Epiphone Electar 1939

Used – Excellent
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Guitar Vintners
Hope, ID, United States
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About This Listing

Epiphone Electar Lap Steel Guitar w/ Meissner adjustable pole pickup
Circa 1939
Excellent condition. One of my favorite lap steels. One of the few models I keep in my personal collection. Meissner's pickups have an edge over most Rickenbachers from the same era. Bigger stronger magnets. Higher output. Great overall signal translation. B.F. Meissner was a pioneer electronic engineer in the audio amplification field. He patented an electric piano in the early '30's. And developed electric instruments of many types. From harmonicas to tympani. He made horseshoe pickups that have been found on a few models of Epiphone, Vega & Oahu lap steel guitars from 1936. Then Rickenbacher's lawyer threatened a lawsuit and we no longer saw these pickups being used. I've been interested in vintage lap steels for about 51 years now & have been fortunate to be able to familiarize myself with all known models of vintage pups. My favorite vintage lap steels have been wooden bodied models with their associated harmonics. Vintage OHSC. Please inquire for specifics. This particular instrument is beautifully executed. A painted and etched aluminum top plate extends (& reinforces) up the neck to the nut. One hell of a pickguard. This guitar shows little wear. I've seen new demo guitars that were in worse condition. This is classic museum quality.
A review from another vintage gear aficionado:
An interesting early lap steel from Epiphone. The black-painted wooden body is oblong with stepped edges; Art Deco ornamentation is etched into a metal top overlay; the whole effect is very "1930's skyscraper at night". This Meissner pickup is an evolution of prior developments. The coil is wrapped in black tape and features adjustable polepieces. Octagonal control knobs.

The bound rosewood fingerboard has multicolored dot inlay and inlayed fret lines. The nut and tailpiece/bridge combination are milled aluminum. The tuners are individual open back Grover Sta-tites with metal buttons. The headstock metal plate reads "Epiphone Electar" and there is a plate on the back referencing the licensed patents of Meissner Inventions, a firm that in the 1930's claimed patent protection on the concept of electric musical instruments. There are also felt-covered pads on the back of the instrument. Overall length is 30.25 in. (76.8 cm.), 7.25 in. (18.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1.75 in. (4.4 cm.) deep. Scale length is 22.5 in. (572 mm.).
About me: I try to acquire, play, and sell only the finest most sought after instruments.
I vastly prefer mint or near mint works of gear. I’ve been a collector for over 52 years. Over 950 vintage guitars have passed through my hands.
I've had several of this model, but this is as clean as I’ve seen. It's so pristine I considered keeping it for myself.........but I already have several and way more than enough other gear as it is.
*Please see our other listings and store for many other Vintage (Lap Steel) Guitars and Amplifiers. We've been in this business for over 50 years & currently have Alamos, Audio Vox, Bronsons, Dickersons, Dobros, English, Epiphones, Fenders, Gibsons, Harlin Bros, Harmonys, Kays, Maestros, Magnatones, McKinney, Nationals, Oahus, Rickenbachers, Sho Bud, Silvertones, Supertones, Supros, Vegas, and White Lap Steels as well as several others. We've been in the guitar business for over 50 years. We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments*

*We also accept Cashier's Checks, Bank Transfers & other forms of payment. We ship (worldwide) at cost. Please contact for information.*

Reviews of this Shop


Product Specs

Listed4 years ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Made In
  • United States

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