1963 Epiphone FT-110 Frontier Wide Nut
Posted on August 08 2019
When Gibson purchased Epiphone in 1957 there was already a line of great flat-top guitars in place. The FT-110 featured Maple back and sides and Gibson gave it the name “Frontier”. They changed the entire body shape to a square shouldered 16 1/4″ wide dreadnought – the first Gibson had ever made. In 1962 they introduced the Gibson version of this guitar and called it the Dove because of the fancy pickguard. The Dove was made from this exact template but with a different bridge design and headstock shape. In 1963, the Frontier received a fancy pickguard with a lariat and cactus motif. The Frontier was produced with the cacti and lariat pickguard and the wide nut for a very short time period in 1963 - this is one of those guitars.
The short headstock 1963 Epiphone Frontier is the most desirable FT-110 because of the rare combination of the wide nut (1 11/16") and the cacti and lariat pickguard. Gibson produced the Frontier with this rare combination of features for only part of the year. This was also the only time period where the pickguard was applied before the lacquer was shot. This Frontier needs absolutely nothing and plays great as is. She’s set up nicely with a straight neck and medium to low action. Repairs include a neck reset, reglued bridge, fret dress and small glued crack next to the pickguard. There is some wear on the fretboard in the cowboy chord area but it does not affect the player's experience. The original tuning keys are in working order but some of the buttons have shrunk. I've installed new, perfect reproduction tuners that match the number of rings and the Kluson lines on the back correctly. This will be a fine guitar for many years to come.
This one has deep rumbly tone and has a lot of songs in her. The longer scale length (25.5″) gives this guitar a little more volume and low end rumble with a fairly light strum. The lariat and cacti motif draws me to this guitar but the tone is what keeps me there. The fact that it plays well keeps me there a long time. I’m very excited to be able to share this guitar with you. Call the number at the top of the page or use the contact form on the right to speak with me directly about this 1963 Epiphone FT-110 Frontier made in Kalamazoo, Michigan.