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1948 Gibson L-12
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Serial #: A-2158 Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Finish: Sunburst, nitrocellulose type.
Materials: Solid carved bookmatched quartersawn spruce top; solid flame maple neck: solid bubble figured maple back, solid tiger flame maple neck and sides; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, block pattern mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; triple bound body, bound bound fingerboard and peghead; solid bone nut.
Hardware: Original compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge. Vintage correct hand antiqued hardware includes gold trapeze tailpiece, Kluson Deluxe style tuners, and beveled 5-ply black pickguard.
Notes: One of the rarest full size Gibson archtops, the L-12 was introduced in 1930 as a 16" guitar, then upsized to 17" in 1934 as an X-braced "Advanced Model", becoming Gibson's first instrument with the iconic double-paralleogram inlays. Parallel bracing was reintroduced to the model in 1939 and the contemporary script logo peghead debuted in 1948, the year this guitar was built. This gleaming instrument is one of just 56 L-12 guitars built that year, and from then until the model was discontinued in 1955, production was so small that there were several years when the factory built only a single example.
Identical to the L-5 in size, finish, body materials, scale length and bracing, the L-12 differs only in cosmetic details from its spendy cousin, which can cost three or more times the price. In contrast to the plainer L-7, the L-12 features all gold hardware, and a full sunburst front and back, including the sides and top of the peghead.
The solid quartersawn spruce soundboard on this guitar is carved to particularly fine tolerances, which may account for the instrument's remarkably light weight: at a bare 5lb 3oz, it's one of the lightest full size Gibsons we've found to date. Not surprisingly, the voice is unusually deep and resonant, with exceptional warmth and woodiness, richly enhanced with abundant natural reverb, giving a particular brilliance and shimmer to the upper register.
The guitar has been maintained in wonderful condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. The handsome tobacco sunburst finish shows a bit of light scattered checking, which confirms its age and originality. A dusting of light clear lacquer has been applied to the top some time ago, with a pair of tiny grainline cracks soundly resealed at the treble soundhole. The Brazilian rosewood fingerboard has smooth low action over fine original fretwork, and the neck profile is a gentle full C that fits smartly in the palm. An outstanding example of a very rare bird, at a price that puts real vintage quality within a player's reach.
Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as required; 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: Deluxe black plush lined hardshell case.