Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1942 Gibson L-00

FON 7460H-18. The latest L-00 we’ve ever encountered, this instrument’s FON places it in the last batch of this model, according to Joe Spann’s recently publish FON records. There may be later L-00’s than this one with wartime FONs or no FON at all, but we’ve never encountered one. Interestingly, we have this guitar’s sister in the repair shop as I’m writing this – same instrument, FON batch number, but # 14 of the batch – with the same Made in USA export label inside the guitar and stamp on the headstock back.

The guitar was built alongside the first Banner LG-2’s in 1942, and shares certain design similarities. Its top is scalloped braced, for starters, and the neck has a chunky and round early banner feel, with 1-3/4” wide nut. The angled winged Maccasar ebony bridge is particular to 1942, as are the attractive multi-layered body bindings. The L-00 is in lovely condition, and the thicker bindings and reddish brown sunburst add considerable beauty to the instrument. It has just emerged from our repairshop after the re-repair of a crack between the bridge and bottom edge of the top, and a pair of cracks along the fingerboard’s edge. We’ve refretted it, as well, and have installed aged reproduction bone nut and saddle, along with a set of correct reproduction Henkes and Blazer pins. The guitar plays perfectly, with a proper neck angle and close to full height saddle.

With its scalloped bracing and big neck, the guitar sings with a hint of Banner LG-2 in its voice. But the it is unmistakably an L-00, with its quick response, dry basses, strong volume, and colorful compliment of overtones – and one of the best ones any of us here can remember.

With hardshell case

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