Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1928 Gibson L-0

FON 9074. Certainly among the earliest Gibson flat-tops we've ever offered on these pages, and easily among the most lightly built, this small all-mahogany guitar was built at a time of great transition for Gibson. From the two-piece bridge design with 'spare tire' pin, to the unique variant of H-style bracing and its incredibly gossamer construction, there is little about this guitar that at all resembles the instruments that came out of Kalamazoo five years earlier or five years later.

Small-size 12 fret L body of solid mahogany, white bindings and simple W-B-W rosette. The bracing is a variation of Gibson's H bracing, but with more angle-orientated braces. Our friend, Gibson historian John Thomas, has casually labeled this brace layout as "Lazy H" bracing. On the outside, the guitar features an incredibly thin lacquer finish over the natural Mahogany. Short scale neck with small frets, dot inlays, and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard.

A completely original guitar in very fine condition. The instrument's light finish wear is the only issue of any significance; and, even then, is not of much concern. The finish is worn off where there would otherwise be a pickguard, and the mahogany has darkened from exposure. There are three small side cracks (all repaired), and a few extra notches in the original ebony nut that suggest the guitar was used as a tenor for a part of its life. Inside, the guitar's braces are tight and original.

A delightful guitar to play and hold, the L-0 has amazingly sweet, round, poppy and present trebles, and surprising immediacy. Excellent overtones, and just the right amount of sustain make this the consummate fingerstyle blues guitar. Despite the top's playwear, we'd categorize this one squarely as a fingerstyle instrument, as its light build would get overpowered by an excessively heavy right hand attack. The neck is round and quite modern in feel, with 1-3/4" nut width and medium-low profile.

With period chipboard case

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