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1928 Gibson L-5
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Serial #: 87997, white oval label.
Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24 1/2" Nut Width: 1 3/4"
Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid bookmatched tiger flame maple back and sides; solid three piece maple neck with walnut centerstripe; solid ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl script peghead logo and fingerboard inlay, abalone flowerpot peghead inlay; triple bound fingerboard, body, peghead and pickguard.
Hardware: 100% original gold hardware includes Grover open-back tuners with butterbean keys, compensated adjustable ebony bridge, Pat. stamped over-under trapeze tailpiece, triple-bound dark tortoise pickguard, solid pearl nut, adjustable truss rod.
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. One of the most influential instrument designers of the 20th century, Loar pioneered a number of key innovations, including very early work on the electric guitar. The Gibson L-5 is perhaps his most influential creation, and is widely regarded as the first successful commercially produced archtop guitar. Now in its ninth decade, the L-5 remains the most celebrated and influential jazz guitar of all time.
Of all model years for the L-5 to date, the year 1928 has been the one most requested here over many years. Instruments built in this year possess a neck profile that is uniquely sought after by players for its graceful light D contour. Distinctly slimmer in depth than Loar era versions, the '28 neck also avoids the harder V shape found in many later 16" models. It's also the last full year for the classic dot fingerboard, with its understated elegance. Finally, the tone of these guitars is simply legendary, with a matchless blend of warmth, clarity and astounding projection.
The body shows spectacular bookmatched fiddleback maple in the back, sides and neck, with a finely carved quartersawn spruce soundboard. Carefully maintained, the instrument is in fine shape, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, showing only a few scattered nicks in the graceful Cremona sunburst finish. Hardware and case are 100% original, with the serial # of the label inscribed on the underside of the bridge foot as well. One of the last fitted with the shorter pickguard of the Loar era, the guitar is one of the first with the white oval 'Guaranteed' Gibson label. A few tight grainline cracks near the soundholes have been soundly resealed long ago, and the body is finished in the gleaming original varnish, with a bit of light overspray applied some years ago to the top only.
Weighing in at a phenomenal 4 lb. 9 oz. (2.08 kg) the guitar is exceptionally lightweight, well balanced, and powerfully resonant. The voice is clear and deep with brilliant projection, and volume exceeding many 18" guitars. Open and rich, the bass register has remarkable carrying power, with pronounced natural reverb in the upper register: simply thrilling to play. The action is smooth and low over fresh vintage style fretwork, a generous 1 3/4" nut, and the clear dark ebony fingerboard.
With a unique combination of power and refinement, these guitars have been widely imitated, but never improved. 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 bronze strings (.013-.057). 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 black Gibson plush lined hardshell case.