Museum: Gibson Guitars

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c.1929 Gibson L-0

FON 9497. Website faithful will likely agree that Folkway has a thing for vintage instruments that are in exceptionally fine condition. We've always done our best to offer our audience some of the finest vintage guitars the world has to offer. Along these lines, and with giddy excitement, we present this virtually new early L-0. It's one of the earliest large-body L-flattops we've found, and it's amazing in every way.

All-mahogany construction, larger 14-3/4" body, engraved Waverly tuners, ebony nut, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, single-bound body. Round neck, quite contemporary in feel, with a 1-3/4" nut, and full thickness fingerboard. Notice the solid white soundhole ring -- we've never seen a Gibson without a black line in the rosette.

An exceedingly lightly built guitar at about 2-1/2 Lbs, the construction is identical to the Gold Sparkle L-2's, Kel Kroydens, and Stewarts that we've encountered over the years. With razor-thin tapered braces and a bridge-plate that measures only .040" thick (1mm), it's truly amazing that the guitar has survived as well as it has through eighty years. The only repairs to the guitar are the original-spec reproduction bridge and three very cleanly reglued brace ends care of our repairshop.

A perfect fingerstyle set up, excellent neck angle, full height saddle, and unworn frets; the nut has never been off, and the bridge pins are original. Apart from a few very minor scratches, the guitar looks exactly the same as it did in 1929.

And we've saved the best for last. As wonderful as this guitar is to look at, it's genuinely even better play. A grand instrument, with incredible body resonance, huge bass and sub-bass response, and cavernous sustain. When an instrument is built this lightly, the line between fundamental and overtone is blurred; and depending on a player's attack the notes can jump or smoothly slide from the soundhole and body. A light but confident touch and a controlled right hand coaxes the best out of the guitar -- this one isn't made for heavy strumming or hard flat-picking. The pleasure of this L-0 is listening to each note decay, and that requires a certain style of playing. Truly an amazing and inspiring instrument.

With original chipboard case

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