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1936 Gibson L-4

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Serial #: 93493, stamped on white oval label. FON#: 765B-4

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, solid maple sides, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, variegated mother of pearl inlay fingerboard inlay, 'fleur-de-lis' peghead inlay; bound fingerboard, peghead and body.

Hardware: All-original nickel hardware includes compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge, trapeze tailpiece, Grover Sta-Tite tuners with "butterbean" keys. Vintage correct thick tortoise pickguard installed, original guard in case.

Notes: The Gibson L-5 of the late 20's and early 30's remains one of the world's most sought-after guitars. With it's comfortable 16" body, generous 1 3/4" nut, and lightly braced top, the original L-5 combines tone and playability in a manner many feel is unsurpassed to this day. The bad news is that Gibson discontinued the 16" L-5 by 1936. And if you've looked for one in recent years, you also realize they fetch a king's ransom. But what many otherwise savvy players don't realize is that the guitar was just too good to kill. So Gibson didn't. They just fiddled with the inlay and gave it another name: the L-4.

Introduced in 1912, the L-4 was Gibson's top-of-the line guitar, and remains its longest lasting model, still in production to this day as a cutaway electric. The L-4 was produced with a round hole exclusively until 1935, when it was offered with optional f-holes. Built on the same forms as the 20's L-5, the f-hole L-4 differed only in cosmetics from its costly cousin. Same scale, f-holes, fingerboard dimensions, bracing, the works. Interestingly, the variegated floral fingerboard inlay, borrowed from 20's Mastertone banjos, is even more ornate than the L-5, which offered only simple blocks. This version, with the slim, elegant bound peghead, and narrow script logo was offered only until around 1939.

The top is graduated very precise;y, and at just 4lb 13oz, the featherweight body sings like a bird: wide open, clear and transparent, with exceptional brilliance and balance. Stamped 'Made in USA' on the back of the peghead, this gleaming guitar was made for export, and has just returned from its long sojourn north of the border in British Columbia. Maintained in wonderful condition, the guitar has a subtly applied dark tobacco sunburst over a finely bookmatched handcarved solid spruce top, and figured maple back and sides with a deep walnut finish. Original hardware includes the nickel trapeze tailpiece, compensated adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge, and Grover butterbean style nickel keys. Tone and playability have been optimized with freshly leveled original frets on a comfy 10" radius Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. A single hairline crack near the bass soundhole has been cleated and resealed long ago, and the neck has a classic prewar full vee profile.

Wish we could find more of these: the regal L-5 in commoner's clothes. 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: Recent deluxe black arched Gibson logo plush lined hardshell case.


























































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