Epiphone fingerboards

Epiphone used rosewood on all instruments as their fingerboard material, with the exception of ebony on some early Emperors. The fingerboards had a curved radius and were set with twenty high-nickel-content silver frets. The inlay varied according to model from simple dots to the elaborate “cloud” pattern on the De Luxe or “V-block” on the Emperor.

Wiedler wrote us May 2016 : “On examples in my database the curved fingerboard end seems to have been standard on early Masterbilts – except instruments in the SN range 5051 to 5137 that seem to have a square-end fingerboard (however no idea if they had left the factory in 1931 like that). The square end seems to have become standard at some point in 1934 – Spartan 7613 and later have it, while Hollywood 7588 and earlier typically have the curved end. (as always: some early instruments may have a later replacement fingerboard with square end)

Lower models had unbound boards while upper models featured white Pyralin binding. Side position dots appeared at each fret which contained an inlay, white dots on unbound necks and black dots on bound necks. Scale length on all models was 25½ inch.

NOTE: Epiphone guaranteed “All models for the life of the instrument” (cat. 1932), but “metal and other parts that recieve wear, excepted” (cat. 1934), since they don’t last such a long period. Therefore, many of the historic guitars most likely don’t have their original frets anymore.

References :
Felix Wiedler, NY Epi Reg
Jim Fisch & L.B. Fred, The House of Stathopoulo, 1996, p. 74,75
The Tale of Benny Jackson’s De Luxe : click here


Blackstone 1932, unbound, single dot marker on 5-9-12 and 2 dots on 7
Fingerboard Blackstone 7206

Blackstone 1935, bound, paralellogram marker on 5-7-9-12
Fingerboard Blackstone 4markers

Blackstone 1936, paralellogram marker on 3-5-7-9-12
Blackstone 5markers

Blackstone 1937, bound, paralellogram marker on 3-5-7-9-12-15
Fingerboard Blackstone 14816

Blackstone 1944, paralellogram marker reversed on 3-5-7-9-12-15
Blackstone 1944 6 markers reversed

Broadway 1932, bound, star marker on 3-5-7-9-12-14
Fingerboard Broadway 5053

Broadway 1933, bound, block marker on 3-5-7-9-12-15
Fingerboard Broadway 7262

Broadway 1934, bound, block marker on 3-5-7-9-12
Fingerboard Broadway 5 markers

Broadway 1936, bound, block marker on 1-3-5-7-9-12-15
Fingerboard Broadway 12386

Byron, unbound,  single dot marker on 3-5-7-9-15 and 2 dots on 12
Fingerboard Byron 60649

De Luxe 1932, bound, old banjo inlays on 1-3-5-7-9-12 and a block marker on 15DeLuxe 5794 banjo inlay

De Luxe 1932, bound, triangle marker on 1-3, diamond marker on 5-7-9-12 and a block marker on 15
Fingerboard Deluxe 5051

De Luxe 1935, bound, fan marker on 1-3-5-7-9-12 and a block marker on 15
Fingerboard DeLuxe 8058 fan inlay

De Luxe 1935, bound, flower marker on 1-3-5-7-9-12 and a block marker on 15
Fingerboard DeLuxe 8839 varied inlay

De Luxe 1935, bound, cloud marker on 1-3-5-7-9-12 and a block marker on 15
Fingerboard Deluxe 54119

Devon, unbound (some bound), oval marker on 3-5-7-9-12-15
Fingerboard Devon 64529

Emperor 1935, bound, split-block marker on 1-3-5-7-9-12 and a block marker on 15
Fingerboard Emperor 15733

Emperor 1940, bound, pearl block marker with abalone triangel inlay on 1-3-5-7-9-12 and a block marker on 15
Fingerboard Emperor 58052

Olympic 1932, unbound, dot marker on 5-7-9-12
Fingerboard Opympic 10130

Olympic 1935, unbound, dot marker on 3-5-7-9-12
Fingerboard Olympic 17934

Ritz, unbound, dot marker on 3-5-7-9-12
Fingerboard Ritz 20044

Royal, bound, single dot marker on 3-5-9, 2 dots on 7-12
Fingerboard Royal 5721

Spartan 1935, bound, single dot marker on 3-5-9, 2 dots on 7-12
Fingerboard Spartan dots

Spartan 1935, bound, slotted block marker on 3-5-7-9-12
Fingerboard Spartan 8986

Spartan 1936, bound, slotted block marker on 3-5-7-9-12-15
Fingerboard Spartan 6 markers

Triumph 1932, bound, zig zag diamond markers on 3-5-7-9-12 and a single diamond marker on 15
Fingerboard Triumph 5765

Triumph 1933, bound, single dot marker on 3-5-9 and 2 dots on 7-12
Fingerboard Triumph 6778

Triumph 1934, bound, diamond marker on 3-5-7-9-12
Fingerboard Triumph 9540 5 positions

Triumph 1936, bound, diamond marker on 3-5-7-9-12-15
Fingerboard Triumph 11227

Tudor, bound, triangle marker on 3-5, diamond marker on 7-9-12 
Fingerboard Tudor7452

Tudor, bound, triangle marker on 3-5, diamond marker on 7-9-12-15
Fingerboard Tudor7452 2

Zenith 1932, unbound, single dot marker on 5-9-12 and  2 dots on 7
Fingerboard Zenith 7047

Zenith 1937, unbound, single dot marker on 3-5-9-12 and  2 dots on 7
Fingerboard Zenith 13777

Zenith 1948, unbound, single dot marker on 3-5-7-9-15 and 2 dots on 12
Fingerboard Zenith 57815 6 positions

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