Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips

1953 Gibson L-12

Price and Status: For pricing and hold status of this instrument, please check here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold. To be notified of examples of this or any other model in the future, please email your specific requests to [email protected].

Serial #: A-13216

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25.4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Finish: Sunburst, nitrocellulose type,

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid Adirondack spruce top; solid flame maple neck and sides; solid carved maple back; 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: 100% original gold hardware includes triple parallelogram trapeze tailpiece; Kluson Deluxe tuners with tulip keys; original 5 ply beveled pickguard; original compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge.

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. This gleaming instrument is one of just 11 examples of the L-12 built in its model year, and one of the last 13 produced until the model was discontinued in 1955.

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. 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. This example is built with the prized Adirondack spruce in the soundboard, scarce and handsome bubble figure maple in the back, and deep tiger flame neck and sides. Rare postwar features include gold Kluson Deluxe tuners in the original open-back configuration, and an original bound tortoise pickguard, rather than the plainer 5-ply guard seen on later models.

This guitar has been maintained in stunning 100% original condition, with no buckle, thumbwear or fingerboard wear, and only a few incidental pick marks are the only sign this guitar was ever taken out of its case. The guitar is unusually light weight and resonant, just 5lb. 8oz., and had exceptional clarity and volume. Neck profile is a smooth medium C that fits easily in the hand, and the action is low and comfy over fine original frets. Even the original hardshell case is in great shape. 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: Original Gibson plush lined hardshell case.




















































Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips