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1939 Gibson L-5

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Serial #: EA-5695

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25.4" Nut Width: 1 10/16"

Finish: Sunburst, nitrocellulose type.

Materials: Deeply figured solid bookmatched bubble maple back and sides; handcarved bookmatched solid Adirondack spruce top; five piece flame maple neck with walnut centerstripes; quintuple bound solid ebony fingerboard with block mother of pearl inlay and pointed finial; quintuple bound peghead and body with bound f-holes; solid bone nut.

Hardware: 100% original hardware includes original engraved deco L-5 tailpiece; original quintuple bound dark tortoise pickguard; originl gold Kluson Sealfast tuners with swirled amber Catalyn keys; original compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge.

Notes: Making it's debut in 1922, the Gibson L-5 was created by the legendary Lloyd Loar, father of the renowned F-5 mandolin. The L-5 is perhaps his most influential creation, and is widely regarded as the first successful commercially produced archtop guitar. Now in its eighth decade, it remains the most famous jazz guitar of all time.

Produced in the immediate prewar era, this guitar is one of the first 17" body L-5 models built with a parallel braced soundboard, for increased projection and cutting power. Of particular note is the extravagantly figured bubble figure maple splayed across the entire back and sides. The original hardware includes compensated adjustable rosewood bridge, engraved gold deco style tailpiece with "Varitone" angle adjuster, and original gold Kluson Sealfast tuners, with amber Catalyn buttons, the rarest and most desirable keys fitted on any Gibson guitar.

A superb example, the guitar has been lovingly maintained. The instrument is without buckle, thumb, or fingerboard wear, and the original sunburst finish shows just a small patch of pickwear near the guard. The multi-ply binding is all original, tight and in excellent shape, as is the rare original bound tortoise pickguard, and the gold plating is in excellent condition, with the ornate prewar style engraving in the adjustable art-deco Varitone tailpiece. The fresh pro frets are immaculately leveled and crowned, bridge height is excellent, and the action is smooth and low over a slim, gently rounded 'C' profile neck. (Remarkably fast for an neck of its era, this sleek profile is ideal for the contemporary player looking for big prewar tone, without the typically husky vintage neck.) The finish shows just a bit of spot touchup here and there, some very fine normal checking including a hairline check on the heel, and the back centerseam has been soundly resealed for several inches.

The voice is notably powerful, with particularly deep rich lower mids, and a clear, even range extending to brilliant highs, with exceptional projection and warmth. With graceful prewar looks, powerful performance, and a distinctly modern feel, this extraordinary guitar is a winning combination indeed for the contemporary player.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as required; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation strobe tuned; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings (.013-.057). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original brown Gibson hardshell case with pink plush lining.




















































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