Orpheum Vintage Archtop Guitar


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This is an Orpheum Imperator, Style A, serial no. 438.  It is probably from the '30's and has been well played but not abused.  It has the normal wear that you would expect from a guitar this old but its main selling point is its excellent playability.  Most guitars this old have terrible action (requires a neck re-set) or the end of the fingerboard curls up, causing string buzz or fret-outs on the upper frets.  This guitar has neither of these problems.  The action is under 1/8 inch at the 12th fret (the same as 2 of our new Martin HD28's).  Fret wear is  very modest and consistent.  No divets and deeps ruts in the first three frets from endless "cowboy chords".  This guitar must have played mostly jazz.  It has some beautiful mother-of-pearl headstock inlays and position markers.  The neck is chunky with a slight V shape and the back has some striking flame.  The fingerboard and bridge are rosewood  and the nut is bone or ivory. The tuners have been changed but they are old (probably '50's).  The pickguard may have been changed or moved but if so, it was done a long time ago.  Some measurements:  15 and 1/2 in. across the lower bout, 3 and 1/2 in. thick and 1 and 1/2 in. nut spacing from E to e. 


This is a sweet guitar with lots of character - a real player.


 

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