Connoisseurs have long known that the best sounding Gibson archtop
guitars are the 16" L5 models that were designed by the legendary
acoustic engineer Lloyd Loar. These were the very first jazz guitars
which, largely due to the innovations introduced by Lloyd Loar,
posses tonal subtleties and acoustic projection that later models never
matched. Loar's design improvements included violin inspired features
such as a cantilevered fingerboard, "f" shaped sound holes, and a tap
tuned top and back, as well
as modern conveniences such as an adjustable bridge and a truss rod.
produced in 1922, the L-5 quickly became the gold standard for jazz
guitar and found its way into the hands of numerous virtuosos of the
time, including such luminaries as Eddie Lang, Nick Lucas, Les Paul,
Kress, and Dick McDonough. Not only a jazz guitar, the L-5 is an
versatile instrument that was also played by
country music star Mother Maybelle Carter and Nashville session
guitarist and Grand Ole Oprey player Jack Schook. Even long after
Gibson had introduced the larger Advanced Model L-5s, these smaller 16"
models remained legendary for their unparalleled tone and projection,
and continued to be the first choice for acoustic work by players such
as Barney Kessel, Tony Romano, and Marty Grosz.
Gibson introduced the "Advanced" model in 1935, making this model from 1934 one of the last built with Lloyd Loar's 16" body specs. Even before Gibson redesigned the L5, some smaller cosmetic changes were made starting in the 30s, including block fingerboard inlays with a square end and a logo that just reads "Gibson" instead of "The Gibson." It was also common in this period to use kerfed braces (braces which are glued together from multiple pieces) instead of the solid braces specified by Loar. I'm happy to report that this guitar is one of the rare later models that has the Loar style solid braces which produces a richer, fuller tone.
This instrument lives up to its reputation as the sound is simply glorious! It has a full and complex midrange that produces rich chords and flowing, mellifluous single note lines. The bass register is full, yet tight and clear with excellent definition that provides a wonderful bottom end to anything you play. The high end response is crisp yet rounded, with just enough treble to add some sizzle when you need it but is never harsh or grating. This instrument is also phenomenally loud, with the sort of projection that seems to defy physics. It is the consummate acoustic jazz guitar that will cut through in a big band or around a camp fire jam, all the while producing a tone that is rich and full of character.
instrument is in exceptional condition, with the original finish and
only a few small modifications over its long life. The pickguard was
replaced with a period correct reproduction. All the tuners are original
Grover Sta-Tite tuners, with the exception of the low E which was
replaced by an identical, albeit slightly later Grover model. The
tailpiece and bridge are original, as is the personalized truss cover
which reads "Frank M. Scully." A small crack on the back was cleated,
the heel cap was replaced, and a neck reset and setup where done. The
instrument plays easily with smooth, 2.2mm action.
It's rare to find an original Gibson L-5 in such good condition, and
even rarer to find one with solid braces. Normally you'd have to pay
well over $20K for an L-5 that sounds as good as this making this one
an exceptional value!
This is the CASH price...add 3% (4% for International orders) if you'd like to pay with a credit card.
|Sound Hole||F Holes|
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Scale Length||24 3/4"|
|Nut Width||1 3/4"|
|Body Depth||3 1/4"|
|Back and Sides||Maple|
|Tuners||Grover Butter Bean|
|Case||Geib Vintage Hardshell|