Ok "Bad Dogs", tell me what you know about "Orpheum" Guitars.

ronzhd

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Saw guy wanting to trade this guitar for an amp 4 of 5 years ago. I had a Bjr. with a new Weber speaker that I wasn't particularly fond of, so I swapped him out. Yeah, only one P-90 and the paint looks like it was a re-spray. The damn thing plays great, stays in tune and the neck is really sweet. I can't find much of anything out about the "Orpheum" brand. It was made in New York and I think it was a budget guitar. It came in a case with a hand written set list with tunes that were more like "rags". Lots of Mojo here.
Thanks in advance for any info you can share.
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jhundt

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I don't know anything about that guitar, except that I would buy it in a flash the second I saw it. That is MY kind of guitar!
 

Bones

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I have one(different model) that needs a neck re-set and frets, not really worth it so it's in the basement. The fact that it's as wprn out as it is leads me to believe that someone played it for many years, so it was probably a decent guitar at one time.
 

soulgeezer

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Here are a couple...

http://www.fetishguitars.com/distributor-brands/orpheum-maurice-lipsky/

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic/H3VNAnTYc_s

The upshot:

"The subject of Orpheum guitars is one of those obscure corners of guitardom awaiting more research, and what has been published is vague and at times contradictory. The Orpheum brand dates back to the late 19th century and is primarily associated with William L. Lange of New York.

In the late 1800s, James H. Buckbee was one of the top New York banjo makers. He supplied instruments to other companies, which marketed them under their own house brands. Buckbee sold his business to Lange and William P. Rettberg in 1897, and they introduced the well-respected Orpheum-brand banjos.

In around 1921 Lange apparently took over the business and sold both Orpheum and Paramount banjos. When the guitar overtook the banjo in the 1930s, Lange added Paramount guitars to his line. He is reported to have marketed some Orpheum-brand guitars, but this is not certain and nothing is known of them.

Lange weathered the Great Depression but went out of business in 1941 or '42. In 1944 the Orpheum brand name was picked up by New York distributor Maurice Lipsky, who applied it to both guitars and banjos. Most Orpheum guitars I've encountered date from the Lipsky era.

In the 1950s, Lipsky marketed Orpheum electric archtops and little Les Paul-sized electric hollow-bodies, which look very much like those made by United (formerly Oscar Schmidt) in Jersey City, the source of many similar Premier guitars sold by Sorkin, Lipsky's competitor at the time.

In the early 1960s, Lipsky began to use the Orpheum name on guitars imported from Japan, but the name doesn't seem to have survived beyond the big crash of 1968. In any case, be cautious when purchasing an instrument with the Orpheum brand name."
 

Wildeman

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Zombie thread I know, but there's so little out there about these guitars and alot of its wrong too. These were made in Jersey by United/ Code who made a ton of low end acoustics similar to Harmony and Kay, strictly catalog/ department store things. The electric guitars are much higher quality and can be awesome, the Franz pickups sound killer and very unique, the quality is right up with the highest end Kays and Harmonys, kinda even Gretsch like. Here's my 17" archtop, it's missing it's decal so I had to do alot of sleuthing to find out what it was. It's really fun to play, it takes me to a different time.
It's previous owner (Earl Flint) thought enough of it to get a custom engraved truss cover!
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