- Very Good Condition
- Year: circa 1952
- Includes Original Hard Shell Case
An interesting electric archtop from Orpheum, known in the 1952 catalog as the "Mighty Midget". This is definitely a unique 50's electric for the player on a budget. At the time, Orpheum branded instruments were often supplied quite instruments being built by other brands. With a design very similar to a Guild Freshman, the build quality also feels about the same, maybe with some nicer wood - as this example has a unique three dimensional flame in its maple top.
Construction wise this instrument is pretty impressive and it comes to us in good shape, ready to play. It's designed with a short 23" scale length and a 13.5" wide arch top body. Cosmetically the body has some bumps and bruises and pick wear on the south side of the treble strings. It has lived without a pick guard for some time, but a newer replacement LP style pick guard is included in the sale. Original pickups and electronics are present, with its three way switch replaced to a more modern Gibson style switch (instead of its original lever, which is included in the case). The P90 pickups function as they should with lower 7.38k output - currently the bridge pickup does sound a bit quieter than the neck, but still reads as it should on a meter. The tailpiece appears to have been changed to a modern chrome hanger which looks and functions as it should. The binding has cracks throughout but overall has held up - a similar issue you often see in old Gretsch guitars (who may have built this instrument). An interesting design choice, the neck appears to be bolted as well as glued.
The neck is straight and plays with medium low action that measures 6/64" in height at the twelfth fret of the sixth string, and about 4.5/64" on the first. The bridge is bottomed out on the thumb screws, but one might consider shaving it down as it is large for a smaller guitar like this anyhow. The frets are very clean with no dead spots. Open gear tuners function just as they should.
Comes with an older hardshell case (in very good condition with a blue interior).
A very cool budget friendly vintage electric!
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