Museum: Other Acoustic Guitars

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c.1936 Euphonon 16"

Arguably the most sought after vintage flat-tops that aren't Martin Guitars, the Larson-built larger-bodied Euphonons are both tremendously rare and beautiful. With their unique construction, very distinctive looks, excellent neck-feel, and some of the loudest, punchiest, opened-up vintage tone you'll likely hear, these instruments quickly become favorites of anyone who is lucky enough to play one.

The Euphonon brand was used by the Larson Brothers in the later part of their building years; and, although smaller-bodied Euphonons do exist, we generally associate large-bodied guitars with the Euphonon brand. At 16" wide, this Euphonon is pretty much the perfect size by most people's standards -- Its big enough to sound big, but not so large so as to swallow its tone up.

Brazilian rosewood back and sides, 4-5/16" deep at the endpin, tapering to 3-5/8 at the neck heel. Pearl-bordered spruce top, laminated braces, and inlaid pickguard. Pearl rosette, bound soundhole, and multi-layered purflings. Two-piece mahogany neck with rosewood and mahogany center strip, bound ebony fingerboard, and pearl inlayed headstock, bridge, and fingerboard. Original bridge, tuners, headstock-mounted strap-hanger, bone nut and endpin.

This guitar has not changed hands since 1977 when it was purchased in Austin Texas, and had not had any repairs since that time. Prior to that, its neck was perfectly reset, and the original bridge reglued. For some time a tailpiece was fastened to the guitar's bottom, and there are screw-holes that remain. There are no internal repairs of any kind, and no cracks of any significance. We suspect that the top has been over-sprayed and at least partially refinished, but the finish work is so old, well done, and nicely aged, that it's really quite hard to tell much about it with any certainty. The back and sides show no sign of finish repair, but do match the top under black light. It is possible that the back and sides were over-sprayed as well. The entire of the guitar's finish shows the very fine craze-lines typical of a 1930's Larson; the finish is thin and quite attractive. Whatever finish-work might have been done forty or more years ago was applied with great skill, restraint, and reverence for the instrument by a vintage sensitive repair person.

The guitar plays perfectly thanks to a fine set-up in our shop. The bone saddle is a new aged replacement by us as well. The frets may or may not be original -- they are old and have been dressed down, but still play well. The pearl inlays still have their original engraving detail. C-shaped neck, very modern in feel and profile, with 1-3/4" nut. 25.4" scale. Original full height bridge, perfect saddle height, and an action measuring 5 to just under 7 64ths at the 12th fret.

With dreadnought-like low-end, Gibsonesque midrange, an archtop-quick response, and that dry openness that only happens in old rosewood guitars, this is an instrument that certainly inspires. Flat picked or fingerstyle, it's that kind of good.

With hardshell case



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