Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1928 Gibson Nick Lucas Special

FON 8939, Serial # 83702. An astonishingly clean and wonderful sounding early Nick Lucas. The NLS model was first built in mid 1927, and this example is one from the third batch of instruments, build sometime in 1928. The guitar features H bracing, a 7-pin, three-layer bridge, and silver silkscreened "The Gibson" headstock logo. It is one of the most finely preserved Nick Lucas models we've encountered, and the earliest we've yet had through the shop. A historically interesting guitar, but even more so, a top-notch player.

Mahogany back and sides, spruce top, early-style small body with a depth tapering from 4-5/8" to 4-1/4". Low oval mahogany neck with bound rosewood fingerboard, varied pattern inlays and engraved Waverly tuning machines. Rich Cremona rubbed sunburst stained top, dark mahogany back and sides, thin gloss lacquer finish. There is one near-invisible repaired top crack by the bridge's bass wing, and a 1" long crack near the treble side of the fingerboard; the instrument is otherwise crack-free. A very cleanly executed neck reset and in-shop set-up ensures perfect playability, and the guitar's low fingerstyle action is a joy.

With the combination of the guitar's incredibly light build, H bracing, and deep-sided body, this Nick Lucas Special has a very unique and special voice. It has a sweetness across the strings, and an incredible compliment of overtone goodness to offer. It's a guitar that gives its fullest with little effort to the person holding it, and is more expressive than most others we've encountered. With a flat-pick and medium attack, a slight arch-top tonality become evident, but the guitar retains it's open-voiced richly hued response.

With original hardshell case

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