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1980 Gibson L-5C

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Serial #: 812001

Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .78/.95

Materials: Solid bookmatched graduated spruce top; solid figured maple back and sides; 3 piece tiger flame maple neck; 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 gold hardware includes Kluson Sealfast tuners, engraved gold tailpiece with deco insert, compensated adjustable ebony bridge with pearl inlaid foot. Bound 5-ply tortoise pickguard.

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 Adrian Lage carried to glory. This example represents the rarest configuration of this model in recent years, and to many, the most desirable.

It is also an exceedingly scarce item. Given their legendary status, it is always surprising to discover just how few acoustic L-5 models were produced in any given year: many show only single digit production, and some none at all. And while the electric version (L-5CES) may still remain in factory production at this date, the acoustic version has been available by custom order only for some decades now, and dwarfed in numbers by it's electrifed cousin.

Originally ordered in January of 1980 by the proprietor of a religious bookstore in North Carolina, the guitar was shipped to its new owner in July of that year. Maintained in truly blessed condition ever since, this closet queen is free of pick, thumb, buckle or fingerboard wear, and the original dark Cremona sunburst is in the stye of the classic Loar instruments of the 20's, showing no checking or crazing. The original gold hardware includes genuine Kluson Sealfast tuners, the engraved art-deco tailpiece, and the ebony bridge with pearl inlaid feet. The three piece neck is carved of vivid tiger flame maple, with a solid deep ebony fingerboard.

The neck has a gentle D profile, easy in the palm, and the original medium jumbo fretwork remains immaculate, with smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup. The classic parallel bracing produces a tone that is smooth and elegant, with excellent detail and articulation: an unplugged delight, in the unbroken tradition of the great Gibson Premier archtops.

The instrument is accompanied by its original Gibson logo hardshell case, containing all its original paperwork, including a letter to the purchaser on Gibson factory letterhead. A rare and handsome example of Gibson's most celebrated archtop. One only: call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel 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.









































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