1988 Epiphone Nouveau NV-185 Mini-Jumbo Guitar

The Gibson/Epiphone "Nouveau" series was aimed squarely at Martin's Shenandoah and Sigma lines. These guitars were made in Japan and then shipped as not-quite-finished instruments to the US for final assembly. I have no idea how much was actually done in the States, though, because these look so much like a good-quality Japanese build throughout.

This bears the NV-185 model number because it's basically a lower-budget take on a J-185 model with its 16" lower-bout, mini-jumbo body shape. It has a "natural" finish rather than sunburst and a Martin-style bridge in place of the "reverse belly" Gibson-type, though. That, and, of course, the whole body is ply rather than solid woods. Light bracing in a vintage Gibson-style tall/thin pattern, however, yields really good tone and a lot of volume. This is woody and warm but yet clear, fundamental, and pretty dang loud.

It has a modern, slim, fast-playing neck and post-repairs it plays like a gem.

Repairs included: fret level/dress, recut of saddle slot (made wider so a properly-compensated saddle could be fit), new compensated bone saddle, replacement bridge pins and endpin, cleaning, setup.

Made by: Epiphone (Gibson)

Model: NV-185 Nouveau

Made in: Japan

Serial number: 7840553

Top wood: ply spruce

Back & sides wood: ply mahogany

Bracing type: x

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Tone: clean, full, woody, warm, clear, fundamental

Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w-12 lights

Neck shape: slim C

Board radius: ~12"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium

Scale length: 25 3/8"

Nut width: 1 11/16"

Body length: 20 1/4"

Body width: 16 1/4"

Body depth: 4 7/8"

Weight: 4 lb 12 oz