The Epiphone FT-79 model made quite a transition when the Gibson company purchased Epiphone in 1957. The FT-79 had previously been made with a long scale neck and a peanut shaped body with an arched back. The Gibson acquisition meant that many of the half finished parts from the old Epi factory were shipped from New York, NY to Kalamazoo, MI. Like many of the 1957-1960 Epiphones, Gibson mated leftover Epiphone necks to Gibson made bodies. They even used some other leftover parts such as laminate Poplar unkerfed lining. The new Texan used long scale Epiphone made necks mated to J-50 style bodies. The new Texan was essentially a long scale J-50 meaning loud long scale volume and big mid to low end Gibson thump. Transitional Texans with Epi made necks are quite rare so I’m very proud to be showing you this one today.
This 1958 Epiphone FT-79 Texan has survived in fantastic original condition with no changed parts or significant wear. It’s got loads of volume and mid range rumble. The setup is excellent and it’s really a joy to play. Repairs include a long ago bridge reglue, one reglued back brace and two glued back cracks. The guitar is now in excellent playing condition and is ready to go back on the road or in your studio. There was likely a metal epsilon logo glued to the pickguard but it has long since been lost. The finish is nice and soft but shows standard finish checking typical of Nitrocellulose finishes this old. The action is medium low with great break angle over the original saddle. The original case is an Ess&Ess made hard case that is in solid structural but fair cosmetic condition.
This rare transitional Epiphone FT-79 Texan has all the cool features that discerning collectors and players look for. The mid 1950s round shoulder J bodies are highly regarded for their stunning good looks, build quality and tonal response. The long scale New York made Epiphone neck adds a bit more drive to the top that gives the Texan a bit more volume and low end rumble. These features combined with the unique historical provenance add together for a very cool package for both the player and the collector.