Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1923 Gibson L-4

Serial # 75852. Introduced in 1912, the L-4 was Gibson's finest guitar offering until Lloyd Loar's signed L-5 arrived ten years later. The L-4 originally featured a 16" body, carved top and back, oval soundhole, and lavish trimmings. Interestingly, the model didn't change in any real significant way until the later 1920's, and it remained a round-soundhole model until the Gibson catalogue was revamped in 1934-35.

This example is the finest L-4 we've ever encountered. It is crack and repair free, completely original, in simply breath-taking condition, and beautifully set-up. The guitar plays well with original frets that show only modest wear, and a properly fit and adjusted bridge. The instrument's original finish shows little playwear and a light assortment of dings and scratches. Original tuning machines work well, and the tailpiece, pickguard, nut, and bridge are all in similarly excellent shape.

The guitar has an incredibly unique tone amongst archtops. What is most surprising about the L-4 is its flattop-like bass response adjacent to its full and bloomy mid-range pop. It has an open depth and amazing volume -- almost a 3 dimensional tone -- and sounds, not surprisingly, like the popular music of the 1920's and early 1930's. Think Lonnie Johnson, Eddie Lang and the like.

Carved spruce top and birch back with single white bindings, bound oval soundhole, and diamond-mosaic rosette. Raised tortoise-celluloid pickguard, adjustable ebony bridge and truss-rod (Loar-era features), trapeze tailpiece. 11-1/2 fret neck joint, highly radiussed fingerboard, 1-3/4 nut, sharply V'd neck with deep profile. Pearl 'The Gibson" headstock overlay, pearl nut and fingerboard dots, ivoroid fingerboard and soundhole binding, ivoroid tuning buttons. No cracks, repairs, or changes other than bridge-fitting and set-up. Perfect top shape with no sinkange.

A very rare and exciting instrument, with original hardshell case.

Click HERE for our hi-def video feature of this L-4

Shipping into the USA?

Sending this guitar to a US address is easy to do, and there are no import fees, taxes, or duties to pay when it arrives. We take care of everything involved in shipping -- all you have to do unpackage the instrument when it arrives and play!



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