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1939 Gibson L-5N
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Serial #: EG-5026
Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Finish: Natural blonde, nitrocellulose type.
Materials: Solid carved bookmatched solid Adirondack spruce top; deeply figured solid AAA flame maple back; solid birdseye maple sides; five piece flame maple neck with walnut centerstripes; 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 gold hardware includes original engraved hinged L-5 tailpiece; original series Grover Imperial tuners; compensated adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge. Vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard with toned multi-ply binding.
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 in its eighth decade, it remains the most famous jazz guitar of all time.
1939 was a pivotal year for the L-5. It was the first year Gibson officially introduced the new natural blonde finish (though a few custom orders eked out as early as 1937.) That same year, Gibson returned the model to its original parallel braced soundboard, for increased projection and cutting power. Premium priced over the standard sunburst models, the blondes typically featured the firm's showiest tonewoods as well. And this guitar is no exception, with extravagantly figured tiger flame maple across the back and neck, and particularly intense birdseye figure in the sides.
One of just 48 blonde guitars from that debut year, this spectacular guitar has been lovingly maintained, and is remarkaby free of cracks, buckle, thumb, or fingerboard wear. A marvel of art-deco design, it would be one of the last fitted with the engraved prewar hinged tailpiece and the 30's style Grover Imperial tuners with inscribed stairstep keys. The vintage style fretwork is brightly polished, and the action is smooth and low over a remarkably contemporary gentle 'C' profile neck. The original blonde finish has ambered deeply, and is remarkably free of checking, with only a few traces of pick wear near the fingerboard, and some incidental lacquer nicks. The tailpiece hinge has been professionally repaired, with all-original gold plating showing a bit of wear in that area. And a special bonus is the original striped tweed G&G hardshell case, Gibson's finest, and every bit as lovely as the guitar it's protected those many decades.
The voice is a delight: remarkably strong and focussed, with tight, open bass and a clear, even range extending to brilliant highs, with exceptional projection throughout. With graceful prewar looks, powerful performance, and a distinctly modern feel, this extraordinary guitar is a winning combination of rarity and playability, for the performer or collector alike. Call now.
Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as required; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation strobe tuned; 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: Original deluxe striped tweed G&G arched plush lined hardshell case.