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2014 Gibson Master Model L-5 Premier
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Serial #: 11814002, orange label. Oval Master Model label, signed James D. Culberson, June, 2nd, 2015
Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16" Neck depth: .86/.98, 1st/10th fret.
Finish: Cremona sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.
Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain spruce top; extravagantly quilted solid maple back; tiger flame maple neck and sides; solid ebony fingerboard with block mother of pearl inlays; abalone torch and headstock logo; 5-ply body and neck binding; bound f-holes; solid bone nut.
Hardware: 100% original gold hardware includes Gibson Schaller tuners, bound 5-ply tortoise pickguard, engraved gold tailpiece with deco insert, compensated adjustable Tuneomatic bridge with pearl inlaid foot; Gibson BJB floating humbucking pickup, with volume control and endpin jack.
Notes: Introduced in 1923, the Gibson L-5 was the first commercially produced archtop guitar. Almost 80 years later, it remains the most renowned archtop guitar of all time. Designed by Lloyd Loar himself, the L-5 was the guitar that D'Angelico copied, that Eddie Lang brought to fame, and players from Wes Montgomery to Adrian Lage carried to glory. In 1939, Gibson revolutionized the market with the first cutaway archtop guitars, dubbed the Premiere series, the first truly modern acoustic jazz guitars.
This spectacular instrument represents the rarest configuration of this model in recent years, and to many, the most desirable. It is an acoustic model, with a hand graduated, tap-tuned solid bookmatched spruce soundboard. It has a cutaway, for optimal access to the full fretboard.
It is also an exceedingly scarce item. Given their legendary status, it is always surprising to discover just how few acoustic L-5 models were produced in any given year: many years have only single digit production, and some none at all. And while the electric version (L-5CES) has remained in regular production, the acoustic version has been available by custom order only for some decades now. And Gibson head luthier James Culberson and his Custom Shop crew spared nothing on this magnificent guitar.
The deeply figured fiddleback maple of the back is expertly bookmatched in a dramatic chevron pattern. The grain of the quartersawn bookmatched Sitka spruce soundboard is exceedingly fine and deeply interwoven with crossgrain silk. The sides and neck are carved of tiger flame maple, and the fingerboard is ebony of the deepest and clearest hue. The pearl work is gorgeous as well, with an uncanny 3D depth. The art-deco tailpiece, unchanged in design since prewar days, is handsomely engraved, and the solid ebony bridge inlaid with pearl. The adjustable Tuneomatic bridge affords enhanced intonation control, or a compensated ebony bridge saddle may be substituted on request.
With its Custom Shop tag still affixed to the pickguard, the instrument appears virtually unplayed, without pick, thumb, buckle or fretwear, with its gleaming Cremona sunburst lacquer finish in unblemished condition. Indeed, the instrument shows every sign of having reclined in the comfort of its plush case since manufacture.
The neck has a traditional full C profile, solid in the hand, and the original medium jumbo fretwork is immaculate, with smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup. The classic parallel bracing produces a tone that is smooth and elegant, with excellent detail and articulation. And the look goes with anything, especially your tux. With original case, tags and Certificate of Authenticity, this blonde beauty is a rare find indeed. One only: call now.
Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel .012 flatwound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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 premium arched black Gibson hardshell case, with burgundy plush lining.