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1946 Gibson L-5
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Serial #: 99240
Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25.4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Finish: Sunburst, nitrocellulose type,
Materials: Highly figured tiger flame solid bookmatched maple back, sides and neck; handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; five piece flame maple neck with walnut centerstripe; 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 single ring tulip keys; original compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge, original engraved deco L-5 tailpiece. Vintage correct quintuple bound dark tortoise pickguard.
Notes: It is a truism of fine stringed instruments that the more they are played, the better their tone. Guitars stored under the bed for years often sound as green and tight as the day they were made. But occasionally an instrument surfaces whose immaculate appearance is belied by the throaty voice of a venerable old warhorse. And this guitar is apparently the exception that proves the rule.
We know that just after the war Gibson had some extravagantly vivid tiger flame maple to work with, because we've seen wood from this same astounding batch in another L-5 quite close in serial number. And this example has it lavished throughout: in the neck, sides, and the impossibly figured bookmatched back. The soundboard too is carved from exceptional tonewood, with grain so tight in places as to defy visibility. One of the last guitars with the prewar fat script logo, it's also got one of the last of the pre-A series serial numbers.
The condition of this handsome specimen is similarly remarkable.100% original finish, hardware and case, no cracks, pick, buckle or thumbwear, no fingerboard divots, even the original frets in excellent condition. Apart from a few tiny nicks on the neck, the guitar looks like it just came from the showroom in the Twilight Zone.
And remarkably, this gleaming fretter sounds every bit as good as it looks. The voice is warm and throaty, with all the bark and projection of the best big band guitars. The neck profile is classic 40's, full and well shaped, and it sits in the hand with authority. The original gold Kluson Sealfast tuners are in fine condition, and art-deco tailpiece still has its height adjuster in place. With the addition of an immaculately crafted vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard, the guitar is simply thrilling to behold.
Even the case tells the story of a deeply sheltered life; there's scarcely a scratch on its textured brown alligator covering. It's the real deal, the whole package. If they all showed up like this, there'd be a lot of repair guys out banging nails. Our last L-5 this nice sold almost five years ago. How long have you got to wait for the next one? Call now.
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 alligator Lifton hardshell case