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Serial #: 94052128, brown oval Custom Shop label. Master Model label signed, 1994
Body size at lower bout:17" Body depth: 3" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .74/.93
Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid quartersawn Sitka spruce top; solid carved AAA tiger maple back and sides; 3 piece tiger flame neck with walnut centerstripes; solid ebony fingerboard with Super 400 style block fingerboard inlay; Super 400 style split diamond peghead with Gibson logo and block-and-wedges inlay on the back; 7-ply body binding, 5-ply peghead and fingerboard binding, 3 ply back binding, bound f-holes, solid bone nut.
Hardware: All original gold hardware includes floating Gibson BJB humbucking pickup with volume control and endpin jack; adjustable finger tailpiece; solid ebony bridge with pearl inlay in base; Gibson/Schaller Deluxe tuners; bound marbleized tortoise pickguard; engraved truss rod cover.
Notes: Introduced in 1993, Gibson's LeGrand model draws inspiration from the two most highly prized archtops of the 20th century. The direct successor to the popular Johnny Smith model, the LeGrand features the comfy, slightly slimmed 3" body, and warm, X-braced soundboard of its famed predecessor. And from the classic L-5, the Le Grand borrows the long 25 1/2" scale for snap and projection, as well as the nimble 1 11/16" fingerboard. The result is an instrument that combines the best of Gibson's most influential acoustic archtop guitars.
This handsome example is finished in the dark wineburst finish, by far the rarest finish color for this model. Crafted from figured bookmatched curly maple in the back, sides and neck, the guitar is topped with with a finely grained solid quartersawn Sitka spruce soundboard. The gold hardware and electronics are all original, and include the adjustable finger tailpiece, compensated adjustable ebony bridge, and classic BJB floating humbucking pickup, as used on the Citation, Kalamazoo Award and other ultra-premium Gibson archtops. The striking multi-color marbleized tortoise pickguard is a rare addition as well.
Carefully maintained, the guitar is free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and shows few signs of play at all. The fingerboard inlays are brilliant with colorful Paua abalone inserts within white pearl blocks. Action is smooth and low over a slim, elegant D profile neck, with a fresh high precision setup over fine original medium jumbo fretwork, on the solid ebony fingerboard.
The voice is warm and appealing, with the depth and sustain of a tap-tuned X-braced soundboard, and the projection of the long scale design. (Interestingly, while the Master Model label in the treble f-hole is hand dated at 1994, the serial number of the guitar would otherwise indicate a production date of 1992, a year before the model was officially introduced. If the latter number is correct, this example would have been one of the very first off the line, or perhaps even a prototype.)
In any case, the LeGrand is seldom seen on the vintage market, and it's unclear at this writing if Gibson will resume production of this perennially popular model. A rare opportunity for player and collector alike, and an unbeatable value in a true Gibson classic. One only: call now.
Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished, electronics and grounding tested.
This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel 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.
Case: Original brown Gibson logo arched plushlined hardshell case, with pink silk coverlet, and factory paperwork.