Up for sale, a 1946 Epiphone Triumph in exceptional condition, complete with the original hardshell case. As Gibson's chief competitor for professional-level archtops in the Post War years, Epiphone produced some of the finest USA-made instruments on the market, with the Triumph being their most popular professional archtop model, although production totals for the New York made Epis (and blondes in particular) are still notably small. Structurally identical to the Broadway and Deluxe models, this Triumph is 100% original aside from a professional refret and modern bone nut.
Featuring a full 17 3/8" wide lower bout, hand-carved Adirondack spruce top, and lightly figured hand-carved maple back and sides, this is a very elegant and powerful sounding instrument. Utilizing the same tonewood prized for its use on Pre-War Martin and Gibson soundboards, the solid quartersawn carved Adirondack spruce top delivers a brilliant and dynamic voice with plenty of crisp midrange chop. The trebles have a sparkling cut and round, punchy quality and the wound strings are clear and sonorous. This Epiphone weighs 5lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 12-54 bronze strings, easy playing action and accurate intonation.
The neck has a substantial soft V-shaped profile carve with plenty of shoulder in the upper registers, measuring .915" deep at the 1st fret and 1.030" at the 9th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard features the original notched diamond inlays, refretted with flawless medium fretwire. The guitar plays cleanly in every register up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The carved bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width, and the headstock face features an Epiphone script logo and "fleur de lis" inlay, both of which are deeply ambered and show fractional shrinkage. The Epsilon nickel tuning machines are intact and turn very smoothly with their original buttons.
On the body, the original no-logo Post War nickel Frequensator tailpiece is intact with its two "forks" that anchor the strings, and the 90 degree angle in the tailpiece is structurally sound with just a tiny amount of splitting at the treble side edge. The neck meets the body at an ideal angle, with modest room for future adjustment on both bridge thumbwheels. Specific to Blonde-finished Epi bridges, the bridge comprises a maple base and carved Brazilian rosewood saddle. The original bound red tortoise pickguard is also intact and near-mint, complete with its "E" epsilon badge. Visible through the bass side F hole, the original Epiphone label is practically perfect, with typed model name info, and a printed serial number that places the instrument late in the year for 1946's production numbers.
The gloss Blonde nitro lacquer finish is notably well-kept, and the center seam on top has been professionally repaired beneath the bridge and extending to the tailpiece, with targeted touch-up in this area. There is modest pick wear across the strum path and a few additional minor marks on top consistent with careful use. Wear on the lightly figured carved two-piece maple back and rims is surprisingly sparse, with just a few nicks commensurate with age. There is also some minor discoloration and texturing on the top binding, mostly on the lower bout on top, likely from contact with a previous case lining. The gloss finish is extremely smooth and clean on the neck profile, and a strap button has been added to the neck heel.
The original hardshell case is included, with brown gaffer tape on the exterior, and some added twine over the original handle frame. The original functional latches are intact.