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1937 Gibson L-5

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Serial #: 94568, white oval label. FON: (xx)6 C-3

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 21/32" Neck depth: 1st/10th frets: .90/.1.00

Materials: Highly figured solid carved tiger maple back and sides; quartersawn solid carved Adirondack spruce top; three piece flame 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 five ply bound tortoise pickguard with engraved gold bracket. Vintage gold Gibson hardware includes Kluson Sealfast tuners, engraved L-5 Varitone tailpiece, adjustable compensated pearl inlaid 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 approaching its centennial, it remains the most famous jazz guitar of all time.

In mid-1935, Gibson announced its 'Advanced Model' L-5, upsizing its body to 17 inches. The following several years show the greatest variety of features in the model's history, as the firm experimented with both X and parallel bracing, long and short scale necks, and soundholes large and small, both bound and unbound.

The body and neck of this striking instrument are crafted of intensely flamed tiger maple, with a soundboard of quartersawn Adirondack spruce, highly prized for its power and clarity, and exceedingly rare in this dimension today. Combined with its long scale neck, the parallel braced top makes for an acoustic archtop with exceptional projection and extended dynamic range.

The original multi-bound tortoise pickguard is in excellent shape, and supported by a hand engraved gold pickguard bracket, usually seen only on prewar Super 400s. The gold Kluson Sealfast tuners are of postwar vintage, as is the engraved art deco tailpiece, fitted with the Varitone angle adjuster. Completing the upscale design, the f-holes are bound, and the soundboard fitted with a pearl inlaid adjustable compensated ebony Gibson bridge, also as seen on the Super 400 and other top-line Gibsons.

Faithfully restored, the guitar shows highly figured tonewood throughout, highlighted with a meticulously applied true nitro lacquer finish of recent vintage. The multi-ply binding is solid and tight to the body, and the original bone nut is smoothly polished. A short grainline crack alongside the pickguard has been soundly cleated and resealed long ago, and a few small nicks in the top smoothly filled.

The voice is notably clear and resonant, with bass response and sustain unusual in acoustic archtops, and cutting power to burn: a true horn killer of the old school. The neck has smooth low action over the solid ebony fingerboard, with fine recent fretwork and a fresh high precision setup over the traditional C profile neck, solid and comfy in the hand. Finally, the instrument comes complete with a fitted period plush lined hardshell case.

Spectacular looks, with a voice to match: truly a classic of the Big Band Era. 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; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished. Action is set to 4-5/64" at the 12th fret, with medium gauge bronze strings.




















































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