Epiphone Zenith, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural

6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with 5-piece Mahogany/Maple Neck, Bone Nut, Historic Reissue Tuners, and Shadow Electronics - Vintage Natural
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Epiphone Zenith, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural image 1
Epiphone Zenith, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural image 1
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Epiphone Zenith, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural
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Modern Archtop with Historic Good Looks

Epiphone has enjoyed a reputation as one of early America's most celebrated archtop builders. The Epiphone Zenith New Century has the look and feel of a well-loved historic instrument with modern tone and tuning advancements. A soundhole gives this guitar a fat, forward unplugged tone you can enjoy anywhere. And German-designed Shadow electronics deliver a lively acoustic tone into a PA, or a smooth hollowbody sound into a tube amp. The Zenith New Century ships with Historic reissue 18:1 tuners and features a historic mother-of-pearl Epiphone banner inlay.

Epiphone Zenith New Century Archtop Acoustic-electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • Versatile tone for jazz clubs to coffeehouses
  • Rounded C neck profile is comfortable and full
  • Historic looks for an instant classic
Versatile tone for jazz clubs to coffeehouses

An electronics complement from German pickup maker Shadow Electronics makes the Epiphone Zenith New Century adaptable for everything from impromptu acoustic shows to full jazz sets. Plug into a PA for a modern acoustic direct tone, or run into an amp and hear this archbox come to life with nothing less than Epiphone's near-century of archtop expertise.

Rounded C neck profile is comfortable and full

The Zenith New Century's great-playing neck is made from five pieces of mahogany and maple. This construction promotes good warp resistance over time, and its medley of tonewoods represents the warmth and articulation Epiphone archtops are known for. Epiphone's chunky Rounded C neck profile feels great for chording.

Historic looks for an instant classic

Undeniable are the Zenith New Century's striking historic looks. From the Aged Gloss body finish to the Historic reissue tuners, Sweetwater guitarists were immediately impressed with the level of care that went into making the Zenith New Century look and feel like a historic instrument. Whether you're from the old school and are looking for an archtop with an old soul or from the new school and looking for some vintage flavor, the Epiphone Zenith New Century delivers.

Epiphone Zenith New Century Archtop Acoustic-electric Guitar Features:
  • Vibrant acoustic tone unplugged or into a PA
  • Smooth archtop tone into a tube amp
  • 5-piece mahogany/maple neck is responsive and strong
  • Chunky Rounded C neck profile feels nice for chording
  • Articulate ebony fingerboard adorned by falling leaves inlays
  • Aged gloss vintage finish and Historic Reissue tuners deliver a well-loved look
  • Mother-of-pearl banner headstock inlay pays tribute to Epiphone's early archtops
  • Historic reissue 18:1 tuners are stage rugged and studio accurate
  • German-designed Shadow electronics for convenient stage sound
A smooth archtop with a big-bodied acoustic tone: the Epiphone Zenith New Century!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

String Type Steel
Number of Strings 6
Body Shape Archtop with soundhole
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Color Vintage Natural
Finish Aged Gloss
Top Wood Solid Spruce
Back & Sides Wood Laminated flamed Maple
Body Bracing Longitudinal
Binding Top - 3 layer, Back - 3 layer, fingerboard - 1 layer
Neck Wood 5-piece Maple/Mahogany
Neck Shape Rounded C
Fingerboard Material Ebony
Fingerboard Inlay Pearloid falling snowflakes
Number of Frets 20, medium
Scale Length 25.5"
Tuning Machines Historic Epiphone reissue with Marboloid "Crown" buttons, 18:1 ratio
Bridge Material Rosewood, Floating adjustable
Nut/Saddle Material Bone nut
Nut Width 1.69"
Body Length 20.12"
Body Width 16" Lower, 11.6" Upper
Electronics eSonic HD preamp, Shadow NanoFlex HD under-saddle pickup, master volume, master EQ
Strings Cleartone .012-.053
Manufacturer Part Number ETZ1VNNH1

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
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Epiphone Zenith

Epiphone Masterbilt Century Zenith, Vintage Natural. Initial impression: When I first received the guitar there was lots of buzzing notes and notes that choke out when doing bends, not intonated. Poor quality workmanship, excess glue visible on the interior. There is a gap in the binding on the back of the guitar where the neck meets the body, some kind of filler used to close it. One of the tuners was loose and appears to be a different color. The tuner buttons appear to have some sort of marbled look that is very inconsistent and have visible mold marks. They look very cheap. They do, once tightened, work. The first thing I did upon unpacking was to remove the foam pad under the bridge. There is a video on Epiphones' site explaining the pad is there for protection during shipping and how to remove it. This is when the issues with playability became evident. I raised the bridge to make it playable and I suspect the relief needs to be adjusted also. A full set up is needed. Greg Vs' Setup & Maintenance dvds have a section on archtops I'll need to review. After playing for a couple of months and giving the tone a chance to open up, I must say I like the tone. It has elements similar to a nylon string guitar, not as bright as other guitars I have played. A very strong midrange that has mellowed somewhat as the guitar has opened up. Very sensitive to playing dynamics compared to the flattops I am used to. I can vary the tone greatly by how hard I play and where on the string I play. I don't know if this is a quality of all archtops or just this one, but I like it. This is the top of the Epiphone line! I expected a higher quality product, the components appear to be acceptable but the build quality marginal at best. Excess glue, gap in the binding, inconsistent tuner components, these are not attributes I would expect to find in their top of the line "Masterbuilt" products. Sweetwater: After receiving the guitar I contacted Sweetwater on two occasions. On the first, I pointed out the loose tuner and discoloration and was directed to a tech who was less than helpful, I tightened the tuner myself. As far as the "Sweetwater 55 Point Evaluation" goes, it was ineffective on this guitar. The guitar cannot be properly evaluated without removing the shipping pad under the bridge. You cannot set the action height, intonation etc. without removing this pad. When the pad was removed, it lowered the action causing issues with playability. To be fair, I did not give Sweetwater the opportunity to do much. I was not ready to return the guitar at this point. My concern was that I not to violate my warranty. For example, if I discovered stripped threads, or stripped them myself while tightening the tuner, it would be covered. On the second occasion, I sent Chris Carter, my Sweetwater sales rep, the initial draft of this review. It was at this point he replied, "From what it does sound like to me, we have some work to make this right for you". He expressed a willingness to search their inventory to find another guitar I preferred, and would personally inspect, send photos etc. I choose not to return the guitar mostly because I like the sound despite the issues with the construction. My issue was that the guitar was not in playing order when I received it. I expected to unpack, tune and play. This expectation is based on the "Fifty Five Point Inspection" and the belief that if I am spending my money on a new instrument it should arrive in playing condition. Chris and Sweetwater did all I can reasonably expect, they sent me some freebies, strings and such, about the cost of a setup. Conclusion: For my next new instrument purchase, I will not be considering Epiphone, but I would have no qualms about buying from Sweetwater again.
See also: Acoustic-Electric Guitars, Epiphone, Epiphone Acoustic / Electric Guitars