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c. 1970-2 Gibson L-5CN, Johnny Smith Pickup

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Serial #: 966422, Kalamazoo label

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

Finish: Amber blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain Sitka spruce top; full-depth handcarved solid rock maple back and sides; tiger flame maple neck with walnut centerstripes; solid ebony 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: All original gold hardware includes engraved tailpiece with deco insert, gold Kluson Sealfast tuners, compensated adjustable ebony bridge with inlaid foot, factory Johnny Smith pickup with volume and tone controls, endpin jack. Additional vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard installed, original pickguard included in case.

Notes: Postwar acoustic L-5 cutaways are rare. Gibson made just 14 of them in blonde between 1970 and '72. It had been over ten years since the last example from this vintage showed up here, until the stunning guitar at this link arrived quite recently from New England. And then, less than a week later, the virtually identical guitar pictured at right landed on at our door, from an owner in the Midwest. These two L-5CN guitars are exactly two serial numbers apart. Even our calculator doesn't have enough decimal places to figure those odds.

And both are in truly magnificent condition. While the first one stayed home, however, this little piggy went to work. Though played professionally, this handsome guitar remains uncannily well preserved, without cracks, pick, thumb or fingerboard wear. Virtually the only signs of its long career are some light traces of buckle worming on the back, a bit of metal tarnish here and there, and an immaculate recent set of factory correct medium jumbo frets.

Perhaps a clue to the careful maintainance of this lovely instrument is the case. Or more properly, the case cover. Yes indeed, this original plush lined hardshell case arrived still swaddled in its original Gibson logo black canvas case cover. We can count the number of those we've seen on one hand, and still give you the peace sign. Even the zippers still work.

As you might expect, years of play have given the soundboard a deeply rich, warm acoustic voice, open and richly resonant. All of which is amplified with utmost fidelity by the factory Johnny Smigth floating pickup and controls, right down to the original itty bitty pointer washers. Action is tweaked to a fare-thee-well, and the neck profile is identical to its long lost stable mate, # 966424.

So take your pick. But don't take your time. First come first served. Call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge phosphor bronze 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 black Gibson logo plush hardshell case with black canvas case cover.









































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