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c. 1941 Gibson L-50

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FON #: 771-3

Body size at lower bout: 16" Depth at full taper: 3 1/2" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 11/16" Neck depth: .92-1.03

Materials: Hand carved solid Adirondack spruce top; solid figured maple body; one-piece mahogany neck; solid rosewood fingerboard; single-bound body; bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes contoured red swirl tortoise celluloid pickguard, nickel trapeze tailpiece, adjustable truss rod, adjustable compensated rosewood bridge. Vintage style Golden Era 15:1 aged nickel open back tuners.

Notes: Gibson's most popular archtop model, the L-50 was introduced in 1932. Its 14 3/4" body was upsized to 16" in 1935, and this perennial favorite remained in the 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 put it a cut above the laminate mass market archtops of the time.

Specs changed often in the prewar era, and this rare variant was built with a solid back of deeply figured bubble maple, unlike postwar L-50 models, whose back and sides were laminate. Most intriguingly, the headstock has the 'open book' shape of the 'banner logo' wartime guitars, but bears a prewar thin pearl script logo instead. This unusual combination is unique in our experience, and would suggest a manufacture date somewhere around 1941.

Well maintained, this handsome instrument shows no apparent cracks, buckle, thumb, or fingerboard wear, and only light normal playwear, with some scattered pick marks and finish nicks in the deep Cremona sunburst finish. The back centerseam has been soundly reglued, along with a bit of the binding in the back waist. A small patch of the back finish at the endpin is a bit lightened in color, probably from a damp spot in the case long ago, and the back appears to have had some clear lacquer added to it in decades past.

Original hardware includes the contoured tortoise pickguard, nickel trapeze tailpiece, adjustable truss rod, and adjustable compensated rosewood bridge. The vintage style Golden Era 15:1 aged nickel open back tuners provide smooth modern performance with classic prewar looks.

Tipping the scales at barely 5lb even, the guitar simply floats in the lap, with a sparkling clear voice, excellent projection and rich natural reverb. The solid rosewood fingerboard has smooth low action, with a fresh high-precision setup over fine pro fretwork, and a gently rounded C profile neck. An outstanding example, and unbeatable value, in a true prewar Gibson classic, complete with genuine prewar black hardshell case. One only: call now.

Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted as required; 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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