1934 Gibson L-5 1934 Gibson L-5 Gibson The legendary model that changed jazz guitar history! Arts & Entertainment 1934-gibson-l5-2 L-5 18000.00 DjangoBooks.com

1934 Gibson L-5

1934 Gibson L-5

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. First 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, Carl Kress, and Dick McDonough. Not only a jazz guitar, the L-5 is an extremely 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.

This 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.

Item Number:
9905
Your Price:
$18,000.00
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Guitar Specs
Brand Gibson
Year 1934
Model Number L-5
Serial Number 91100
Sound Hole F Holes
Fret Neck 14 Fret
Condition Excellent
Size 16"
Scale Length 24 3/4"
Nut Width 1 3/4"
Body Depth 3 1/4"
Top Spruce
Back and Sides Maple
Neck Maple
Fingerboard Ebony
Binding Ivoroid
Finish Nitrocellulose
Tailpiece Trapeze
Tuners Grover Butter Bean
Action 2.2mm
Strings Bronze .013
Case Geib Vintage Hardshell
Pickup(s) None
Truss Rod Yes
Weight 4.8 lbs
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