Up for sale, a 1950 Epiphone Devon archtop in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, upgraded with a vintage DeArmond "Guitar Mike" pickup and complete with the original hardshell case. As Gibson's chief competitor for professional-level archtop guitars in the early '50s, Epiphone was producing some of the finest USA-made instruments on the market, with the Devon being their rarest archtop model made in small numbers at their New York factory.
Structurally identical to the Triumph, Broadway, and Deluxe models, this Devon is a very elegant and powerful sounding instrument featuring a full 17 3/8" lower bout width, 3 1/2“ body depth, hand-carved spruce top, and maple back and sides. There's an articulate and pronounced midrange central to the guitar's acoustic properties, with a bark and projection indicative of a great archtop (designed to keep up with a horn section), and brilliance in the top end that has great clarity. The guitar delivers an overarching snappy sound, and the bass register is defined and taut. Strung with 13-56 bronze strings, the amplified signal via the DeArmond Guitar Mike is clear, woody, and sparkling. The guitar is nice and lightweight at 6lbs 6oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation.
The cherry neck has a generous and deep soft V profile that fills the palm comfortably and frets easily, measuring .920" deep at the 1st fret and 1.045" at the 9th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard is inlaid with understated mother of pearl ovals, and the guitar has been professionally refretted with wire that has appreciably more crown than the original frets, playing cleanly in every register and showing virtually no wear. This Devon boasts a full 25 1/2" scale, with a replaced nut that measures 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the guitar has both the pearl Epiphone logo and simple Art Deco peghead inlay on the Brazilian rosewood veneer. The stock open back nickel Waverly tuning machines are intact and turn very smoothly with their original buttons.
On the body, the Frequensator tailpiece features a beautifully machined replacement tailpiece hinge while the two original "forks" that anchor the strings are intact. The rosewood bridge is a modern replacement with a compensated saddle, and the vintage DeArmond Guitar Mike rounds out the hardware, featuring gleaming chrome plating and pristine embossed text. The thick celluloid pickguard in the correct Epiphone shape provides a solid foundation for the guard-mounted Volume control, complete with original mini transparent knob, and the braided pickup lead is routed discreetly through the treble side F hole to an endpin jack. Visible through the bass side F hole, the original Epiphone label is clean and intact, with typed model name info, and a printed serial number that places the instrument near the middle of the year for 1950's production numbers.
The warm two-tone Sunburst gloss finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, exhibiting more prominent lacquer checking on the back, sides, and headstock face, with fainter and more sparse horizontal checking on top. Remarkably well-kept, cosmetic wear is limited to light pick wear across the tortoise guard, a tiny amount of binding shrinkage and separation at the waist, a couple minor marks on top, and a few faint finish scuffs on the back. The nitro gloss on the neck profile is smooth and free of palm wear.
The original hardshell case is included with a brown textured exterior and purple interior (with epsilon on the inside lid). The original latches function as they should, and the stock leather handle is still viable too.