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  #1  
Old 12-02-2021, 01:25 PM
DanR DanR is offline
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Default New Guitar Day - well not exactly new

I've been looking for a decent archtop acoustic guitar lately. I made on offer on one that turned out to be already sold. I was ready to make an offer on another when a drain calamity occurred at my house. When my insurance covered half of the drain issue, I decided to continue my search. And today, here it is, a 1965 Epiphone Zenith. My very first electric guitar was, thanks to my dear Mom, a '65 Epiphone Casino so it's nice to have an Epiphone of the same vintage.

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  #2  
Old 12-02-2021, 01:47 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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That's really pretty!

Bob
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Old 12-02-2021, 05:59 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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FYI when Gibson bought out Epiphone in 1957 they acquired a lot of the spare parts and works-in-progress from the former New York operation (at least the ones that weren't discovered in an upstate NY warehouse and torched ), and it's generally accepted that Gibson was producing Epi archtops with leftover New York parts (including pre-assembled but unfinished bodies) through at least late-1963/early-1964. While the equivalent Gibson L-50 is fairly easy to find, Epiphone Zeniths from the post-acquisition period are rare, and the fact that the only two I've ever seen in person over the last six decades were clearly built on the L-50 platform (as I'm sure you're aware New York Epi-designed acoustic archtops have very different body contours than their Gibson equivalents, as well as distinctive carving/arching/recurve patterns), their very low production numbers lead me to believe that yours might in fact be built on a genuine New York body (FYI while the fingerboard was featured on the contemporary Sorrento, it first appeared on the circa-1950 Devon 17" acoustic archtop, and may also be of New York-era origin); if it is in fact a New York leftover it's certainly one of the last (if not the last), and if it were me I'd have an expert examine it and confirm the details...

Here's an original '49 NY Zenith for comparison (note the smaller upper bouts compared to an L-50 - the slightly wider waist and narrow pickguard on yours were also typical of post-1954 New York production):



Use it well, often, and - as was characteristic of New York Epis - LOUD ...
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:44 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Cool guitar! Congratulations!

- Glenn
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Old 12-03-2021, 06:52 AM
jricc jricc is offline
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Nice Epi Zenith! Congrats and enjoy...
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Old 12-04-2021, 04:11 PM
eyesore eyesore is offline
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sooo cool!!
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Old 12-04-2021, 09:27 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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Very nice! Congratulations
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Old 12-09-2021, 04:20 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi Dan, it's a beautiful body shape, and seemingly a ery rare guitar!

I wish you every happiness with your new old Epi!
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2021, 09:34 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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I agree the body shape (upper bout quite narrow) looks Epi, and not Gibson - my first thought was "what is the spec and when did Gibson start making Gibsonized Epi's, that doesn't look like a Gibson to me". My thinking is probably not NY made body, but probably Philadelphia made between '53 and '57? Fantastic find, congrats!
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Old 12-10-2021, 12:01 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
... My thinking is probably not NY made body, but probably Philadelphia made between '53 and '57? Fantastic find, congrats!
Agree 100% with the Philly connection - there's a subtle difference in the shoulders/waistline compared to the true 14th Street 16-inchers (being a NYC "hometown" brand - along with Gretsch, Favilla, and of course D'Angelico - I saw plenty of those in younger days) - but in common parlance all pre-Kalamazoo Epis tend to be grouped under the "New York" heading, as their business/executive offices were located there until the Gibson takeover (interestingly enough, upstairs in the building that would later house the legendary Folk City in Greenwich Village), and much as Martin's pre-1898 Zoebisch-distributed instruments are referred to as "New York" in spite of their Nazareth manufacture since 1839. FWIW I try to use the "New York-era" nomenclature to describe any instrument designed/produced under Stathopoulo family ownership...

BTW here's a Kalamazoo "Gibsonized" Epiphone, a '64 Granada (BTW also available as a very rare, unique-to-Epiphone Florentine cutaway) built on an ES-120 platform; as I said I've seen two L-50/Zeniths like this, approximately 20 years apart - one new, one used, the last in the mid-80's (and, given their rarity and NYC location, possibly the same guitar in both cases):



- and a '58 Zenith with a blue Kalamazoo label/serial number, but 100% NY-era construction (other than tuners/tailpiece - note difference in peghead from OP) and OHSC:



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Old 12-11-2021, 10:04 AM
renoslim renoslim is offline
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Here is my Granada cutaway, 1967 (I think), one of 344.
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File Type: jpg 20211211_102522.jpg (33.5 KB, 138 views)
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in alphabetical order, (so none of them gets jealous)
Breedlove, Eastman, Epiphone, Fender, Gibson, Godin, Guild, Gurian, Larrivee, Loar, Martin, Recording King, Taylor, Voyage Air, Webber, Yamaha ...
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2021, 10:55 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Sweet - apparently not as rare as I was led to believe if there were 344 produced (other than catalog pics I've never seen another), and looks like a keeper to me...
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2021, 09:45 PM
Winkyplayer Winkyplayer is offline
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That's a stunner. I love it.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2021, 10:11 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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Really nice. Congratulations!
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