Epiphone Zephyr Hawaiian Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1941)

Epiphone  Zephyr Hawaiian Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1941)
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$950.00 + shipping
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Item # 9109
Prices subject to change without notice.
Epiphone Zephyr Hawaiian Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1941), made in New York City, serial # 5765, two tone finish, maple body with plastic and metal overlay, original black hard shell case.

This is a nicely stylish pre-war lap steel from Epiphone in New York, with some restoration but in good playing order. The black-lacquered wooden body has stepped edges, faced in white plastic with a metal top overlay. The fingerboard ornamentation and control graphics are displayed on this metal cap in silver, along with an "ELECTAR Zephyr" logo. The whole effect is very "1930s New York at night." The pickup is Epiphone's then-new "Trubalance" unit featuring a thin coil is wrapped in black tape and named for the adjustable screw polepieces the company pioneered. The volume and "Mastervoicer" tone controls are helpfully labeled.

The nut and tailpiece/bridge combination are milled aluminum. The headstock has an "Epiphone" metal logo plate pinned to the face. There is a plate on the back referencing the licensed patents of Meissner Inventions, a firm that in the 1930s claimed patent protection on the concept of electric musical instruments and demanded royalties from all manufacturers, Epiphone being one that acquiesced. This is a cool looking and good sounding prewar-steel, still housed in an original alligator-grained oblong hard shell case with an "E" logo in the pink lining under the lid.
 
Overall length is 31 in. (78.7 cm.), 8 in. (20.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 in. (5.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 3/8 in. (568 mm.). Width of nut is 2 1/8 in. (54 mm.).

This old steel has seen plenty of use but still performs well. The black lacquer finish has checking, dings, dents and chips just about everywhere but no large areas of loss. The metal and plastic sections show wear as well, but are still quite presentable. It has had some restoration; the pickup looks to have been rewound and the jack is newer; the pots, caps and most of the wiring remain original. The chicken-head knobs are old but not original, the tuners are a recent re-issue Epiphone set, which are a very good an perfectly fitted reproduction of the originals. The felt-covered panel on the back has a lot of wear; a similar piece once pinned under the neck is missing. The remainder of the hardware is original. This is a good sounding steel with a fairly bright tone, still housed in its worn but serviceable OHSC. Very Good + Condition.