Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1931 Gibson L-2

FON 113. The L-2 is among the most enigmatic of Gibson's flat top models. Produced in very limited numbers for only a few years, there just aren't too many of these around; and as such, they've kept a fairly low profile on the vintage guitar market's radar. The first L-2s left Kalamazoo in 1929, the last in about 1933. In that short period, the model's design changed twice -- from the gold sparkle-bound Argentine Grey mahogany 12 fretters with pin bridges, to the Brazilian rosewood, trapeze tailpiece 13 fretters like the one offered here, and finally to a 14 fret pin-bridge natural-finished rosewood variant that was produced in impossibly small numbers. The trapeze bridge versions are the most common, relatively speaking, but still something of a needle in a haystack, particularly when in a condition as fine as this example.

Brazilian rosewood back and sides, X braced spruce top, trapeze tailpiece, and archtop-style floating bridge and pickguard. 13 fret neck joint, nearly 25" scale length, larger L body shape. Round neck, 1-3/4" at the nut, with bound rosewood fingerboard, pearl headstock ornament, and Waverly tuning machines. The guitar is completely original, unaltered, and in exceptionally fine condition. There is a pair of fairly insignificant repaired side cracks on the lower bass bout (about 1.5" long), but no other cracks or damage. Frets play perfectly, set up is excellent. A few very cleanly executed brace re-glues by our shop.

The instrument's tone is both unique and wonderful. It has the quickness and round midrange of an archtop, with the darkness and overtones of a lightly built L-body flat-top. A particularly expressive guitar that appreciates a solid right hand attack with a heavy flat-pick.

As a candidate for pin-bridge conversion, the X brace and bridge positioning would allow for a seamless and fairly straightforward modification after forward setting the neck. The guitar plays perfectly as it sits, though, and sounds very special.

With period-correct chipboard case

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