Museum: Electric Guitars

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1934 Vivitone

Serial # 491. The ViviTone company was founded in late 1933 by Lloyd Loar and a small handful of businessmen. ViviTone would manufacture and market a wide range of instruments designed by Loar, many of which were fitted with Loar's recently patented Acousti-Lectric pickups. There were a number of interesting design elements incorporated into these instruments, from arched spruce tops and backs, rear F-holes, and extra-thick maple rims. Instrument's styling, appointments, and finish were undeniably influenced by Loar's tenure at Gibson a decade earlier, but there's little else about the ViviTones that resemble anything ever built by that company.

In excellent condition and in perfect working order, this ViviTone Acousti-Lectric guitar was found locally and brought back to life by Folkway's repair staff. The instrument is completely original but for a new set of Gotoh tuners, and an Electro-Socket output jack that was modified to fit the ViviTone's original jack-hole. The guitar plays well, with unworn frets and excellent action. Two repaired cracks will be found on the back, but there are otherwise no repairs or issues. The pickup works well, offering a tone somewhat akin to an amplified resonator.

The guitar measures 13" wide across the lower bout, and features a 14 fret neck with 24.25" scale. The neck carve is fairly modern in feel, with a round profile and 1-3/4" nutwidth.

A particularly interesting piece of musical instrument history, and a rare find, especially in perfect working order.

With original chipboard Case

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