The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Epiphone Masterbilt Melody Tenor Guitar Sunburst, 1933


Instrument Categories: , , ,

The Epiphone Masterbilt Melody Tenor guitar was built from 1931 to 1937 in New York, largely supporting the great banjoist migration of the period. In the late 1920’s banjo players, for a variety of reasons, began to move to guitar-based instruments and the Tenor guitar mapped almost directly to tenor banjos.

Epiphone announced the Masterbilt name in 1931 to identify their higher end models, though they had been shipping them for a while.

An examination of available documentation from that period can be seen here, at the “The Unofficial New York Epiphone Registry“.

This Epiphone Masterbilt Melody Tenor dates to 1933 based on its serial number and appointments, is in good playing condition and appears to be entirely original. The top is Spruce, bent into position with heat and longitudinal braces. The sides, back, body blocks and neck are Mahogany, likely Honduran. The fingerboard and wooden bridge components are Brazilian Rosewood, as was ordinary at the time and until the mid 1960’s. The tailpiece and tuners are original as are the slot-head mounting screws.

The headstock logo has three distinct elements including upper and lower banners reading ‘Epiphone’ and ‘Masterbilt’ with ‘Melody’ rising between them. We’ve included separate photos of the headstock as there seem to be few images of this layout.

This wonderful instrument, now 90 years old, plays well and has some expected finish wear but very little play wear to the frets. It was, and is professional grade. Tenor guitars are now mostly used in Celtic and Folk contexts.

The original hard shell case is included.


Price: $1,599.99 CAD
  • Model: Masterbilt Melody Tenor
  • Year: 1933
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 6690, built during 1933 in New York, NY, USA
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 17/12/2023

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.872lbs 1.76kg
  • Scale Length: 22.75in 577mm
  • Nut Width: 1.166in 29.51mm
Epiphone Website

Contact The Twelfth Fret Regarding This Item


Guitarists’ Pro Shop
2132 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, Ontario  M4C 1J9 CANADA
○ Sales: +416•423•2132
○ Service: +416•423•1554