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1994 Gibson 'George Gobel' Custom

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Serial #: 94003956, Master Model label. Inspection label signed, Jim Triggs, 9-9-94

Body size at lower bout: 17" Body depth: 2 3/8" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16" Neck depth: .80/.90, 1st/10th frets

Finish: Vintage sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain spruce top; solid handcarved bookmatched AAA tiger-flame 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; 7-ply body binding; bound f-holes; solid bone nut.

Hardware: All original gold hardware includes engraved tailpiece with art-deco insert, Gibson-logo Schaller tuners, compensated adjustable ebony bridge with inlaid feet; 5-ply bound tortoise pickguard; adjustable truss rod, floating BJB humbucking pickup with volume control and endpin jack.

Notes: 'Lonesome George' Gobel began his career as a child cowboy singer on the National Barn Dance on Chicago's WLS radio. Turning to comedy after the war, Gobel became a national celebrity in the '50s, hosting a popular variety show on NBC-TV. Though featured with his Super 400, the diminutive entertainer was dwarfed by its massive body, and asked Gibson for a custom instrument better suited to his size. Trimming a standard L-5C to a slimmer 2 3/8" depth, Gibson X-braced the soundboard for a warmer acoustic voice, finished it in a vibrant cherry for the new color broadcasts, and presented it to Gobel live on his show, by country star Tennessee Ernie Ford in April of 1958.

Rushed into production the following year, the new slimline model was designated the L-5CT. A costly top-shelf instrument, only 43 of the L-5CT guitars were recorded in Gibson ledgers in the model's brief official run between 1959 and 1961. Some were fitted with the new PAF humbucker, some with the old 'Charlie Christian' bar pickup or Johnny Smith floating mini-humbuckers, and some as straight acoustics just like George's own.

This exceptionally rare instrument is a one-off reissue of this fabled guitar, built in 1993-4 in Gibson's Custom Shop, under the direction of famed luthier Jim Triggs. (Interestingly, the label of this instrument is inscribed simply 'George Gobel', rather than 'L-5CT', even though the model has never been officially marketed by Gibson under the artist's name.) Maintained in showroom condition, this gleaming guitar is 100% original, and carved from stunning highly figured Bigleaf maple in the back, sides and neck, with a soundboard of exceptionally fine grained Sitka spruce, thoroughly spanned by extensive crossgrain silk.

Weighing in at just 6lb. 7oz, the instrument is evenly balanced, and notably comfortable to hold with its signature slimmed depth profile. The neck has a classic gentle D profile, elegant and comfy, with smooth low action over the solid black ebony fingerboard, and a fresh high-precision setup. The deep vintage sunburst finish is free of playwear, and the instrument appears much as it left the factory over two decades ago. Meticulously faithful to the original L-5CT in every other respect, this custom guitar was built with the standard full-length 25 1/2" L-5 scale, rather than the short scale of the vintage Gobels. Along with the finely carved X-braced soundboard, this longer neck combines to pull acoustic projection and warmth of tone unexpected in any thinline archtop. And the factory original floating BJB humbucking pickup, as seen on the Citation and other ultra-premium Gibson archtops, conveys the voice smoothly and accurately to the amp every time.

Tone, comfort and exceptional appearance in one rare and remarkable instrument. One only, for sure: call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel strings (.012-.054). 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 light relief. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original deluxe arched Gibson logo plush lined hardshell case.




















































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