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1993 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: .80/.95

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain spruce top; extravagantly quilted solid maple back; tiger flame maple neck and sides; 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: 100% original gold hardware includes Schaller M6 tuners, bound 5-ply tortoise pickguard, engraved gold tailpiece with deco insert, compensated adjustable ebony bridge with pearl inlaid foot.

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 years have 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 a sizable factor.

The masterfully bookmatched tight flame maple of the back is simply phenomenal in its depth and symmetry: we are content to let the pictures speak for themselves. The grain of the quartersawn bookmatched Sitka spruce soundboard is so fine that it almost disappears at the centerseam, interlaced with abundant cross grain silk. The sides and neck are carved of tiger flame maple, and the fingerboard is solid deep ebony. The art-deco tailpiece, unchanged in design since prewar days, is handsomely engraved, and the solid ebony bridge foot inlaid with pearl. The multi-bound pickguard is original as well, and in solid condition, though showing a bit of fogging on the vintage style celluloid tortoise.

Meticulously maintained, the guitar is free of pick, thumb, buckle or fretwear, and the original deep amber lacquer finish is absent checking or crazing as well. The neck has an 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.

A rare and exceptionally 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.

Case: Original brown Gibson hardshell case, with signed Certificate of Authenticity.









































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