Epiphone Electar Spanish

Electar header

The Electar Spanish Guitar was introduced in 1935 as the first Epiphone electric guitar and produced until about 1939. It differed from the acoustic archtops in having a flat back, a neck mounted flush with the body and a horizontal braced top. This heavy bracing, according to the 1937 Electar catalog, properly supported and dampened the top in order to avoid after tones and acoustic feedback”.

“Although Gibson had begun producing an electric Hawaiian a few months earlier, Epi beat Gibson to market with the electric Spanish-neck model. In contrast to Gibson, which had cautiously worked its new model into the sales stream, Epi called attention to the new models, giving them their own brand name: Electar. In less than two years Epiphone was fully committed to electric guitars. To develop an amplifier line, Epiphone hired a local Manhattan boy named Nat Daniel.”  (Carter, page 21)

The instrument was fitted with the Model M pickup, a rather bulky horseshoe magnet pickup mounted through a rectangular access hole in the back. The hole was c. 4x 6 and was covered with a cloth-wrapped plate screwed to the back. The pickup was mounted to maple blocks glued to the underside of the top and projected through a hole cut in the face of the instrument in bridge position The poles of the magnet wrapped over the strings and included two magnets under the strings. The visible part of the pickup was nickel-plated on early models; while later models featured an oven baked, black crinkle finish”. The input jack and the black Bakelite volume and tone controles with a small pointer were mounted on the lower treble bout in a line with the strings.

Wiedler : While Epiphone’s SN systems for acoustic instruments and 1950s electric hollowbodies appear to be pretty straightforward, the SN systems of their other electric instruments and amps are much less so. Over the years a number of different SN systems were used.

Felix Wiedler, NY Epi Reg
Jim Fisch & L.B. Fred, The House of Stathopoulo, 1996, pp. 109-129
Walter Carter, The Epiphone Guitar Book, 2012, page 21

November 2016 Wiedler wrote us: ” Although Christiani’s guitar is mentioned to be a Model M, it looks more like a Century Spanish in the picture – note the bikini logo and blade pickup, which I have never seen on a Model M, but maybe Eddy’s was modified. “

George van Eps on electar
Metronome electar1935