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1953 Gibson L-4

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SN#: A-15199, white oval label. FON #: Y4692-15

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid mahogany neck; arched maple back and sides; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; split parallelogram pearl fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; bound fingerboard, peghead and body.

Hardware: Vintage correct hardware includes Gibson deluxe tuners with single-ring tulip pegs; chrome trapeze tailpiece with raised parallelogram crossbar; beveled 5 ply pickguard; compensated adjustable ebony bridge.

Notes: If you love the feel of an ES-175, but always coveted the sound of a true full-bodied carved-top, you've been out of luck for a good long time. Or more precisely, the year of 1956. That's the year Gibson discontinued this wonderful model, never to reissue it again. Which is why we're happy to report the arrival of this fine old all-acoustic archtop guitar.

Introduced in 1911 as an oval hole archtop, the L-4 is the oldest model name remaining in the Gibson catalog. Redesigned with f-holes in 1935, for over two decades the noncutaway L-4 occupied a unique niche in the Gibson line, as the only carved-top guitar to retain the classic dimensions of the Lloyd Loar L-5 of the 20's and early 30's. It's comfy 16" contour has always appealed to players reluctant to wrestle with a jumbo body archtop, and its fast 24 3/4" scale rewards the hand with effortless stretch chords and lightning arpeggios.

Sporting the same tuners, tailpiece and inlay pattern as the L-7, L-12, ES-175, ES-350 and Super 300, this L-4 is one of just 87 examples produced in its model year. With a 'Made In USA' stamp in the back of the peghead, this instrument was built for export, and has come to us from a longtime owner in British Columbia. At barely 4lb 12oz, this guitar is exceptionally light in weight, with a very finely carved bookmatched spruce top, and the clear, resonant voice of a vintage soundboard played-in over decades on the bandstand. The dark Cremona sunburst finish is all original, with fairly extensive typical age checking in the true nitro lacquer, and some old pick wear near the fingerboard. The top centerseam is tight, and the instrument shows no apparent cracks or structural repairs. The action is low and inviting over fine original fretwork on the gentle C profile neck, with a fresh high-precision setup.

Bright, lively, and a breeze to play, this rarely seen model has the voice of a true veteran, and looks to match. 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 set; 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-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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 deluxe black arched Gibson plush lined hardshell case.
































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