Zenith Acoustic Archtop

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Epiphone Zenith
Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith Headstock
1939-1950 Zenith Headstock 1951-1957 Zenith Headstock
1939-1950 Zenith Headstock
1951-1957 Zenith Headstock

The Masterbilt Zenith was characterized as a student level instrument. At 13 5/8” wide, this is a very small guitar for an archtop. It has a carved spruce top and laminated maple back and sides. The 1932 Zenith had a black celluloid headstock cover plate with fancy colored engravings characterized by the white banners proudly identifying the Masterbilt line. By 1936 the Zenith model had been resized twice before arriving at the 16 3/8” bodied version that persisted well into the 1950's.

The Zenith archtop saw continuous production from the introduction of Epiphone's Masterbilt line until the company's sale to CMI in 1957. The student-model always featured a carved spruce top, but was simply appointed in order to maintain its affordable pricetag and market position

The Zenith was also available in Tenor (short-scale 4-string) and Plectrum (long-scale 4-string) versions.



Contents

Models


Zenith Masterbilt

Epiphone Zenith Masterbilt
1933 Epiphone Zenith Masterbilt
Epiphone Zenith Masterbilt
1933 Epiphone Zenith Masterbilt
  • 1931-1935

Body:

  • One-piece spruce top
  • Arched back
  • Hand-bent rims
  • Maple (1931-1933)
  • Walnut (1934-1935)
  • Segmented f-holes
  • 13.625" body width (1931-1933)
  • 14.75" body width (1934-1935)

Binding:

  • 1-ply body

Neck:

  • Mahogany neck with maple center stripe
  • Indian rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays
  • Mahogany headstock with engraved plastic veneer
  • 25.5" scale

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Open-back plate-mounted tuners
  • Adjustable rosewood bridge & base
  • Trapeze tailpiece

Source: epiphone.com/thevintagecollection



Zenith

Epiphone Zenith
1936-1938 Epiphone Zenith - Missing Pickguard
Epiphone Zenith
1939-1950 Epiphone Zenith
Epiphone Zenith
1951-1957 Epiphone Zenith
Epiphone Zenith
1967-1969 Epiphone Zenith
  • 1936-1969

Body:

  • Grand Auditorium sized body
  • Carved spruce top
  • Walnut back & sides (1936-1948)
  • Maple back & sides (1949-1969)
  • Standard F-holes
  • 16.375" body width

Neck:

  • Set 3-piece mahogany neck
  • Adjustable truss rod
  • Rosewood fingerboard with pearl inlays
  • Double-dot inlays at 7th fret 1936-1957
  • 25.5" scale
  • 1.68" nut width

Neck Variations:

  • Tombstone-style headstock (1936-1938)
  • Open-book style headstock (1939-1966)
  • Elongated traditional headstock (1967-1969)
  • Stickpin inlay (1936-1950)
  • Deco block headstock inlay (1951-1957)
  • Deco oval headstock inlay (1958-1969)
  • Dot fingerboard inlays (1936-1957)
  • Oval fingerboard inlays (1958-1969)

Binding:

  • Single-ply top & back
  • No fingerboard binding (1936-1957)
  • 1-ply fingerboard binding (1958-1969)

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Raised celluloid tortoise shell pickguard
  • Adjustable rosewood bridge with trapeze tailpiece
  • Elevated pickguard
  • Open-back individual tuners

Colors:

  • Sunburst
  • Blonde



Melody Tenor Masterbilt

Epiphone Melody Tenor
1931-1933 Epiphone Melody Tenor
Epiphone Melody Tenor
1934-1936 Epiphone Melody Tenor
Epiphone Melody Tenor
1931-1933 Epiphone Melody Tenor Headstock
  • 1931-1936
  • 4-string Tenor (short scale) version of the Zenith

Body:

  • Concert-sized body
  • Maple body (1931-1933)
  • Walnut body (1934-1935)
  • Carved spruce top
  • Segmented F-holes
  • 3.375" body depth
  • 13.625" body width (1931-1933)
  • 14.75" body width (1934-1936)

Neck:

  • Set maple neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays
  • Masterbilt tombstone headstock with black overlay
  • Masterbilt banner logo (1931-1933)
  • Stickpin inlay with Epiphone block lettering (1934-1936)
  • 23" scale
  • 1.125" nut width

Binding:

  • Single-ply Ivorine binding

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Elevated bakelite pickguard
  • Adjustable rosewood bridge with trapeze tailpiece
  • Open-back plate-mounted tuners with oval buttons.

Colors:

  • Sunburst



Zenith Tenor

Epiphone Zenith Tenor
Epiphone Zenith Tenor
Epiphone Zenith Tenor
Epiphone Zenith Tenor
  • 1937-1957
  • 6-string short-scale Tenor configuration (23" scale)
  • 6-string long-scale plectrum also available (27" scale)

Body:

  • Carved spruce top
  • Walnut back and sides
  • Standard F-holes
  • 16.375" body width

'Neck:

  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay
  • Tombstone headstock (1936-1938)
  • Open-book headstock (1939-1969)
  • Stickpin inlay (1936-1957)
  • Deco block inlay (1958-1969)
  • 23" scale

Binding:

  • Single-ply top & back

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Raised pickguard
  • Adjustable rosewood bridge with trapeze tailpiece
  • Single unit nickel tuners with plastic buttons

Colors:

  • Sunburst



Ideal Zenith

Epiphone Ideal Zenith
1935 Epiphone Ideal Zenith
Epiphone Ideal Zenith
1935 Epiphone Ideal Zenith Headstock
  • 1935
  • Made by Epiphone for an independent distributor
  • Based on the 1930's Epipone Zenith

Body:

  • Laminated spruce archtop
  • Laminated maple back & sides
  • Standard f-holes
  • 16" body width

Neck:

  • 2-peice mahogany neck with walnut center stripe
  • Rosewood fingerboard with diamond inlays
  • Black veneered headstock with raised "Ideal" logo
  • Plastic nut
  • 25.5" scale

Binding:

  • 1-ply Celluloid body & neck binding

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Rosewood bridge & base
  • Trapeze tailpiece
  • Single-unit plate tuners with white oval plastic buttons
  • Elevated bakelite pickguard

Colors:

  • Sunburst

Source: epiphone.com/thevintagecollection



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