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1948 Gibson L-5 Premiere

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Serial #: A-2433, white oval label

Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16"

Finish: Sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain spruce top; full-depth handcarved solid maple back and sides with Venetian cutaway; tiger flame maple neck with walnut centerstripes; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with block mother of pearl inlays; abalone torch and headstock logo; 5-ply body and neck binding; bound f-holes; solid bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes engraved gold tailpiece with deco insert, gold Kluson Sealfast tuners, compensated adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge, 5-ply bound tortoise pickguard.

Notes: Introduced in 1923, the Gibson L-5 was the first commercially produced archtop guitar. Almost 90 years later, it remains the most renowned archtop guitar of all time. Designed by Lloyd Loar himself, the L-5 was the guitar that D'Angelico copied, that Eddie Lang brought to fame, and players from Wes Montgomery to Mark Whitfield carried to glory.

Gibson debuted the cutaway archtop body in 1939 with the L-5 and Super 400 'Premiere' models. Produced in tiny quantities, these P series guitars have become some of the most sought after archtops ever created. A stunning early A-label instrument from 1948, this remarkable guitar is one of only 23 cutaway examples made that year, and one of the very last to carry the Premiere label, as well as the prewar 'fat script' Gibson pearl logo.

She's been kept in superb condition, with a gorgeous bookmatched fiddleback flame body and neck, and original gold hardware and finish. (The small gold foot of the pickguard support may be newer, as the imprint of a larger one remains near the waist.) At just 5lb. 15oz, the instrument is notably lightweight and resonant, with a clear, open voice, and commanding volume and projection: one of the few acoustic cutaways we've found that can hold its own with the better noncuts in sheer power.

The carved maple back is imbued with intense, tightly bookmatched rollers of flame, and the neck is constructed of tiger flame maple of stunning depth. The instrument is almost entirely free of pick, thumb, buckle and fingerboard wear, and apart from a few scattered lacquer nicks, and a short centerseam separation soundly resealed near the back endblock, shows little signs of age altogether. Even the sort of typical checking one expects over half a century is minimal, and the original bound tortoise pickguard has survived in astounding condition.

The neck has smooth low action over freshly dresed pro frets, and an exceptionally comfy medium C neck profile, and full 1 11/16" fingerboard. Even the gold plating is of premium quality, still lustrous and gleaming more than six decades after it left the factory. With the deep warm voice of a well aged soundboard, this rare find is an exceptionally fine example of Gibson's classic jazz guitar: an unbeatable combination of playability and collectabilty alike.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge roundwound strings (.013-.056). 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 Gibson Lifton plush lined hardshell case.

















































































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