Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1943 Gibson L-00

FON 2008-1. We've sold, played, and repaired a great many L-00's over the years; most were great, and some were exceptional. But when it comes to tone, few, if any, can touch this 1943 model. Amazing dynamic range, raw power, spooky overtones, pure fundamentals, strong basses and trebles, warmth and thunk, presence and sparkle; it's got it all, and it's really that good.

We suspect the secret of this L-00's tone is that it was built in 1943 - a time of model transition at Gibson, and when material shortages and changes in workforce demographics significantly affected the instruments coming out of Michigan. This L-00 is built, most noticeably, with a Kalamazoo top (notice the bound soundhole and lack of rosette). What you won't see in the pictures, though, are the top's scalloped braces, carved identically to those on a Banner LG-2. Earlier L-00's were built much more robustly than this 1943 model, with untapered braces and heavier soundhole reinforcement. Couple this with the guitar's chunky round neck and absence of truss-rod and the tonal outcome is spectacular. The instrument resonates through every surface with a dry and defined warmth.

In exceptional condition, the L-00 is completely original but for a repro saddle and a slightly shaved bridge. We've re-contoured the bridge's top profile to historically accurate specs and the modification is, for the most part, indistinguishable. In addition, we've cleanly glued and cleated a pair of minor cracks between the soundhole and fingerboard. No other repairs, and all braces remain tightly glued. The guitar's set up is spot-on, the neck angle is perfect, original frets are showing very light wear in the first position, and finish is clean with only minor scratching.

If you've been hunting for the best sounding L-00 you can find, and prefer a round neck to the 1930's V-carve, we suspect we've found your instrument.

With newer TKL Deluxe hardshell case

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