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  1. #1

    1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set

    Recently I obtained this 38 Broadway. One of these has been on my bucket list for some time due to the Walnut Back and sides. Unfortunately, although honestly represented by the seller as having had a reset at one point in it's life, the work was either improperly done or failed-I suspect the former. The neck angle is way off and there is a significant gap between the heel of the neck and the body. It is a sweet sounding guitar but not living up to it's potential.

    Can any helpful forum members recommend a luthier in the SoCal area qualified for this task? My local is good but hesitant to take on the project.
    Attached Images Attached Images 1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set-heel-jpg 1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set-bass-side-jpg 1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set-action-treble-jpg 

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    North Coast Pennsylvania
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    1,976
    Most of a continent fro SoCal, but best of luck with the restoration!
    Best regards, k

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Southeast US
    Posts
    533
    Also very far from SoCal, but a fellow vintage NY Epiphone lover here. Please keep us updated on the road to restoration. More pics, please!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Pacific NW
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    637
    ST, nice project! I love the old epi's. I can't help with SoCal luthiers, but there must be a boat load of them. Maybe try the Luthier's guild for recommendations. That's all I've got. That's going to be one serious guitar when you get her fixed. Please keep us posted. I bought a '36 emperor project, and have no regrets. These old guitars are pretty amazing. Good luck! Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hill Country
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    I don't know SoCal luthiers, but if I needed one, I'd head over to Norm's Rare Guitars in the San Fernando Valley and ask them for some references. Those guys handle tons and tons of vintage guitars of all types and if anyone would know luthiers qualified to do vintage restorations, it would be them. Take your guitar with you. That's what I'd do.

    Congrats on the score, and add my name to the list of those interested in following your resto.

  6. #6
    I've got a special place in my heart for vintage Epi's too. Over the years I've had a 51 Devon and a 49 Triumph Cutaway, labeled "Cutaway" before the "Regent" moniker for cutaway was designated. Ironically I bought that guitar from Norm in the late 90's and it's pictured in his book. Sadly no longer mine.
    As mentioned I was casting around for a Walnut Broadway and came on this 38. It's had extensive work done-several repaired cracks, binding reglue, newer Freqensator, neck reset at some point. I broke a cardinal rule of mine and bought it without playing it first. When I unpacked it my bubble burst big time.
    My local guy did a good job with a bridge shave which brought the action down to somewhat playable levels (for me). However we both agreed from the beginning that without a proper neck reset it will never be right.
    The seller is being very cordial and has offered to fund a reset or take it back. I'm super conflicted at this point. There is also a significant repaired crack in the bass side rim which we suspect happened during the poorly executed prior reset. My local will take the project on with about a two month wait. I'm still deciding what to do.
    Attached Images Attached Images 1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set-bw381-jpg 1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set-38-epi-broadway-jpg 1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set-bw382-jpg 1938 Epi Broadway Neck Re-Set-bw383-jpg 

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Southeast US
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    533
    Thanks for adding more pics. It's a beautiful guitar, but certainly needs some love.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    'Tis safer under the bridge...
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    6,435
    ST, CB Hill or Ned Whittemore, possibly?

    German Vasquez Rubio is a classical guitar luthier but he may take it on as he does repair and restorations too.

    It is beautiful old dame and well worth restoring. It won't have collector's value but as a guitar to a player its value cannot be measured.

    Circa 2011, the Black Walnut Broadway carried an asking price tag of about $2800 in "excellent" original condition.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 09-01-2017 at 11:01 PM.
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  9. #9
    Thanks all for your replies, she's going back to the seller.

  10. #10
    The guitar in it present condition is not worth much for sure. For a song I would to buy it and reset the neck and depending on the finish condition maybe refinish it all in one. Sadly I think most think guitars like this are worth more than they are without realizing the amount of time required to get the guitar back to proper condition. In almost every case I do these things it ends up being more work that I thought.

    One option would be to take the back off and work from that angle it might prove to be easier. Guitars like these really really not meant to have the neck removed as such in the future so they tend to be difficult to removed. Flattop guitars are much usually easier to get the neck off. So I wonder what the person wants to sell this for I have an interest if they are cheap.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  11. #11
    The Guitar Shoppe in Laguna Beach has/had an incredible collection of old Epiphones last time I was there (a couple decades ago). This is Kirk Sand's shop and Kirk is a legendary luthier, if he can't fix it he'd have a good recommendation.

    Maybe you can make a deal w/ the seller to work with you on repairs.

    Home

    (sorry about the link showing up as 'Home', this is The Guitar Shoppe's home page)
    Last edited by MaxTwang; 09-03-2017 at 07:22 PM.

  12. #12
    Once again, thanks for the replies. The "dame" is already in transit to the seller, who is a stand up guy and has been nothing but a pleasure to work with.
    I'm not certain of his plans going forward for her. And I'm not certain of my plans either. I suppose I'll stay in the hunt for another one, there was a certain 39 on the market that I think may have a deal working by a fellow forum member. All I can say is good on him! It looks magnificent.
    My overall concept for this acquisition was to work it into our sets on some songs we play from the American Songbook 20's-30's era. Just mic it off and swing away-a little variation in sound from my Benedetto thru a Evans JE200. Of course if I'm not picky about the Walnut tone that opens up a ton of options. A good Triumph, L-7, etc. would work fine.
    I wish her good luck she's a fine old guitar but just not for me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hill Country
    Posts
    1,696
    No blame in sending back what doesn't work for you. Better luck with your next grab, brotha.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Corinth, VT
    Posts
    12
    Gryphon Instruments in Palo Alto could have done the repairs.

    Neck resets on old Epis are a common repair, and the three I've done were straightforward('39 Zenith, '34 Sorrentino, '38 Broadway). I still own the Broadway, it's a great guitar, good luck with your search.

  15. #15
    What would the price tag be to do the work?
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Corinth, VT
    Posts
    12
    I charge $450 for a reset on an archtop, like a vintage Epi. But, as the OP notes(& I can see in his pics), there is a significant crack on the bass side- I would need to have such a guitar in hand, to evaluate, before quoting a price.
    I'm in New England, not exactly local- but I do love old Epis!

  17. #17
    Dave that is a very fair price I would not touch it unless I was getting $600 that is a lot of work, but like you said it requires a first hand look.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Corinth, VT
    Posts
    12
    I know, that often it's more to reset an archtop neck, but those three Epis I've done were quite straightforward. Gibsons(or Guilds, etc), with the finish over the neck/body joint, I'd charge more.

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