Gibson L-5 Sunburst Archtop 1951 Vintage Acoustic Jazz Guitar


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Gibson L-5 Sunburst Archtop 1951

Here is a late-period L-5, the classic archtop acoustic that was played by Eddie Lang, Maybelle Carter, and innumerable big-band guitarists since its inception in 1922.  This one possesses a slightly warmer tone than some others we’ve seen, accentuating its nice, fat rhythm sound.  With a narrow nut width and round neck, along with original frets, this L-5 is a smooth player.  Without a pickguard, its look is even more simplified and elegant than usual.

 
By 1951, the classic L-5 was in its death throes, with electric guitars taking hold even in the jazz world.  Only 29 shipped that year, and the number would fall until the non-electric version was discontinued in 1958.  This is an exceptional piece, one of the few that has made its way through CME’s doors, and well worth spending some time with.


Summary

Body:
 Carved spruce top, maple back and sides.  Relatively dark two-tone
sunburst finish.  Rosewood bridge, bound f-holes, L-5 tailpiece.  

Neck:
 3-piece maple neck with stripe, bound rosewood fretboard,
split-parallelogram inlays, flowerpot peghead inlay.  Narrow nut width
with round profile.

Tone:  Warmer than usual, with a thick rhythm sound in particular.

Cosmetic Condition:  A number of scratches and dents on the top.  Very little buckle wear on the back, and smooth neck finish wear.  

Modifications: 
The bottom strap button has been replaced.  Missing pickguard. The
tailpiece is lifting from the body at the screws; it has been repaired
in the past, but is lifting again. It is still structurally sound, but
can be repaired again.

Case:  Non-original hardshell with two broken latches

L551SB

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