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1942 Gibson L-4, Blonde

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Serial #: 97509, white Kalamazoo label

Body size at lower bout: 16", Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut: 1 11/16"

Finish: Amber blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Solid handcarved bookmatched spruce top; solid 3 piece maple neck with walnut centerstripe; arched tiger flame maple sides and back; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge, split-parallelogram mother of pearl fingerboard inlays and fleur-de-lis headstock inlay; older fat script pearl Gibson peghead logo, triple-bound body, bound fingerboard and headstock, original bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel-plated art-deco "double parallelogram " trapeze tailpiece, adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct hardware includes nickel 18x1 Grover Sta-Tite tuners, swirl tortoise pickguard with grained ivoroid binding. Older compensated adjustable ebony bridge.

Notes: Gibson introduced the natural finish in 1939, initially offering it as a premium feature on it's flagship L-5 and Super 400 models only. So popular was the new look however, that the firm wasted no time in offering the blonde finish on the L-4 and L-7 models by the following year. Scarcer and costlier than their sunburst counterparts, blonde Gibson archtops of this era may account for as little as 15% of total production in some model years.

To feature the new natural finish to best advantage, Gibson' craftsmen saved the most highly figured maple for the blonde guitars. This example is no exception, with extravagantly flamed fiddleback maple running continuously from rim to rim on its arched back and neck, and deep bubble figure in the sides. A wartime guitar produced in the leanest era of Gibson production, this scarce example was built in a year in which serial-numbered Gibsons dwindled to fewer than 300 instruments of all types, a tiny fraction of prewar output. Rare transitional features include the unbound fleur-de-lis peghead and the distinctive art-deco "double parallelogram" trapeze. Finally, this guitar would have been one of the very last to be fitted with the ornate prewar "Nick Lucas" style fingerboard inlays, completing the uniquely striking design package.

This handsome instrument has been maintained in outstanding condition, without pick, buckle, or fingerboard wear, and all original binding tight to the body. Apart from a bit of light thumb wear and a few lacquer nicks, the guitar appears to have enjoyed a fairly pampered life. With smooth low action over a classic C profile neck, the guitar is built with a fully suspended fingerboard, permitting ready installation of a floating pickup if desired.

The voice is clear, even and forward, with particularly resonant bass response, especially notable for a body of its size. A rare and compelling instrument, this glamorous blonde combines appearance, playability and rarity in an unbeatable package. Call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as needed; 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 Gibson deluxe 'red-stripe' black arched plush hardshell case.





































































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