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1934 Gibson L-12, Rare Gibson 'Vibra-Rest' Tailpiece

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Serial #: 90665 white oval label. FON#: 861

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

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid mahogany neck, solid figured maple back and sides, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, Mastertone style 'picture frame' mother of pearl inlay fingerboard and peghead inlay; bound fingerboard, peghead and body.

Hardware: Original hardware includes , compensated adjustable ebony bridge. Vintage correct aged nickel open back tuners, bound tortoise pickguard.

Notes: If you always admired the superlative L-5's of the 1920's, but blanched at their astronomical prices, this is a guitar you should know about. Many folks feel that Gibson never surpassed the classic lines and magnificent tone of the original Lloyd Loar body design. The guitars are extraordinarily lightweight, with elegantly slim f-holes and some of the most delicately carved tops Gibson ever made. The resulting instruments possess a richness and transparency that is remarkable for instruments of any size.

The original version 16" L-12 is a rare model, made for four years only between 1930 and 1934. Produced with the same body as the 20's L-5, the L-12 was adorned with variegated pearl fingerboard inlays much fancier than it's costlier cousin. These so-called 'picture frame' inlays were actually ornate Mastertone banjo inlays, routed out of unused fingerboards from the 20's. Most remarkably, this example is equipped with an extremely rare original Gibson Model 902 Vibra-Rest tailpiece. Designed expressly for acoustic archtop guitars, this pioneering innovation was one of the earliest hand operated vibrato tailpieces, preceeding the modern Bigsby and Fender 'whammy bars' by almost two decades. (For those preferring a conventional tailpiece, a vintage correct antique nickel raised-diamond trapeze tailpiece may be substituted at no extra cost.)

This handsome instrument is supplied by the family of the original owner, and has been maintained in fine condition, with all original finish including the dark Cremona sunburst on the soundboard and dark walnut stain on the carved maple back and sides. The guitar was built in the last year for the generous 1 3/4" nut width, now a favorite of modern builders, with smooth low action and fresh precision fretwork over the traditional prewar V-shaped neck profile. The centerseam has been soundly resealed under the tailpiece, and a single grainline crack under the pickguard professionally cleated and reglued.

At just over 5lb. the instrument is phenomenally light in weight, well balanced and warmly resonant. The voice is clear, forceful, and wide open, with abundant natural reverb. In sum, for style, comfort, and tone comparable to the classic L-5 at a fraction of the cost, this guitar is an unbeatable value, and one of the rarest of all Gibson archtops. One only: call now.

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; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

Case: Original Gibson deluxe black hardshell case with arched lid and silk plush lining.





































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