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1933 Epiphone Masterbuilt Adelphi Vintage Pre-War A-Style Mandolin, 100% Original w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1933 Epiphone Masterbilt Adelphi mandolin in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. This A-style mandolin is an extremely early example from Epiphone's New York era of production. Features including the etched headstock veneer, segmented F holes, and “Builders of Art Musical Instruments” label narrow the production of this Adelphi iteration to 1932-33.

Tonewoods include the carved Adirondack spruce top, maple back and rims, and a mahogany neck reinforced with a central strip of maple and capped by a rosewood fretboard. Tonally, this mandolin has a sparkling cut and notable breadth, with midrange complexity and percussive chop ideal for staying present in an ensemble situation. Strung with fresh bronze strings, we've had this Epiphone professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action and accurate intonation

The neck has a profile carve that splits the difference between a U shape and a very soft V, measuring .840” deep at the 1st fret and .935” at the 7th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is notably dark and tight-grained, and the original bar frets show moderate wear beneath the A and E strings on frets 1-3 and lighter wear extending to fret 5. This mandolin plays cleanly up the 14” scale with a straight neck, and the bone nut measures just a hair shy of 1 1/4“ in width. The peghead overlay is engraved with Epiphone Masterbilt banners and Adelphi script. The original open-gear strip tuners are notably clean, turning smoothly and holding pitch as they should.

On the body, the hardware is all original, including the rosewood bridge, clean nickel-plated tailpiece, and raised one-ply black pickguard. The neck set is ideal, and there is still room for future adjustment at the bridge thumbscrews. The “Builder of Art Instruments” label is visible through the bass-side segmented F hole, as is the stamped serial number.

The spruce top is finished in its original gloss Sunburst, paired with a Dark Cherry finish on the back and rims, exhibiting faint finish checking on the back and sides, and to a lesser extent on top. The body is remarkably well-kept and crack-free, with cosmetic wear limited to light pick wear on the bass side of the strum path and a few small dings and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The smooth gloss on the neck profile is clean and smooth.

The original hardshell case is included, retaining black leather trim, functional latches and the original leather handle.