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1939 Gibson L-50

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SN#: EG-4602 Body size at lower bout: 16" Body depth: 3 1/4" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 3/4" Neck depth: .095/1.05, 1st/10th fret

Materials: Hand carved solid spruce top; solid maple back and sides; one-piece mahogany neck; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, single-bound body, solid bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel trapeze tailpiece, adjustable compensated rosewood bridge. Vintage correct brown tortoise pickguard, Grover Deluxe tuners.

Notes: Gibson's most popular archtop model, the L-50 was introduced in 1932 as a round hole, flat back archtop guitar, in several body shapes. Its size was enlarged to 16" by 1935, and this perennial favorite remained in the Gibson catalog until 1971. With its compact body and 24 3/4" scale, the L-50 retained the same dimensions as the original Loar-era L-5, and its solid carved soundboard and adjustable truss rod put it a cut above the common mass market archtops of the era.

Unlike postwar examples with laminate backs, these prewar guitars were built with all solid tonewoods throughout, including a carved maple body. With its finely graduated spruce soundboard, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and lightweight solid mahogany neck, this handsome 16" archtop was crafted with quality far surpassing its entry-level status.

Weighing in at a featherweight 4lb 12oz, the guitar is a delight to hold, and simply floats on the lap or the strap. Well maintained, the instrument has all-original Cremona sunburst finish, with no cracks, and only light scattered play wear, mostly confined to some pick wear near the fingerboard. The Brazilian rosewood fingerboard has fine pro fretwork, with a generous 1 3/4" nut width for finger or pick style play.

The neck has a solid traditional prewar D profile, with a fresh high-precision setup for smooth, low action. A set of Grover Deluxe tuners has been fitted to the peghead, with also has a previous owner's ID number engraved on the back. And in a stylish touch, the fingerboard has been dressed up with a set of L-5 style block inlays, in lustrous Paua abalone. With the fine, open voice of a classic swing era trouper, the guitar has unusually powerful projection, excellent balance and sparkling natural reverb.

Finally, the guitar remains nestled in its original Gibson red stripe hardshell case, a top-end accessory most often seen on Gibson's most expensive models. And as a special plus, the guitar is supplied with a Barcus Berry floating hunbucking pickup andf 1/4" jack attached to the original tortoise pickguard.

If you've always coveted the tone of the 16" L-5, but balked at the astronomical prices, consider this perennial best buy in a true prewar Gibson classic. True vintage performance at a player's price: one only, 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; bridgewheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings. 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.









































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