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1977 Gibson L-5C

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Serial #: 06152457, Kalamazoo label

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

Finish: Sunburst 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: Original hardware includes engraved gold tailpiece with deco insert, gold Kluson Sealfast tuners, compensated adjustable ebony bridge with inlaid feet. Vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard with Gibson BJB floating humbucking pickup, thumbwheel volume and tone controls, endpin jack.

Notes: Introduced in 1923, the Gibson L-5 was the first commercially produced archtop guitar. Almost 80 years later, it remains the most renowned archtop guitar of all time. Designed by Lloyd Loar himself, the L-5 was the guitar that D'Angelico copied, that Eddie Lang brought to fame, and players from Wes Montgomery to Mark Whitfield 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. With a classic Gibson BJB floating humbucker to optimize its versatility on stage or in the studio.

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; this example is one of only 39 crafted in its model year. And this beauty would have to be one of the very finest specimens of its time. Devoid of pickwear, thumbwear, bucklewear and even fretwear, the instrument shows every sign of having reclined in the comfort of its plush case since it left Kalamazoo during the first year of the Carter Administration.

Preserved in immaculate condition, the all-original finish is absent even the normal checking almost universal in guitars its age. The deep gold plating on the tailpiece and tuners still shines brilliantly, as Gibson apparently used substantially thicker plating back then. Bottom line: this gleaming guitar is about as close to a new old stock Gibson as you could find, with the wonderful bonus of tonewood now aged for almost four decades.

At just 6lb 10oz, the guitar is built somewhat lighter than new factory models, and has a fine clear, open voice, with excellent projection. Smooth low action over undented original medium jumbo frets, on a gentle D profile neck that sits smartly in the hand. This stunning instrument remains nestled in its original brown Gibson logo plush hardshell case with the red silk coverlet, every bit as pretty as the guitar itself. Few modern builders can give you wood this old, at any price. One only: 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 deluxe arched brown Gibson logo plush lined hardshell case.









































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