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c.1970-2 Gibson L-5C

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Serial #: 640700, stamped in peghead

Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .75/.97

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain Sitka spruce top; full-depth handcarved solid rock maple body and neck; solid ebony fingerboard with block mother of pearl inlays; abalone torch and headstock logo; 5-ply body and neck binding; bound f-holes.

Hardware: Original gold hardware includes engraved L-5 tailpiece with endpin jack, Kluson Sealfast tuners, compensated adjustable rosewood bridge. Vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard installed.

Notes: Introduced in 1923, the Gibson L-5 was the first commercially produced modern archtop guitar. Almost a century later, it remains the most renowned guitar of its type ever made. Designed by Lloyd Loar, Gibson's top acoustic engineer, the L-5 was the guitar that D'Angelico copied, that Eddie Lang brought to fame, and players from Wes Montgomery to Julian Lage carried to glory. This example represents what is for many players the most desirable configuration of this august instrument. It has a cutaway. It is an acoustic model, with a hand graduated, bookmatched fine grain solid spruce top.

It is also an exceedingly scarce item. Given their legendary status, it is always surprising to discover just how few acoustic L-5 guitars were produced in this era; no more than 13 were crafted during any model year in this period. And this beauty would have to be one of the very finest specimens of its time.

Devoid of pick, thumb, fret or fingerboard wear, the instrument has been preserved in remarkably pristine condition. Apart from a bit of buckle worming on the back, the guitar shows few signs of play altogether: the typical checking one expects in a lacquer finish of this vintage is happily absent, and the gold plating remains in gleaming condition.

With no cracks or repairs, the guitar is also fitted with the long discontinued Kluson Sealfast tuners, which had been the industry standard since the early 1940's. At just 6lb 6oz, this guitar is distinctly lighter than more recent examples, and has a fine clear, open voice, with excellent projection. Smooth low action with a fresh high-precision setup, on an easy D profile neck that glides effortlessly through the hand.

This gleaming instrument remains nestled in its original Gibson logo plush hardshell case, every bit as pretty as the guitar itself. It is accompanied by its original Gibson BJB floating pickup, whose gold plating became somewhat corroded when the original pickguard disintegrated. (That pickup, or another from our selection here may be installed with controls, upon request.)

You would search in vain for tonewood this old or well seasoned today, at any price. One only: call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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