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1968 Gibson L-4C

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Serial #: 899698, orange Union Made label.

Body size at lower bout: 16" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 9/16"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched fine grain solid spruce top; figured slab-cut maple back; solid mahogany neck with adjustable truss rod; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; parallellogram fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; 3-ply body binding, bound fingerboard, bone nut.

Hardware: All original hardware includes raised parallellogram trapeze tailpiece, nickel double-line Kluson Deluxe tuners with double-ring tulip keys, Brazilian rosewood adjustable compensated bridge, beveled 5-ply black pickguard.

Notes: It's an ongoing mystery why the venerable Gibson L-4C, with its solid carved bookmatched spruce top, has for years sold for substantially less than the all-plywood ES-175 of similar vintage. One of the under-discovered treasures in the vintage guitar world, the L-4C is both comfortable to hold, and zippy on the fingerboard. And unlike the 175, the L4C is also a dandy acoustic box, and sounds terrific both with a floating pickup or unplugged in your living room.

Introduced in 1949, this all acoustic model was produced in limited numbers until 1971, and this outstanding example is one of just 61 made in its model year. Preserved in particularly fine condition, the instrument is without cracks, pick, buckle or thumbwear, and sports a gently shaded tobacco sunburst finish with a minmum of random dings and checking. The soundboard is carved of solid quartersawn bookmatched spruce of exceptionally tight grain (40-50 grains per inch in places) with abundant cross-grain silk. This wood came from one very big, very old tree.

The neck is notably slim and fast, ideal for the electric player unwilling to wrestle the bulky profiles typical of many older archtops. At just 5lb 3oz, the guitar is feather-light, with a bright and appealing acoustic voice, clear and even across the range. The 16" body is well balanced and easy to hold, and the 24 3/4 scale makes stretch voicings a breeze. Remarkably, the guitar shows no sign of a pickup ever having been attached, but the suspended fingerboard allows virtually any floating pickup to be installed. A handsome and versatile instrument, and a best buy in a true carved-top vintage Gibson jazz box.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, crowned 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 heavy gauge nickel strings (.014-.059). The guitar will accommodate lighter 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 black hardshell case with orange-plush lining.


















































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