Epiphone Zenith Classic, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural

6-string Archtop Acoustic-electric Guitar with Sitka Spruce Top, Flame Maple Back and Sides, 5-piece Maple/mahogany Neck, Ebony Fingerboard, and Shadow Electronics - Vintage Natural
Epiphone Zenith Classic, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural image 1
Epiphone Zenith Classic, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural image 1
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Epiphone Zenith Classic, Masterbilt Century Collection - Vintage Natural
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A Golden-era Guitar for Today's Player

The Epiphone Zenith Classic New Century is a reissue of its Zenith archtop from the 1930s, an instrument that helped put the brand on the map as a leading guitar manufacturer. The original Zenith's clarity and classic looks are intact in today's Zenith Classic thanks to a solid spruce arched top and vintage-inspired decor. And features like the onboard Shadow pickup system bring the Zenith Classic New Century into the modern age, delivering a plugged-in voice that embodies the natural character of a great archtop acoustic.

Epiphone Zenith Classic New Century Archtop Acoustic-electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • Reissue from the golden age of archtops
  • Assertive tone for lead or rhythm work
  • Modern electronics and playability
Reissue from the golden age of archtops

The New Century line re-introduces the 6-string guitars Epiphone was making in the 1930s. These designs were elegant, effortless to play, and became favorites of many top players of the time. Vintage examples of these models are hard to find and deservedly come at a premium. Now's your chance to put the iconic sounds yesterday in your stable of favorite guitars.

Assertive tone for lead or rhythm work

Assertive may be the best term to describe the full, yet cutting tone of a great archtop acoustic guitar. This sound puts much of the focus on the guitar's midrange, making the instrument superb for powerful chord work and letting your single-note runs really jump off of the fretboard, which was essential for cutting through the sound of your band in the days before modern guitar amplification. The Zenith Classic New Century delivers this character through its solid spruce arched top and laminated flame maple back and sides.

Modern electronics and playability

While the design of the Zenith Classic New Century archtop looks back to the 1930s, updates abound that prepare this instrument for the demands of a modern musician's lifestyle. This archtop lives for the stage thanks to its onboard Shadow electronics system. The controls are tucked neatly away so as not to interrupt the vintage and curvy lines of the guitar. And Sweetwater players found it easy to get excited over the modern C neck profile, which promises to remain comfortable over long gigs.

Epiphone Zenith Classic New Century Archtop Acoustic-electric Guitar Features:
  • Archtop acoustic-electric that recalls Epiphone's New York years
  • Solid, arched spruce top delivers unmistakable vintage tone
  • Full-sounding maple body with Sitka spruce top
  • Epiphone mother-of-pearl decorative headstock inlay
  • Elegant Falling Leaves fingerboard inlays
  • Shadow electronics deliver a natural plugged-in tone
  • Real bone nut
Relive the early glory days of archtops with the Epiphone Zenith Classic New Century archtop!

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Additional Media

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

String Type Steel
Number of Strings 6
Body Shape Acoustic Archtop
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Color Vintage Natural
Finish Aged Gloss
Top Wood Solid Spruce
Back & Sides Wood Laminated Flame Maple
Body Bracing Longitudinal
Binding 3-layer Body, 1-layer Fingerboard, 2-layer F-hole
Neck Wood 5-piece Laminated Maple/Mahogany
Neck Shape Rounded C
Fingerboard Material Ebony
Fingerboard Inlay Pearloid Falling Snowflakes
Number of Frets 20
Scale Length 25.5"
Tuning Machines Historic reissue 18:1 tuners
Bridge Material Rosewood
Nut/Saddle Material Bone
Nut Width 1.69"
Body Length 20.12"
Body Width 16" Lower Bout, 11.6" Upper Bout
Electronics eSonic HD preamp with Shadow NanoFlex HD undersaddle pickup
Strings Cleartone 12-53 gauge strings
Manufacturer Part Number ETZ2VNNH1

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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I was drawn to this guitar because of Epiphone's Masterbilt reputation of high quality at a fair price. But being a fan of clean jazz tones, I was a little hesitant to get this guitar, knowing that there is only a bridge pickup and no neck pickup. Well, unplugged, its tone IS quite bright, full, and LOUD. The solid carved top and minimal attached hardware make it as loud as any guitar I have played, acoustically. I nearly forgot it was electric! Then I plugged it in and the magic began. On one end, it has the gypsy-jazz twangy tone I knew it would have. Then I turned the tone knob all the way up and out came a beautiful, thick, clean jazz tone that I hoped it would have. It is amazing how a mere bridge pickup can produce such a wide tonal range. The neck, with its buttery ebony fretboard, plays quite well, with low action and perfect intonation as set up by Sweetwater. And the appearance..... understated elegant simplicity. They did a great job replicating the instruments of the thirties. And thanks to Brandon for the great deal and quick shipment!! Get one.... you will not regret it.
Music background: Semi-pro, played for 50+ years, on Youtube

A Very Solid Guitar with Room for Improvement

This guitar seems to receive near perfect reviews across the net with almost no drawbacks listed. As an aggressively gigging musician I must say that while this is a very well built guitar and a great sounding guitar, it has a few drawbacks that shpuld be known to potential buyers, especially if you intend to gig with the guitar. First, the tone knob inside the guitar is hazardous in a live music situation. It is very loose and spins far too easily. Just an accidental flick changes the tone from super bright to bass machine. This is a huge feedback hazard in a small venue. I have dialed my tone in and taped the knob so it cannot be moved during a show. Also, there is no way to know exactly where you are except by going to the end in each direction and then guessing as you move toward the middle. This makes setting up a consistent tone very frustrating and challenging. Second, the action is set up too low out of the factory. Fret buzz is immediately apparent and using a capo at the 2nd or 3rd fret kills the tone in a hurry. I raised my action significantly (approx 3/8") on both sides before achieving a nice buzz free tone. This affects playability to some degree but really beings out the tone and quality of the guitar. Third, you have to have a good DI to get proper tone when plugged in. This guitar does well with both LR Baggs and Fishman DI's. If going into an amp, the results are iffy. I plugged this in to a 59 Gibson skylark and the results were awful. A fender twin may serve it better, or if solid state is your thing, an Acoustic Brand amp would have this thing singing like a canary. Dont get me wrong, these guitars sound great and can be used to play a wide array of music with great results. Just keep in mind that if you intend to gig with this instrument you will have to spend some time getting it setup in a way that you can use it regularly without pulling your hair out...
See also: Acoustic-Electric Guitars, Epiphone, Epiphone Acoustic / Electric Guitars