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1939 Gibson L-7 'Advanced Model'
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Serial #: 95833
Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth: .77-.91, 1st-10th fret
Finish: Cremona sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.
Materials: Solid handcarved maple back and sides; solid mahogany 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: Vintage correct aged nickel hardware includes Grover Sta-Tite style 18:1 tuners, triple parallelogram trapeze tailpiece, adjustable compensated ebony bridge, 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 bracing as the L-5. (Interestingly, the L-7 of this era had a far 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.)
This fine guitar would have been one of the last to be built with those 'picture frame' inlays, as well as the X-braced soundboard and smaller f-holes, as seen on Gibson archtops since the Loar era. It has been well cared for, with gleaming all-original Cremona sunburst finish, and original Grover Sta-Tite tuners. With handsome bubble maple figure under the deep walnut finish, the guitar also has the shallower arch of the prewar 'Advanced Model' archtops.
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. Playwear is light for an instrument of its age, mostly confined to some scattered lacquer nicks and a few scratches on the treble soundboard. A single hairline crack is visible for a few inches from the bass corner of the fingerboard under the low E string, and under the tailpiece the centerseam is visible for a few inches: both are tight and sound, inside and out. The light V neck profile is very comfortable, distinctly slimmer than the full necks found on later examples, with smooth low action over fine pro fretwork with a fresh high precision setup.
(A small mystery: the letters "V.H.T" are stamped in the peghead in tiny capital letters, right above the logo, and on the top edge of the peghead, along with the serial number: perhaps the original owner's initials?) Anyhow, a wonderful instrument from Gibson's Golden Era of acoustic archtop guitars. 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; 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-.056). 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.
Case: Deluxe black arched plush lined hardshell case.