Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends


1928 Gibson L-3

Status: Pricing and hold status for all instruments currently available is shown on our Instruments page here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold, and is no longer available. Photos and descriptions of Previously Sold instruments may be found here. To be notified of examples of this model or similar instruments in the future, please contact [email protected],. Please be specific on which instrument(s) you're looking for, and we'll be happy to contact you as soon as they become available.

Serial #: 83299, white oval label. FON: 9003

Body size at lower bout: 13 5/8". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 13/16"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid bookmatched maple back and sides; solid one piece mahogany neck; solid ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl script peghead logo and fingerboard inlay.

Hardware: 100% original hardware includes adjustable truss rod; Pat. date nickel trapeze tailpiece with over-under crossbar; 3 on a plate open back tuners with grained ivoroid keys; compensated adjustable ebony bridge; contoured tortoise pickguard with Pat. date stamp.

Notes: Introduced in 1902, the Gibson L-3 archtop is one of the company's most venerable models. Gibson's unique carved body guitars were a revolutionary innovation: with their arched soundboards and backs, and tailpiece-and-bridge construction, the instruments were specifically designed for steel strings, and produced greatly increased volume and projection over the diminutive parlor guitars of the day.

The 13" 'Concert' size body was standardized on the L-3 in 1908, along with the 13 fret neck, bound fingerboard, and script logo. The red mahogany finish was standard by 1918, and the trapeze tailpiece by 1924. Most significantly for the contemporary player, the adjustable truss rod made its debut in late 1922, giving Gibson necks unprecedented playability and action control. Discontinued by 1933, the L-3 is one of the rarer Gibson archtops, and late models with the adjustable rod are especially prized.

At just over 4 lb. this instrument is exceptionally light in weight, with its finely carved parallel-braced soundboard offering remarkable clarity, definition, and headroom. At the same time, the round port produces a uniquely mellow and resonant tone, with a bit more sustain and lower midrange response than later f-hole guitars.

With it's generous 1 13/16" nut, the L-3 is particularly well suited to fingerstyle play, and positively barks under a good stiff pick. This example is in superb condition, without buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and showing just a bit of light pick wear on the treble side of the pickguard. The neck is contoured to a generous V profile, and the solid ebony fingerboard is admirably straight, with smooth low action over fine original frets. An older crack extending to either side of the neck heel has been soundly resealed long ago. Smooth low action over a solid V profile neck and solid ebony fingerboard.

Ideal for ragtime, blues, early jazz or old-time country, the L-3 is a versatile performer, comfy to hold, and a delight to play. One only: call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as necessary; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; 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 nickel 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 black arched plush lined hardshell case.




































Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends