1953 Epiphone "Triumph Regent"
This was my first blonde Epiphone acoustic, so to be held responsible for starting the mania. Previously owned by jazz and blues giants Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin (every second Epiphone on this planet at one time or another seems to have been owned by Duke).
Triumphs certainly are a “best buy” in an archtop, old or new, as they typically will outperform anything else in the equivalent price range. Though I have always been lucky, one has to be careful as Triumphs indisputably diverge more than the expensive instruments, and can be miss or a total hit. This one is simply fantastic, very lightweight and all about midrange drive - a true rhythm cannon.
I generally play roundwound strings. Though many people prefer flatwounds for anything jazz, I think on an acoustic archtop it takes away the openness of the tone and its natural resonance. After trying a dozen or so brands my preferred string is actually a very well known type, the D'Addario EJ-22 (013 gauge) - a very nice and balanced nickel wound set, a do-it-all string with good longevity, and very affordable too. I also sometimes use Tomastik Bebop’s.
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