Epiphone Broadway Archtop Electric Guitar, Natural
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- Laminate Maple body
- Select Spruce top
- Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups
- Rosewood fretboard
- 25.5 scale
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A guitar named for a street as big as the dreams it has inspired, the Epiphone Broadway still sets the standard for a jumbo jazz box. Still the largest at 17", no one matches its full-range, big jazz tone. This Times Square monster is voiced by two Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups on an ample Maple body with Select Spruce Top, Rosewood fingerboard and floating bridge and is properly outfitted with an authentic Epiphone Frequensator split-trapeze tailpiece. She also features Gold hardware , "Tree of Life" headstock inlay and "Block and Triangle" Abalone inlay on the fingerboard.
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It's not perfect out of the box, but necessary adjustments are simple for the most part. The factory strings are junk and too thin for a guitar of this sort. After trying several sets, I settled on D'Addario EJ22 Jazz Medium Nickel Steel Electric Guitar Strings (.013-.056). Big strings bring out the tone of this nice guitar. Pickup selector switches are a weak area for Epiphone as well. Mine gave out after a year or so and I replaced it with a Switchcraft. I've made a number of other small modifications, just to suit my own preferences. FWIW, I've paired it with a Roland Cube 80X amplifier. Not necessarily the obvious amplifier choice, but I'm after clean tone. The 12" speaker brings out the substantial low-end of the instrument as well. A number of more rock-oriented players replace the pickups, but I like them just the way they are. They have an unforced, natural sound that compliments the substantial acoustic output of the Broadway.
But it all gets back to construction. If a guitar isn't solidly-built, nothing you do will help. I've been more than happy with those basic qualities of this guitar. Epi focuses on rock players, so this archtop is something of a secret. As far as I've been able to find out, all of the Broadways are built in a Korean factory with notably better quality control than the mainland instruments that comprise the bulk of Epi's offering.
It's worth pointing out that this is a BIG instrument that's also fairly heavy. Make sure you've got a broad strap and comfy playing chair.