- acoustic guitars
Dates of manufacture:
The Epiphone De Luxe was made between 1931 and 1957. The Epiphone DeLuxe was their top of the range archtop acoustic. From 1931 to 1935 these were known as the Masterbilt DeLuxe model, with a 16.375 inches wide grand auditorium sized body, unbound dobro style segmented f-holes and gold plated trapeze tailpiece. In 1936 the body was increased to 17.375 inches wide (with standard shaped bound f-holes), cloud inlays and a Frequensator tailpiece.
The Epiphone De Luxe archtop was also available as an electric (the Zephyr De Luxe), tenor guitar (De Luxe Empire) and with a cutaway (De Luxe Regent).
Epiphone described their DeLuxe model as follows in their 1934 catalog:
"On this and the following pages we shall try to tell you what has given EPIPHONE Masterbilt Guitars the qualities so much admired by those musicians who wrote the introductory page for us. On the opposite page is illustrated that marvellous guitar, The De Luxe, which, by its performance has won a host of friends. First of all it is hand-made — top and back are carved, rasped, scraped and sanded to the shape and thickness which experience has taught us is most likely to reflect and intensify the vibrations of the strings and aid in producing that harp-like tone for which the De Luxe Model is noted.
Sides, back and neck are of ﬁrst grade curly maple. The top is of ﬁnest spruce. With these materials as a starting point, we proceed as we might in building a ﬁne violin. Each curve, each thickness at various predetermined points are carefully worked out_until the natural resonance of the top material is given full scope.The body is big and roomy — 20.25 inches long, and 16.375 inches wide at the widest part— the tone is round, full, sweet, and carrying as beﬁts the “Choice of the Stars."
The oval ﬁngerboard of genuine rosewood attaches to the curly maple neck which has triple center plies and a patented expansion truss for safety against warping. Neck and sides are finished to harmonize with the back which shows the flaming of the the wood. A yellow sunburst on the top merges into the light brown of the edges, sides and back. The ﬁngerboard is ornamented with genuine mother-of-pearl position marks and is edged with white Pyralin. Neck attaches at the fourteenth fret.
The edging of the top is white Pyralin containing an inner band of black and white block design, while the back is trimmed in black and white Pyralin. Gold plated individual tuning units, adjustable bridge, gold plated extension tail-piece, white pick-guard comprise other attractive features of the De Luxe Guitar. Made in Grand Auditorium size and Priced at $275."
|Number of strings
|25.5 inches scale-length
|Body back material
|figured maple body back
|Body shape features
|Body sides material
|maple body sides
|archtop, grand auditorium style
|Body top material
|black and white diagonal purfling on body top
|16.375 inches body, 17.375 inches body
|Bakelite pickguard, black pickguard, tortoiseshell pickguard, white pickguard
|Neck joins body at 14th fret
|1.68 inches wide at nut
|Number of frets
|adjustable rosewood bridge, compensated bridge, ebony bridge
|Frequensator tailpiece, trapeze tailpiece
|Fingerboard position markers
|block fingerboard position markers, cloud fingerboard position markers, diamond and arrow fingerboard position markers, slotted diamond fingerboard position markers