Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips


1937 Gibson L-5

Price and Status: For pricing and hold status of this instrument, please check here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold. To be notified of examples of this or any other model in the future, please email your specific requests to [email protected].

Serial #: 94579, white oval label.

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 10/16"

Materials: Highly figured solid bookmatched tiger maple back, solid bubble maple sides; handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; three piece quilted maple neck with walnut centerstripe; 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 prewar gold art deco trapeze tailpiece. Gold Grover Imperial tuners, compensated adjustable ebony bridge, five ply bound tortoise pickguard with floating Bartolini pickup, volume control, and 1/4" jack mounted under guard.

Notes: Built in Gibson's golden era, this guitar is a positive thesaurus of figured maple in all its glorious variety. The back is emblazoned with beautifully bookmatched tiger flame, the sides are blistered with deep bubble maple, and the neck positively explodes with intensely quilted figuration. Quite the show.

Refinished to a natural blonde some decades ago, the guitar had a deep Florentine cutaway added, enhancing access to the uppermost frets on the solid ebony fingerboard. With the addition of the floating Bartolini humbucking pickup, the instrument was updated for the contemporary performer, with smooth, clear amplified tone.

The distinctive gold trapeze with the stamped logo is the rarest of all L-5 tailpieces, found only in 1935 through '37, and the headstock retains the distinctive prewar fat script Gibson logo. The neck heel has a solid, professional repair, and a recent bound tortoise pickguard is attached, with volume control and 1/4" jack. The true nitro finish has aged to a deep amber, with enough fine checking to vouch for its considerable age. Well maintained otherwise, the guitar is notably free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and the neck has a comfy and remarkably contemporary C profile, with smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup.

The acoustic voice is deep and throaty, with the punch of the finely aged parallel braced soundboard, and the tone is accurately conveyed by the floating Bartolini humbucker. An intriguing blend of prewar tone and modern playability, this is one vintage L-5 you won't hesitate to take to the gig. 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: Deluxe arched black plush lined hardshell case.




















































Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips