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1937 Gibson L-5

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Serial #: 94899, white oval label. FON: 376C-6

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 21/32" Neck depth: 1st/10th frets: .88/.93

Materials: Highly figured solid bookmatched maple back and sides; handcarved bookmatched solid 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: Gold hardware includes engraved L-5 Varitone tailpiece, Kluson Sealfast tuners with Imperial keys. Original five ply bound tortoise pickguard, original compensated adjustable rosewood 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 both large and small, bound and unbound.

The body and neck of this handsome guitar are crafted of dramatic deep bubble (or blister) maple, now among the rarest of figured varieties. The soundboard has the wider grain characteristic of Adirondack spruce, the most desirable of top woods, and almost unobtainable in this size since WWII. The parallel top bracing and long scale neck both contribute to this instrument's deep resonance and powerful projection as well.

The engraved L-5 Varitone tailpiece and Kluson Sealfast tuners suggest that the instrument was updated at the factory sometime in the late 30's or early 40's. The top and neck have had replacement finish applied as well, with an inch-long hairline crack at the bass f-hole soundly cleated at that time, all work that is of factory quality. The original multi-bound tortoise pickguard is in excellent shape, along with the compensated adjustable rosewood bridge. The multi-ply binding is solid and tight to the body, and the original bone nut is smoothly polished. Finally, the guitar comes complete with its original Lifton brown pigskin hardshell case, worn but still solid protection.

The neck has smooth low action over the solid ebony fingerboard, with fine pro fretwork, and a fresh high precision setup over the gentle C profile neck. The acoustic response is notably clear and open, with deep resonant bass, sparkling reverb in the treble register, and truly remarkable power and projection overall: a certified horn killer, and a truly striking example of Gibson's finest.

Often imitated, but never equalled, these Advanced L-5s set a benchmark for performance still unsurpassed for the better part of a century. Get ready to rumble: 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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