Epiphone Zephyr Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1949)

Epiphone  Zephyr Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1949)
$1,750.00 + shipping
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Item # 8799
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Epiphone Zephyr Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1949), made in New York City, serial # 25768, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, laminated mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This Epiphone Zephyr from 1949 was not the top of the line for the New York City maker but is still a fairly high-grade period electric guitar and a worthy competitor to Gibsons of the era. It is a full-body 17 3/8" wide archtop with fairly plain trim including single-ply body binding, a metal logo plate pinned to the headstock, an unbound tortoise celluloid pickguard with an "E" applique, and segmented pearl blocks on the bound fingerboard.

This example has the older style "thrust rod" neck reinforcement which is adjusted at the base of the fingerboard. The laminated maple body has a 3-ply spruce top and carries a deep brown sunburst finish on the top, back, sides, and neck. The neck itself has a soft "V" profile and is fairly slim for this period.

The pickup is Epiphone's single coil "Tone spectrum" unit, with adjustable poles at one end of the metal cover and mounted in unique amber plastic baseplate. It is a fairly low output unit but lends a nice acoustic quality to the tone, and still winds up convincingly through a cranked amp. The tone and volume controls are topped with white octagon knobs.

This is not a fancy guitar but a very solid one, and was fairly popular when new as a quality pro-grade instrument. Today it is a cool player's guitar and a lovely find from the early post-war heyday of big box electrics.
Overall length is 41 3/4 in. (106 cm.), 17 3/8 in. (44.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

Overall this guitar is in very nice playing shape, well-preserved and not showing a lot of play wear but with some non-original hardware. The finish has some checking but not major wear areas, just small dings, scrapes, and dents. The pickup, knobs, bridge, and oft-missing pickguard are original and intact, while the tuners and tailpiece are functional if not technically correct style replacements. Original parts could be cleanly restored if desired; there are no permanent modifications or routings. The neck and frets are in good shape; even the often-shrunken binding is quite well-preserved, with just some small spots of separation at the body seams.

This is a good-playing and sounding period electric archtop. Not one of Epiphone's higher grade pieces, but a very fine instrument of its type nonetheless. Excellent - Condition.