Up for sale, a 1966 Epiphone Cortez FT-45N in exceptional, crack-free condition and in perfect working order. Crafted by Gibson in their Kalamazoo, MI factory, this is a particularly clean and well cared for example of the FT-45N Cortez. Essentially the same guitar as Gibson's B-25N yet with a different headstock shape and pickguard, the Cortez boasts X-braced construction and delivers a powerful sound. Offering a tonal depth and projection that belies the body size, this Epiphone is very rewarding for flatpicking with rich bass register growl and punchy, clear trebles. The midrange has a real complexity too, and the guitar is sympathetic to fingerpicking, yielding a sweet, smooth sound. The instrument weighs 3lbs 14oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 12-54 strings and easy-playing action.
The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with round shoulders in every register and lightly rolled fretboard edges. The neck gains quite a bit of additional heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .815" deep at the 1st fret and .960" at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the stock medium jumbo fretwire which has its full factory height and is stunningly clean, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-3. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 9/16" in width. The headstock retains the original Kluson Deluxe double line strip tuners which turn smoothly and hold pitch well.
The original plastic molded bridge sits flush with the top, and the adjustable ceramic saddle ensures plenty of treble detail. The original brown tortoise pickguard also sits notably flat, and the particularly thin nature of this material ensures the tonal response of the top isn’t dampened and the soundboard can resonate maximally.
The Natural nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touch up or overspray, exhibiting a couple small scratches through the lacquer on the treble-side upper bout on top, roughly legible as “1 X." Wear on the top is otherwise quite restrained, with faint lacquer checking and a few small scuffs and nicks. Wear is similarly restrained on the Walnut-finished mahogany back and sides, and the gloss on the neck profile is flawless.
A vintage chipboard case is included.