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1948 Gibson L-5N
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Serial #: A-1902
Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Finish: Amber blonde, nitrocellulose type
Materials: Highly figured solid bookmatched blister maple back; handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; tiger flame maple neck and sides; quintuple bound solid dark Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with block mother of pearl inlay and pointed finial; quintuple bound peghead and body with bound f-holes; solid bone nut.
Hardware: Original gold hardware includes Kluson Sealfast tuners with single ring tulip keys, engraved deco L-5 tailpiece, compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge. Vintage correct quintuple bound swirl tortoise pickguard.
Notes: Making its debut in 1922, the Gibson L-5 was created by the legendary Lloyd Loar, also father of the renowned Gibson F-5 mandolin. The L-5 is perhaps his most influential creation, and widely regarded as the first successful commercially produced archtop guitar. Now in its ninth decade, it remains the most famous jazz guitar of all time.
A spectacular blonde instrument, this stunning guitar is one of just 38 examples of the L-5N built in its model year, and must surely be one of the finest surviving specimens. With highly figured blister maple in the back, a scarce and dramatic variety rarely seen today, the guitar shows deep tiger maple in the neck and sides, and a carved spruce soundboard whose grain structure appears Adirondack in origin.
At barely over 6lb, the guitar is pounds lighter than modern versions, and nimbly balanced on the lap or the strap. Original gold hardware includes the engraved gold deco style tailpiece with "Varitone" angle adjuster, Kluson Sealfast tuners with single-ring keystone buttons and a compensated adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge. The thick swirl tortoise pickguard is one of the finest we've seen, so faithful it's a coin toss as to its age.
Carefully maintained and lovingly played, the guitar is without cracks, and has all original blonde finish, now burnished to a warm amber glow. Without buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, the body shows only a few incidental lacquer nicks and some light scattered checking, mostly confined to the soundboard. The original multi-ply binding is tight and sound, and the fretwork is high and brightly dressed. Action is smooth and low over a classic postwar gently rounded 'C' profile neck, nicely full in the hand but never clubby. And the voice is magnificent: full and strong, with excellent projection and balance, and headroom to burn. This guitar rewards a vigorous attack with power and clarity, giving back as good as it gets, and then some.
Serious players have always known the full depth noncut body is unsurpassed for sheer acoustic tone and volume, and this outstanding guitar sounds every bit as brilliant as it looks. One only: 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: Deluxe black custom Cedar Creek arched hardshell case, with crushed velour lining.