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1936 Gibson L-7, Factory Electric Conversion
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Serial #: 93202 FON#: 999 A-2
Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth: .91/1.01, 1st/10th frets
Finish: Cremona sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.
Materials: Solid handcarved maple back, sides and neck; handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and compensated bridge, ornate mother of pearl "picture frame" fingerboard inlays; older fat script Gibson peghead logo with "vase and curlicue" inlay; triple-bound body, bound fingerboard and headstock.
Hardware: All original nickel hardware includes raised diamond trapeze tailpiece, Grover Sta-Tite tuners, Brazilian rosewood compensated bridge; adjustable truss rod. Factory installed P-90 single coil pickup and bound tortoise pickguard.
Notes: Regular visitors know that we have a special place in our hearts for the X-braced Gibson archtops of the '30's. In 1934, to meet the increased demands for volume required by the Big Band era, Gibson increased the body size of its professional guitars from 16" to 17" in the lower bout. At the same time Gibson introduced the X-brace support system for these new 'Advanced Model' archtops. Long used by Martin in their peerless flat tops, the X-braced soundboard has since been resurrected by a legion of contemporary archtop builders for it's warm woody tone, with enhanced sustain and bass response.
The L-7 was Gibson's most popular 17" guitar, with the same size, scale and materials as the L-5. (Interestingly, the L-7 of this era had a much more ornate inlay pattern than it's spendier cousin, as Gibson installed fancy floral Mastertone banjo inlays in their fingerboards and pegheads, old stock left over from the 20's.) This fascinating instrument shows a factory order number from 1935, and a shipping label from the following year. It was evidently sent back to the factory about two decades later for installation of a Gibson P-90 pickup, bound notched tortoise pickguard, and gold volume and tone knobs. (We can bracket this guitar's return to Kalamazoo to between 1953 and 1955, as those were the only years where Gibson used the clear 1/2" tall 'speed knobs' that were fitted to the instrument.)
This handsome guitar has been well cared for, with all its original nickel hardware intact, including the short-lived 'concentric diamond' trapeze tailpiece. No cracks or repairs are apparent, and the instrument shows only normal scattered playwear in the all-original Cremona sunburst finish. Action is smooth and low with excellent bridge height, and recent pro fretwork with a fresh high-precision setup. The neck profile is a contemporary medium C, notably slimmer in depth than the full necks found on later examples. The voice is open, even and warmly resonant, great for chord melody, vocal backup, and fingerstyle play, all conveyed smoothly to the amp by the vintage P-90 pickup, with all its signature clarity and detail.
A unique creation from Gibson's Golden Era, this guitar has plenty of stories yet to tell. 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.
This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound 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: Original deluxe arched black felt lined Gibson hardshell case.