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1934 Gibson L-10

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Serial #: (91)450

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24.9" Nut Width: 1 3/4"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid handcarved maple back and sides, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, variegated 'picture frame' mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and ornate peghead inlay; bound peghead and body; original bone nut.

Hardware: Original "Pat. Pend' nickel trapeze tailpiece; original compensated adjustable ebony bridge with compensated saddle. Vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard, Waverly 16X1 butterbean tuning machines, Kent Armstrong 2D floating humbucker with thumbwheel tone and volume controls, Vintage Jack 'no-drill' endpin jack.

Notes: Until the very end of the roaring '20s, if you wanted a professional quality archtop guitar your options were largely limited to a single instrument: the legendary Gibson L-5. Introduced in 1923 at a whopping $250, the top-shelf L-5 was simply out of reach for most working players, so in 1929 the company debuted a more affordable alternative, the elegant model L-10 . Built in very limited numbers, the Gibson L-10 was introduced with identical body size, materials, scale length and bracing as the L-5, but with a very distinctive jet black finish. Originally fitted with a simple dot-inlay fingerboard and a plain script-logo headstock, the 16" L-10 was eventually decorated with 'picture-frame' Mastertone fingerboard inlays and a unique ornate peghead design, until the model was upsized in late 1934. Produced in very small numbers, the L-10 model was discontinued by 1939, becoming Gibson's rarest prewar pro-sized archtop.

This example is from the last year of production for the 16" body, and has been preserved in exceptionally fine condition. The top, back, sides and neck are free of cracks, pick, buckle, thumb and fingerboard wear, and the original ebony finish still shows light checking under a gentle dusting of more recent nitro lacquer. The original binding is tight and intact, and a vintage correct bound tortoise guard installed. Hardware includes the original 20's style 'Pat. Pend' nickel trapeze tailpiece and costly Waverly 16X1 butterbean tuners. A black Kent Armstrong 2D floating humbucker has been discreetly installed, with thumbwheel tone and volume controls, and a Vintage Jack 'no-drill' endpin jack.

The instrument is notably light in weight, and the finely aged parallel-braced soundboard has a brilliant, highly resonant voice, with exceptional clarity and projection. The neck has a comfy classic vee profile, and the fingerboard has a generous 1 3/4" nut width, enhanced with fresh precision fretwork, for low, smooth action. Extremely rare and uniquely elegant, this handsome guitar is one of the rarest birds in the Gibson aviary.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; 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; bridgewheels 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 hardshell case with green crushed velour lining.





































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