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1934 Gibson L-4

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Serial #: 92074, white oval label.

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, variegated mother of pearl inlay fingerboard inlay and fleur de lis peghead inlay; bound fingerboard, peghead and body.

Hardware: Original "Pat. Pend" nickel trapeze tailpiece, original nickel-plated Grover Sta-Tite open back tuners, original compensated adjustable ebony bridge. Vintage correct dark nitrocellulose 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 Gibson L-4 has the distinction of being the longest running model in company history. Introduced in 1912 with an oval sound hole, the L-4 has remained in production in various permutations to this day, with a brief hiatus in the 70's and early 80's. Modified to a round hole 14 fret guitar in 1928, the L-4 was finally offered with f-soundholes in late 1934, when Gibson upsized the L-5, L-12 and L-7 models to the 17 inch "Advanced" body. (In fact, the f-hole L-4 is cosmetically identical to the 16" L-7, as evidenced by the inscription on the underside of the bridge of this guitar, where along with the serial #, the letters "L-7" are written in pencil.)

Produced with the same body as the 20's L-5, the Gibson L-4 was adorned with variegated pearl "Nick Lucas" fingerboard inlays borrowed from the banjos of the previous decade, making the L-4 inlay actually more ornate than it's costlier cousin. This example is the earliest f-hole L-4 we have found to date, and has been maintained in exceptionally fine original condition. (Originally made for export, the guitar has the 'Made In USA" stamp impressed in the back of the headstock.) The neck is quite comfortable, with a slightly V-shaped neck profile, and maintains the generous 1 3/4" nut width of the 20's L-5, now a favorite of modern builders. The guitar is in amazing shape, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and shows only a single short soundly resealed grainline crack in the upper back. The formal dark 20's style sunburst finish is all original, and the walnut back finish shows particularly vivid tiger flame figure in the carved maple back. Hardware is original as well, with the addition of a vintage correct thick tortoise pickguard.

At just 4lb. 10oz. the guitar is phenomenally lightweight, and practically floats in the lap. The voice is clean, clear, brilliantly resonant, and wide open, with the sort of natural reverb we associate with a very finely carved top. 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 an excellent lifelong companion.

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 black deluxe hardshell case with arched lid and plush lining.





































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