6/14/2018

1931 Epiphone Zenith Carved-Top Archtop Guitar




A little guy! It's rare to see the "tiny Epiphones" out on the town! This one's only concert size with a 13" or so lower bout width. It has a 5128 serial number which the NY Epi Registry points-to as a '31 build. The top is carved spruce with tonebar-plus-ladder bracing and the back and sides are maple. The neck is two-piece maple, too, and the fretboard and bridge are rosewood. It's original except for all of its fittings -- the tailpiece, tuners, bridge, nut, and frets are all replacements but the guitar itself is in surprisingly-good shape with its original finish.

This one was in for repair via a friend of a friend and I gave it a fret level/dress, replacement saddle, and a good setup. I'd love to see it with a replacement set of antiqued tuners and a vintage tailpiece, but for the moment it's living with gussied-up, gold-plated gear.

Tone is punchy, balanced, and direct with that carved-top mwah effect in the mids and highs. It's a great fiddle back-up guitar and slices right into a mix, though the high-end isn't shrill or zippy at all. I'm thinking part of that is due to the Gibson-ish 24 3/4" scale, though, which gives this guitar a more relaxed feel compared to later, long-scale Epis.


I love that body shape and the split f-holes.


Epi always had the best celluloid headstock veneers this side of Stromberg archtops -- with lots of neat engraved details and lots of color accents.


More modern-sized replacement frets give a good feel to the neck.








The neck is wider, rounder, and more bulky than later Epi necks.




2 comments:

Alexander Robinson said...

Ooh!!!! I really like that one Jake. Sounds Great. Not for sale?? I notice it's in for Repairs, and not for sale... but...maybe???

Jake Wildwood said...

LOL, you and everyone else, Alex! You're all asking -- but I'm pretty sure it's not for sale.