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1936 Gibson L-50

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FON#: 843 B

Body size at lower bout: 16" Body depth: 3 1/4" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 3/4" Neck depth: .093/1.07, 1st/10th fret

Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; solid flame maple back and sides; one-piece mahogany neck; solid rosewood fingerboard, single-bound body, solid bone nut.

Hardware: Original nickel hardware includes trapeze tailpiece, Waverly open back three-on-a-plate tuners, adjustable compensated ebony bridge. Vintage correct brown swirl tortoise pickguard.

Notes: By the time this striking guitar was built in 1936, Gibson's flagship L-5 model had been upsized to a 17" body. One glance at the stunning tiger maple in this little beauty makes you wonder if there might not have been a few left over 16" L-5 bodies still knocking around in the factory...

Gibson's most popular archtop model, the L-50 was introduced in 1932. Its 14 3/4" body was upsized to 16" in 1935, and this evergreen favorite remained in the catalog until 1971. With its compact body and 24 3/4" scale, the L-50 retained the same dimensions as the original Loar-era L-5, and its solid carved soundboard and adjustable truss rod put it a cut above the laminate mass market archtops of the time.

Unlike postwar examples with laminate bodies, this fine prewar guitar was built with a solid carved back of extravagant tiger maple, with a intensity of figure any L-5 would be proud to bear. With its finely graduated spruce soundboard, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and lightweight solid mahogany neck, this handsome 16" archtop was crafted with quality far surpassing its entry-level status.

Weighing in at a featherweight 4lb 7oz, the guitar is a delight to hold, and simply floats on the lap or the strap. Well maintained, the instrument has all-original Cremona sunburst finish, with normal age checking and only fairly light scattered play wear. Apart from a single soundly cleated grainline crack on the lower treble bout, the guitar shows no other cracks or structural repairs.

The Brazilian rosewood fingerboard has fine undented pro fretwork, with a generous 1 3/4" nut width for finger or pick style play. The neck has a solid traditional prewar C profile, with a fresh high-precision setup for smooth low action. With the fine, open voice of a classic swing era trouper, the guitar has unusually powerful projection, excellent balance and sparkling natural reverb.

If you've always coveted the tone of the dot-neck L-5, but balked at the astronomical prices, consider this perennial best buy in a true prewar Gibson classic. True vintage performance at a player's price: one only, call now.

Setup: 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 nickel strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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 lightweight rigid foam hardshell case.









































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