Epiphone Broadway Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1944)

Epiphone  Broadway Arch Top Acoustic Guitar  (1944)
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Item # 8962
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Epiphone Broadway Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1944), made in New York City, serial # 19128, sunburst lacquer finish, maple back and sides, spruce top; laminated mahogany & maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, period brown hard shell case.

This Epiphone Broadway is an interesting wartime instrument, made in 1944 at a time when manpower and materials were at a premium. Epiphone was able to keep up production of their signature archtop guitars at a lower rate than the prewar years and with some minor variations in the specs. The body is made of maple with a carved spruce top. The sunburst finish is an unusual variation with a sprayed blonde center accented by shaded black edging, with a slightly greenish tinge. The sides are sunburst as well, but with more typically amber tinge and some grain showing through.

The neck is a multi-laminate of several different types of wood, topped with the typical late-'30s style pearl inlaid headstock. It is equipped with the patented "thrust rod" Epiphone introduced just before the war, which adjusts below the fingerboard extension. The rosewood fingerboard is inlaid with pearl blocks and single-bound, while the body is triple-bound. The neck is a bit chunkier than the typical prewar style and has a profile halfway between a "C" and a "V". The "Frequensator" two-tine tailpiece and elevated bound celluloid pickguard are the same as prewar practice.

The Broadway was priced at $175, the model under the DeLuxe in the company's line but a full $100 less expensive. Visually it is relatively austere for a pro-grade archtop from this era, with a subtly elegant look but less overt flash. The Broadway made for a high-quality but comparatively affordable guitar and was often favored by professional users on a more limited budget. This wartime Broadway is a fairly rare guitar, and while it may appear a bit less elegant than some period archtops, it offers a very powerful full-bodied sound with plenty of punch equal to any guitar of this era.
 
Overall length is 41 3/4 in. (106 cm.), 17 1/4 in. (43.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This old Epiphone is completely original and in much better shape than most we see, showing some light wear but no major finish loss or repairs. There are some dings and dents overall and a number of pick scratches into the top finish. The lower side by the tailpiece has some fairly deep scratching but overall the finish is quite clean for an instrument of this vintage. The tailpiece has a very well-done typical repair at the bend of the baseplate. The neck and frets are in excellent condition and the neck angle is good; this is an excellent-playing and sounding carved-top guitar complete in a high-quality period Lifton HSC that may be original although not branded for Epiphone. Excellent - Condition.