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Author Topic:  Epiphone Electar Zephyr
Lonnie Wells


Post  Posted 18 Sep 2023 3:12 pm    
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Need some advice! I picked up an old Epiphone Electar 6 string lap over the weekend. According to the serial number this one dates to 1940. It's definitely been played and shows the wear, dirt and cigarette smoke film from years of use. Pick up, volume and tone controls still work as they should.

I'm debating whether to strip this one down and refinish or not. Is there any vintage value to a steel like this and any reason not to refinish? Appreciate any comments!

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Tony Glassman

The Great Northwest
Post  Posted 18 Sep 2023 3:33 pm    
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I’ve got the same guitar, though it’s a 7-string. I love the 80 year old vintage look. It even has a mohair lap pad on the bottom. Personally, I would never dream of refinishing it.
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Noah Miller

Rocky Hill, CT
Post  Posted 18 Sep 2023 4:41 pm    
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It's worth at least $500, maybe $700 on a good day. Refinish it - for apparently no good reason - and you cut that by 50% at least.
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Lonnie Wells


Post  Posted 19 Sep 2023 5:25 am    
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Tony and Noah, thanks for the advice. I'm fairly new to lap steels and wasn't sure how collectable this particular model is or if refinishing would affect it's worth.

I'll just do a good cleaning and polishing and keep it in original condition. thanks again.
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Jim Sliff

Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 22 Sep 2023 12:28 pm    
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I have 2 or those - the wear is minimal - just discoloration like yours and adds to the history of the instrument. The first thing vintage collectors and dealers do when they see a stripped or refinished one is think "How sad."

There's no way to "fix" that - whoever did it thought it was an upgrade when it's really irreversible damage.

The pickups are amazing, with massive magnet assemblies

When cleaning it up only apply a light buffing compound - never car polish or wax. You never want to add anything to the finish, just buff what's there!
No chops, but great tone
1930's/40's Rickenbacher/Rickenbacker 6&8 string lap steels
1921 Weissenborn Style 2; Hilo&Schireson hollownecks
Appalachian, Regal & Dobro squarenecks
1959 Fender 400 9+2 B6;1960's Fender 800 3+3+2; 1948 Fender Dual-8 Professional
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