What we Think...
The Epiphone new century Olympic is a faithful representation of the 1930s archtop guitars, it really is a beautiful model. It is a small bodied f- hole style archtop , with a solid spruce top , giving very bright projection and laminated mahogany back and sides.
This model has a “c” shaped neck with a rosewood fingerboard and in laid with mother of pearl, and it really does feel great and easy to play. The Olympic is fitted with a eSonic HD preamp and it delivers richness and depth of tone these guitars are renowed for. If its a classic look and blend of old and new the Masterbilt Olympic is really one to watch out for.
Reviewed by A.Lord...Rimmers Music Southport.
Based off of the original Epiphone Olympic which was available from the mid 1930's this acoustic guitar has a lot of tradition behind it. With a solid Spruce top carved with a pair of beautiful f holes this small archtop acoustic both looks and sounds great. It is not all aesthetic though with the Olympic having vintage Longitudinal bracing which gives it a very different feel and response to modern X bracing inspired designs.
Natural Pickup Sound
While back in the 30's this design would have been loud enough to have been heard over any other band that is not the case anymore. Now you need to be amplified for pretty much every venue so Epiphone hid a very powerful Sonic HD Preamp with Nanoflex HD Pickup in this guitar so you can use it live without having all kinds of controls popping out of the side of your guitar.
Both the volume and tone controls are hidden in the lower F hole so you can use your guitar live with easy access to your controls. This setup sounds great through both an acoustic amp or a PA system meaning you can rock up to any gig and get an astounding sound.
The Masterbilt Olympic Acoustic/Electric Guitar is a smaller-sized archtop with an arched Solid Spruce top with traditional Longitudinal Bracing, a Mahogany body, and classic f-holes. Inside the upper f-hole is a 1930s era replica Epiphone label. The Olympic is available in traditional Honeyburst and Violin Burst aged gloss finishes, each with unique color tones inspired by Epiphone's priceless vintage collection in Nashville, Tennessee. The tortoise style pickguard comes unattached. Pickguard hardware comes included.
Like Epi's first generation of archtops, the new Zenith Classic has a unique body profile with a 16" lower bout, a 11.6" upper bout, a 9.4" waist, and a body length slightly over 20". Many archtop collectors consider a 16" archtop the ideal size for its concentrated sonic punch and overall tone. With its signature f-holes and Solid Spruce top, the Zenith Classic is an ideal rhythm instrument for singers and soloists. And flattop guitarists will discover it can easily cut through a mix better than most any other acoustic. Both the body and top feature 3-layer Ivory & Black color binding while the Ebony fingerboard has single layer Ivory color binding. The f-holes have 2-layer binding. The 5-piece Hard Maple and Mahogany neck has a full rounded "C"- profile that is glued to the body with a dovetail joint for a precise fit so the Zenith Classic will resonate as one piece of wood. The Ebony fretboard has 20 medium frets, a 25.5" scale length, and pearloid "Falling Snowflakes" inlays modeled after the original Masterbilt Zeniths.
The compact tone of the Zenith Classic sounds beautiful unamplified on a small stage or in the studio. But now the cutting edge eSonic HD (High Definition) preamp system and Shadow NanoFlex HD Under-saddle pickup make it possible for archtop players to hear their instrument amplified exactly as they hear it unplugged. No archtop player has ever heard an acoustic guitar more accurately represented through a sound system before. The Shadow NanoFlex HD Under-saddle pickup has easy-to-access controls for Master Volume and Master EQ mounted just inside the lower f-hole. Now you have complete control over how much of the acoustic guitar is amplified. The pre-amp system is powered by a standard 9-volt battery that is easy to access, located near the solid nickel 1/4" output jack.
Historic Epiphone Hardware
The Zenith Classic comes with Historic Epiphone Re-issue Tuners with Marboloid "Crown" buttons with an upgraded 18:1 tuning ratio for fast and accurate tuning. The tuners are mounted on an Epiphone Dovewing headstock with Pearloid "Banner" logos. Unlike many vintage archtops, the Zenith Classic has a dual action truss rod for easy and perfect set-up. The Floating Adjustable Ebonoid Bridge is made from a synthesized material that has the grain-like texture and look of Ebony but is harder and more reliable for years of playing. The historic aged all-nickel Trapeze Tailpiece is also inspired from Epiphone's vintage Masterbilt collection. Every new Masterbilt Century guitar is set up at the factory with Cleartone 12-53 gauge strings. An optional vintage-styled hard case is also available.
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