Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1927 Gibson L4

Serial # 85119. Formerly owned by British guitar legend Steve Philips, this Loar-era L-4 graced the stage along side Mark Knopfler, Guy Fletcher, and Brendan Crocker during their 'Notting Hillbiliies' days. The guitar was bought by Philips in the early 1970's, and stayed in his possession until selling it two years ago.

In addition to his musical chops, Philips is a skilled guitar builder and restorer, and beautifully modified the otherwise huge neck of this guitar at some point in the guitars past. The workmanship is very fine, and unless you were experienced in how massive the necks were on mid 1920's Gibson guitars, you'd likely not have noticed that the neck was ever carved at all. The shape of the neck is akin to a 50's Gibson -- round and just full enough -- and the guitar is incredibly comfortable to hold. The newer finish blends in with the old very well.

In addition to the neck carve, the tailpiece has been re-plated, the bridge has been replaced with a Schatten Design bridge/pickup with endpin strap-jack, and the tuners are new Stew-Mac Golden Age Waverly replicas. There appears to be a minor repair to the side of the headstock, but without speaking to Mr. Philips, we can't really figure out what, exactly, was repaired. There are no obvious issues other than a repaired fingerboard separation, and a minor crack in the overlay on the back of the headstock. The guitar is otherwise in beautiful condition and presents very well. The body is uncracked, and the original finish shows little wear. Frets are modern and in good order, and the instrument is set up well. Original pearl nut, pickgaurd, and bridge (in the case pocket).

An excellent sounding instrument, both amplified and acoustic, this L-4 has a balanced tone, with open mids, and more warmth than a comparable F-holed instrument. 16" wide carved body of spruce and maple, 24.9" scale length, 1-11/16" nut, highly radiussed fingerboard with 11-1/2" frets to the body. Needless to say, it's a spectacular looking guitar, too.

With original hardshell case

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