The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

⚌Reduced‼ Epiphone Emperor Archtop Blonde, 1946

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From the days when giant archtops ruled the earth, the Epiphone Emperor was one of the largest at 18.5 inches across. Introduced in 1936, the Emperor was the top of Epiphone’s line until it was discontinued in 1970. Its main competitor was the Gibson Super 400.

As a top line archtop, the Epiphone Emperor features a solid carved Spruce top, solid carved Maple back – in this case with Pomelle figuring (sometimes known as Quilting), and Maple for the sides and neck. The neck is built up of four pieces of Pomelle Maple (plus two small sectionsfor the very outside edges of the headstock), with three Walnut separators, and the truss rod adjuster is tucked under the fingerboard extension.  The fingerboard is Ebony. The position markers are Mother of Pearl blocks with Abalone V-inserts.

These V-block position markers, along with the extra purfling on the fingerboard,  are design elements that transferred to higher end Guild models. In 1952 Epiphone moved from Queens New York to Philadephia in a strike-breaking effort. Many workers, and some executives, did not want to move and instead joined George Mann and Alfred Dronge in founding the Guild Guitar company.

The head plate is black-stained Maple with a characteristic Epiphone floral inlay, still used on modern Epis. The bridge on this example has a black-stained Maple base, with a Brazilian Rosewood saddle. The pickguard is original, bound faux-tortoise. At one time, a second pickguard was mounted on the bass side, and there are small filled holes on the bass side of the fingerboard tag and at the waist. The two-section ‘Frequensator’ tailpiece is original, as are the Epsilon-logo gold-plated tuners.

This Epiphone Emperor was originally purely an acoustic model. During the 1960’s or 1970’s, a Gibson humbucking pickup was added – the pickup dates to the 1962-1965 period, the mounting ring to the 1970s. The control knobs are Epiphone, but are not original to this guitar; the electric version of the Emperor was the Emperor Regent, introduced in 1952.

The finish is the  original and optional Natural lacquer, and in good condition.

This is a wonderful, beautifiul – and big! – guitar.  It plays well and cleanly,  and the neck is quite straight.  Presently this Epiphone Emperor is strung with a .013-.056 set, but they feel light.

The original blonde-Tolex case is included with this 1946 Epiphone Emperor, and it’s in quite good condition.

Price: $6,500.00 CAD $8,400.00 CAD
  • Model: Emperor
  • Year: 1946
  • Finish Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 54929, built during 1946 in NYC
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 18/03/2022

  • Consignment Item

  • Instrument Weight: 6.82lbs 3.1kg
  • Scale Length: 647.7mm 25.5in
  • Nut Width: 42.97mm 1.693in
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