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1938 Gibson L-7 'Advanced Model'
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Serial #: 95244
Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
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: Original nickel hardware includes 'stacked diamond' trapeze tailpiece; adjustable Brazilian rosewood compensated bridge; nickel Grover Sta-Tite tuners; adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct 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. Just as significantly, Gibson introduced the X-brace support system for the first time in their archtop guitars. The X-brace had been used by Martin for some time, and has in recent decades found wide popularity with top builders like Benedetto and others for it's warm woody tone, with greater sustain and bass response.
The L-7 was Gibson's most popular professional archtop, 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 repurposed the fancy 20's vintage Mastertone banjo inlays for the prewar L-7 fingerboard.) Gibson also experimented with a number of tailpiece designs in this period. This exceptionally rare version is a nickel-plated example of the mid-30's L-5 trapeze; engraved with a delicate diamond pattern on the crossbar, it is the only one like it we've seen to date.
From the family of the original owner, this remarkable guitar has been well cared for, without cracks or pickwear in its original deep Cremona sunburst finish, and is equipped with its original Grover Sta-Tite tuners, adjustable compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge and tailpiece. The guitar shows handsome bubble maple figure under the deep walnut finish, and has the shallower arch of the prewar 'Advanced Model' archtops. It would also be one of the last examples built with the smaller f-holes, as seen on Gibson archtops of the Loar era.
Playwear is light for an instrument of its age, mostly confined to some buckle wear on the back, some scattered lacquer nicks, and a bit of finish touchup near the bass soundhole. The gentle C neck profile is very comfortable, distinctly slimmer than the full necks found on later examples, with smooth low action over fresh precision fretwork. The voice of the X-braced soundboard is notably open, rich and warmly resonant, with excellent sustain and superior bass response: great for chord melody, vocal backup, fingerstyle play or recording.
A special plus is the original G&G striped tweed 'aircraft cloth' hardshell case, Gibson's finest, and now highly collectible. A superb example from Gibson's Golden Era of acoustic archtop guitars. 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 bronze strings (.013-.057). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" 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 G&G striped tweed 'aircraft cloth' arched plush lined hardshell case.