The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Vega C56 Archtop Guitar Natural, 1940


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Built to compete with the Gibson L-7 and Epiphone Triumph, the Vega C56 Archtop was built from the 1930s until 1950. It was was Vega’s most popular full sized guitar and featured a solid Spruce top with Maple sides and back, Mahogany neck and Rosewood fingerboard.

Vega is one of the older names in American musical instrument production, first operating in Boston, Massachusetts in 1881 and making guitars, mandolins, and horns. By the 1930s as banjos were waning, Vega began to focus on building guitars and many quality archtops were built. Deering now owns the Vega name and produces excellent banjos bearing that name, but it was also been owned by Martin during the 1970’s.

Here we have a Vega C56 archtop in the natural finish introduced in 1940. The serial number is somewhat below other models known to have been produced in 1940, so there’s a possibility this example was built in 1939.

The top is solid Spruce, likely Adirondack. This wood was very commonly used for instrument tops until the US entered WW2 and requisitioned most of the wood stocks for aircraft production. Since that time, Sitka Spruce has been the wood of choice, though it has been reappearing as Adirondack forests recover. Adirondack Spruce is somewhat stiffer than Sitka and holds up better when played hard, as might happen in a band with horns and banjos.

The sides and back of the Vega C56 are lightly figured Maple, while the neck is Mahogany with a figured Rosewood fingerboard. This was likely sourced from Brazil, as was the case with much rosewood at the time. The bridge is also Rosewood. The back has had a seam separation that seems stable. The top shows some wear from enthusiastic strumming. It appears to have had a neck reset, so the neck angle is good.

Hardware on the Vega C56 is minimal as this is a purely acoustic guitar – the original celluloid pickguard, Grover Sta-Tite open gear tuners, and a trapeze style tailpiece. On this guitar, the tailpiece has been replaced with a German-made unit.

This Vega C56 guitar is in overall good condition and plays well, currently set to a fairly low action height.

A modern hard shell case is included.


Price: $1,850.00 CAD
  • Model: C-56
  • Year: 1940
  • Finish Gloss Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 39847, dates to 1939 possibly 1940
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 21/12/2020

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 5.1lbs 2.32kg
  • Scale Length: 25in 635mm
  • Nut Width: 1.648in 41.87mm

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