Majestic Levin Model 1N De Luxe, built around 1953 in Göteborg, in very good condition.

This wide-bodied archtop, introduced in 1947, constitutes in some ways the Swedish answer to the cutaway Super 400 produced by Gibson across the Atlantic. Equipped with an 18-inch body (shallower than that of the Super 400, which makes it easier to get your arm around!) with a carved spruce top and walnut sides and back (also carved), this guitar lives up to its name since it is in fact the most expensive orchestral guitar marketed by Levin at the time, for a decent sum of 1395 Swedish crowns for a Natural finish model.

In addition to its stunning finish, the entire instrument exudes opulence: multi-ply binding on the entire body, fingerboard, headstock and around the soundholes, engraved perloid fingerboard inlays, headstock decorated with a superb perloid pattern, gold-plated tailpiece bearing the name of the model… The guitar was electrified during the 1960s using a set of DeArmond Model 41 Toaster pickups; these are dated 1962 and are particularly well suited in that their installation does not require any extensive routing in the center of the solid table as they are simply held in place by a pair of screws. We thus retain all of the acoustic quality of the guitar, while having access to a varied sound palette once connected to an amplifier, the DeArmond being ideally designed for the reproduction that archtop sound, immediately evocative of period recordings. We have carried out all the work necessary to restore perfect playability to this 70-year-old lady: complete refretting, making a new bone nut, adjustment of the original ebony bridge to obtain low action and intonation at its best ; note that the tuners have been replaced by a Grover set. After a playthrough, it is certain that the De Luxe has nothing to envy of its American cousin, and although it does not enjoy (wrongly!) the same aura that the Gibson archtops have monopolized, it is a fantastic musical instrument and an impressive example of lutherie in its own right. In conclusion, we will remember the most famous photo of the monument of continental jazz that was Django Reinhardt, immortalizing him playing a Levin De Luxe from another time than the one presented here – we know that his preference was given to another European guitar, but couldn’t we say that the mark of quality guitars is to find themselves in the hands of the greatest? That’s all we could want for the future of this guitar!

Sold with its original case, condition as-is.


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