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1949 Epiphone FT-79 Texan Precursor Refinished Pro Setup Epi Soft Shell Case
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Today, Lawman Guitars is Presenting…
A really cool Wartime Epiphone Guitar. It’s a 1949 Epiphone FT-79. It is the precursor to the Epiphone Texan. They used the FT-79 designation for the new Texans when they fazed this model out.
I will discuss how we arrived at the date after I explain how this guitar came to us…
It was a mess. No finish on the top, back and sides. The sides had some bad work done to it so we needed to do a sunburst to cover some maladies. They did offer a Sunburst model in 1949 so we went ahead with that plan. It has unoriginal tuners and tuner grommets. Beyond that, we believe the guitar is all original. We had some very old bridge pins which we used for this awesome guitar.
We believe the binding had been replaced at some point, we added the matching neck heel plate and gave it the finish. We used Nitro to give it some authenticity. It did not require a neck reset which was a total surprise.
Here’s what we know about this guitar which gives us the 1949 suggested dating…
1. The label is mostly missing but enough to see it’s the White and Green Epiphone label used from 1935 thru 1956. You can see some numbers but not enough for dating. See pic 5.
2. It has a 16 inch wide body of Spruce with Mahogany back and sides. Round shouldered Jumbo.
3. It is X braced and has the three piece Mahogany with center stripe neck.
4. It has the belled metal truss rod cover.
5. It has the rounded arched tone back design. You should see the inside bracing. Very interesting. Not like any guitars I have ever seen.
6. It has actual pearl parallelogram fret markers.
The guitar has a 25 ½ inch scale neck, 1 11/16 inch nut, they went to a 1 5/8 inch nut in 1951, and it weighs only 4 lbs 13 ozs. It is very light! Nice rounded C shape neck that is an absolute pleasure to play.
We had the bridge reglued when we refinished the body so its nice and tight. The wood on the back is some of the prettiest Mahogany I have ever seen. One piece. The area around the soundhole was an issue. We left it alone. Pictures I have seen look like it was painted. The area there is so thin, we chose to leave it alone. We were afraid to damage the sound hole messing with it. We filled the strap button hole on the neck. I couldn't stand seeing a modern strap button on this historic guitar!
The guitar has an excellent voice. It is one of the loudest guitars I have ever played. Yet, it also carries a very, very, sweet voice as well. It’s hard to describe. Finger picking on this guitar will be awesome although, if you wanted to get after it with this guitar, it will take you there! The action is excellent. It is well intonated. I have played this guitar extensively and have loved playing it a lot!
We got the guitar is the shown Epiphone Soft Shell case. It is not the correct Epiphone case as I’m sure you know. I believe the original probably was destroyed after a few years and this one replaced it in the 1960’s. It is in fine shape for its age. No accessory box but all latches, hinges and original handle are present.
A historic guitar but is used and vintage so its sold as is no returns. However, I have been hand picking my customers instruments for over 20 years now and they have all loved the guitars I found them. This cool Epi will certainly not be an exception.
Thanks for checking out our cool guitars.
Lawman Mike at Lawman Guitars