F# to F# to check and the neck held firm, so I may swap to 54w-12s tomorrow. It plays spot-on, the neck angle is great, and this has incredible punch and attack. It was quite overwhelming my mic before I backed it off for the soundclip.

At 17 1/4" wide, sporting gold hardware, a cherry burst, and a curvaceous body, this is one sexy piece of kit. The fellow who sold this to my customer indicated this was a 1947 but the serial number clearly points to 1939.

The top is carved solid spruce and the back and sides are solid maple.

Nice pearl in an ebony board...

I compensated the B-string after adjusting the rest of the bridge topper. It was surprising how ill-fit the bridge was to the top, too. These guitars sound a ton better when the feet are contacting the top nicely. You lose a lot of bass response when just a little bit is making contact.

Giant, carved maple back, anyone?

The Grover Imperials are an excellent touch.