Tone Report Weekly 194 - Page 35

Epiphone Masterbilt Century DeLuxe Classic Epiphone was once the king of archtop guitars. Its pre-WWII and pre-Gibson models are generally considered to be some of the finest factory-built archtops ever made, and they continue to command high prices in the vintage market. The modern Epiphone company is capitalizing on this remarkable legacy with its Masterbuilt Century Collection, which hearkens back to Epi’s golden age in both name and quality, but not in price. The DeLuxe Classic is a standout in the collection, a new design that revives a model name that was launched in the “big band” era. It’s an extraordinary and bold sounding archtop at any price, with a solid spruce top, laminate flame maple body, a maple-and- mahogany neck, and an ebony fingerboard with classy notched diamond inlays. The DeLuxe Classic’s stealthy on-board pickup and preamp retain an acoustic look and feel, while imparting it with modern powers of amplification. At 899 dollars brand new, it’s an incredible deal. 35