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1937 Gibson L-5

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Serial #: 94139, white oval label.

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Highly figured solid bookmatched maple back and sides; handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; five piece flame maple neck with walnut centerstripes; quintuple bound solid ebony fingerboard with block mother of pearl inlay and pointed finial; quintuple bound peghead and body with bound f-holes; solid bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes gold art deco trapeze tailpiece, gold Grover Sta-Tite butterbean tuners and five ply bound tortoise pickguard. Compensated adjustable ebony bridge.

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. The 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.

Owned and played for many years by chord melody master Marty Grosz, the guitar is an exceptional example of the prewar 'Advanced Model" L-5, with a very rare combination of distinctive transitional features. The 17" X-braced body was made only through 1939, the 24 3/4" scale only through 1937, and this guitar would have been one of the very last with the unbound f-holes, discontinued midway through its model year. The distinctive gold trapeze with the stamped logo is the rarest of all L-5 tailpieces, found only in 1935 through '37 alone. This unique configuration makes this short-lived variant quite likely the rarest version of the acoustic L-5 model made to date.

Professionally played and professionally maintained, this instrument is a wonderful example with highly figured bubble maple body, showing no buckle wear, and only light normal pick and thumbwear in the original sunburst finish. Original gold open-back Grover Sta-Tite tuners with butterbean keys, original bound tortoise pickguard and multi-ply body binding in perfect condition, a solid ebony fingerboard, and an older compensated adjustable ebony bridge are installed. With the exception of four tiny holes tapped into the tailpiece long ago (possibly for a nameplate?) the guitar is without modification of any kind. Recent pro fretwork is immaculately leveled and crowned, and the neck profile is gently rounded, in a comfortable 'C' profile.

The X-braced L-5 is renowned for its bass response and sustain, and many years of vigorous performance and recording have given this soundboard an unusually warm, open voice, with a deep juicy resonance that is simply thrilling. An outstanding example, this remarkable guitar is a delight to the ear, eye and hand alike.

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 arched black red-stripe hardshell case.




















































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