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Serial #: 92286 Body size at lower bout: 17", Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 3/4"
Finish: Cremona sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.
Materials: Solid handcarved maple back, sides and neck; handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and compensated bridge, ornate mother of pearl "picture frame" fingerboard inlays; older fat script Gibson peghead logo with "vase and curlicue" inlay; triple-bound body, bound fingerboard and headstock.
Hardware: Original hardware includes nickel-plated trapeze tailpiece; adjustable Brazilian rosewood compensated bridge; nickel Grover Sta-Tite tuners; adjustable truss rod. Vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard.
Notes: Regular visitors know that we have a special place in our hearts for the X-braced Gibson archtops of the '30's. In late 1934, to meet the increased demands for volume required by the Big Band era, Gibson increased the body size of its professional guitars from 16" to 17" in the lower bout. Just as significantly, Gibson introduced the X-brace support system for the first time in their archtop guitars. The X-brace had been used by Martin for some time, and has in recent decades found wide popularity with contemporary archtop builders for it's warm woody tone, with increased sustain and bass response.
The L-7 was Gibson's most popular 17" guitar, with the same size, scale and materials as the L-5. Interestingly, the L-7 of this era had a much more ornate inlay pattern than it's spendier cousin: with the so-called 'picture frame' fingerboard pattern, Gibson repurposed fancy Mastertone banjo inlays from the 1920's.
Built in the first full year for the 17" body, this gleaming guitar from 1935 shows the very earliest features of the new model: the small f-holes, narrow French heel, 20's style trapeze tailpiece, and shallower arch on both top and back. Most significant, however, is the neck. It's generally assumed that Gibson abandoned the classic 1 3/4" fingerboard of the late 20's along with the 16" body on the L- series guitars. This transitional instrument demonstrates that at least a few early 17" guitars were built with the more generous fingerboard, now so popular among contemporary players. In addition, this solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard is carved with a full 10" radius, giving it just slightly more curvature than the typical Gibson fretboard, a positive delight under the fingers.
This remarkable instrument is quite likely the finest example of the "Advanced Model" L-7 we have found to date. So lovingly cared for, it looks like the guitar simply got forgotten in a closet for the better part of a century. Preserved in breathtaking condition, the guitar is without cracks or repairs, and the deep Cremona sunburst finish is absent pick, buckle, or thumb wear. The solid maple back shows attractive slab-cut figure under the deep original dark walnut finish. Hardware is original as well, with the addition of a handsome vintage correct bound swirl tortoise pickguard. Smooth low action over fine original frets, with a gentle C profile neck without fingerboard wear. The voice of the X-braced soundboard is notably open, even and warmly resonant, with excellent sustain and bass response: great for chord melody, vocal backup, fingerstyle play or recording.
A thrilling example from Gibson's Golden Era of acoustic archtop guitars. One only: call now.
Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.
This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings (.013-.057). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.
Case: Original black arched 'red stripe' Gibson plush hardshell case.