1953 Epiphone "DeLuxe Regent"
A bit later DeLuxe than the '51 above with the normal 'advanced sized' 17-3/8" inches body width. I do no longer own this guitar but it is the good hands in of an excellent jazz player, and connaisseur of archtop guitars in general.
This guitar has a nice history to it, as it was custom ordered (as one of only 3 blonde Deluxe Regent's made in 1953) by William G. Leavitt. Leavitt was a well-known player at that time and co-wrote My Baby's Coming Home, which was a hit for Les Paul that year. He afterward became chair of the guitar dept at Berklee College of Music, and authored the 'Modern method for Guitar' book series there. He used this guitar on performances with Ella Fitzgerald, Patti Page and Andy Williams; and while teaching to John Abercrombie, Al DiMeola, Kevin Eubanks, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, ... After Leavitt's passing the guitar was sold to rock guitar legend Jay Geils who later sold it to me (here it is shown in Jay's collection)
When I got the guitar it had not been played for decades probably, and after a 'stealth job' invisible refret and some playing-in time, it revealed a particularly balanced guitar. Electrified the gold plated DeArmond Super Chief Model 1100 pickup takes optimal advantage of its clarity and evenness of tone.
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Epiphone necks shapes can be a bit random and although this is relatively late production it has quite some bulk on the neck, which my big hands liked a lot. The guitar itself is pleasant sounding, and unlike Epiphone’s reputation as a rythm guitar not loud at all, it produces a very clear bell-like tone, undoubtedly intended for a solo player. It is said the wider the grain is, the boomier the tone, and that narrow grain results in a brighter sound. This must be true as this guitar has extremely fine wood with close grain, whereas my Triumph cannon for instance has a very wide grain.