2016 Epiphone Olympic Masterbilt – £449
NEW ARRIVAL As part of Epiphone’s Masterbilt reissue series, the Olympic is one of the most interesting. Of all 30’s Epiphone archtops, the Olympic has become the most desirable – simply because David Rawlings plays one. And because of this, original 30’s examples have really shot up in price. So buying a Masterbilt reissue is a very affordable way of getting close to his tone. The guitar stays close to the original, with a solid Spruce top, laminate Maple back and sides, and the vintage style tailpiece and tuners are a classy touch. In jazz mode, playing comping chords, it really cuts through the mix. In country style, it makes a great roots rhythm guitar. When soloing you can hear why it’s David Rawlings guitar of choice – compared to a flat top, the Olympic produces notes with considerably more body, woody sustain and clarity. It has a Shadow Nanoflex pickup fitted with controls discretely mounted inside the F hole. All in all it’s a great little archtop, very playable, really cool looking, and in excellent condition.