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1945 Gibson L-5
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Serial #: 98453
Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25.4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Finish: Sunburst, nitrocellulose type,
Materials: Highly figured solid bookmatched maple back and sides; handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; 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 Kluson Sealfast tuners with copper-flake tulip keys; original compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge, original engraved deco L-5 tailpiece; correct quintuple bound dark tortoise pickguard.
Notes: We are often asked to recommend a guitar that has true vintage sound, but offers the smooth playability of a contemporary neck. Which is why we were so delighted to find this exceptional example of an guitar that combines the best of both worlds. This instrument was one of the very few L-5's that left the Gibson factory during the Second World War, probably no more than a few dozen in its production year. The instrument appears to have returned home to Kalamazoo sometime in the early to mid 60's, where it was fitted with a quintuple bound five piece factory neck of highly figured tiger flame maple. The fingerboard retains its full standard 1 11/16th nut width, and the neck profile is a hair slimmer than the typical 40's Gibson, very much like the necks currently installed on the Citation, LeGrande, L-5 Wes and other topline Gibson archtops. With it's factory medium-jumbo frets in excellent condition, the guitar is a marvel of playability.
Apart from the addition of a factory correct 5-ply bound tortoise pickguard, the hardware is all original, with compensated adjustable dark rosewood bridge and engraved gold deco style tailpiece with "Varitone" angle adjuster. Most remarkable are the Kluson Sealfast tuners, which are fitted with highly distinctive original tulip shaped keys fashioned of a unique copper-flaked composite material. Even rarer than the amber catalyn buttons of the prewar era, these striking tuning keys are wartime originals, and the only complete set we've seen anywhere.
The instrument is in exceptionally fine condition, without pick, buckle or thumbwear, and showing a sunburst finish so masterfully applied that the brilliant maple back figure is clearly visible from rim to rim. With the back positively aboil in birdseye figure, this is one of the most gorgeous sunbursts we've seen. Several older hairline cracks have been solidly resealed in the side near the tailpiece, and a trace of clear overspray has been applied in a few spots to protect the original finish, which still shows the light checking of almost six decades. The voice is clear, rich and expressive, with excellent balance across the tonal range. Complete with its handsome original brown Lifton plush hardshell case, this remarkable guitar is a delight to the ear, eye and hand alike.
Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; 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.
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 brown Lifton plush hardshell case