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1940 Epiphone Coronet Vintage Archtop Electric Guitar Sunburst w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1940 Epiphone Coronet vintage archtop electric guitar. A prototypical electric guitar design crafted in extremely small numbers at Epiphone's New York factory from 1939-40, this iteration of the Coronet has a single bridge position alnico blade single coil pickup, not dissimilar from Gibson's Charlie Christian design. A compact archtop with a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a mahogany neck capped with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard, this Coronet features a 14 1/2" lower bout width, 3 1/4" body depth and 14 frets clear of the body. The pickup has a very sweet, bouncy quality with a chewy percussive cut, round trebles and nice bloom to the bass frequencies. This Epiphone weighs 6lbs 14oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings and comfortable action.

The mahogany neck has a soft V profile carve with a full, substantial feel, measuring .885" deep at the 1st fret and 1.010" at the 9th. The extremely dark and tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the original slender frets which show light flattening of the crowns beneath the plain strings on frets 1-9, and very light wear into the rosewood as well in this same area. The guitar plays cleanly in every register and the carved bone nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width. The headstock retains the original metal "bikini" logo as well as a tacked-on patent number plaque on the back from Miessner Inventions, Inc. And while Miessner didn't design the pickup on the guitar (he did have some success with early organ amplification and pickups for violins), Epiphone chose to give credit for their pickup design to avoid a legal battle. The seams on the headstock wings have been reglued, and the original open-gear tuning machines are intact and function as intended.

The electronics are all original, with the bar magnet pickup wired to original pots and a pair of paper-in-oil tone caps. A new single-ply back plate covers the original route for the electronics, and hardware includes a vintage replacement dyed maple bridge and original nickel trapeze tailpiece. The original pair of octagonal deep brown pointer knobs are also intact. The Sunburst nitro lacquer finish is 100% original, with pick wear through the Sunburst framing the treble-side edge of the pickup, and similar forearm wear on the lower bout top edge. There is tight lacquer checking across the body, a few scuffs on the back, and minor finish loss adjacent to the endpin, with palm wear through the finish on the majority of the neck profile.

A Roadrunner hardshell case is included with a zippered exterior.