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Gibson 1928 L-5
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Serial #: 86622, white oval label.
Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24.9" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid Adirondack 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: Gold Grover Sta-Tite tuners with butterbean keys, original Gibson adjustable ebony bridge, gold Gibson L-5 logo trapeze tailpiece. Vintage correct triple bound dark tortoise pickguard.
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 eighth decade, it remains the most famous 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; the tone of these guitars is simply legendary, with a matchless blend of warmth, clarity and astonishing projection.
Built in mid-year, this instrument would have been one of the first to bear the white oval "Guaranteed" label. The presence of the center-dip, block inlay neck, gold L-5 logo trapeze tailpiece, and Grover Sta-Tite butterbean tuners would indicate that the instrument was refitted at the Gibson factory sometime between 1935 and mid-1937. Weighing in at just 5 lb. 10 oz. the guitar is wonderfully lightweight and well balanced, and shows fine fiddleback maple figure in the back, with a tiger flame neck.
Well played and well maintained, the instrument is in fine shape, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. The graceful original Cremona sunburst varnish finish on the body remains in place, and is touched up in a few areas with some true nitrocellulose lacquer. A pair of older dryness cracks near the tailpiece have been soundly cleated and resealed. The triple bound dark tortoise pickguard is made from an original template, with thick true nitro stock and grained ivoroid binding. Action is smooth and low over fresh vintage style fretwork, a full 1 3/4" nut on a gentle C profile neck with ebony fingerboard. The combination of soundboard age and vigorous play have given the instrument a phenomenally open, resonant voice, with exceptionally vibrant bass, juicy midrange, and sparkling natural reverb. And loud. Really, really loud.
Many modern players love the 20's vintage tone, but balk at the clunky V necks often found on guitars of that vintage. This one-of-a-kind guitar offers a superlative combination: true Eddie Lang sound in a comfy 16" body; fine contemporary neck feel; uniquely elegant looks, and a very attractive price for one of the most desirable archtops of all time.
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 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: Deluxe black arched plushlined fitted hardshell case.