One of the last of the 16-inch L-5 guitars built by Gibson. It has a carved Adirondack spruce top, carved maple back, solid maple sides, and maple neck. The bound fingerboard is ebony with 20 frets, and pearl block inlays at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, and 15th frets. The end of the fingerboard is pointed. The top bracing is parallel and non-kerfed.
The original Cremona Sunburst finish is in excellent condition on the top and back. There are some minor scratches and dings present, but none of these are very noticeable unless one carefully inspects the guitar. The top and sides are crack free on this guitar. The back has a tightly repaired 2" crack at the bottom of the guitar. Also, at one time (before 1975), the back was removed for some reason. I would guess that the center seam on the back had separated due to dryness, and the back was removed to do the repair. A dark center strip was added to fill the gap left by the two pieces of the back having shrunk. The repair was so well done that I thought the center strip was original construction, and I didn't notice it. Upon exploring the inside of the guitar, I then realized that this center strip was added. The inside of the guitar is clean and the center seam is lightly cleated for reinforcement of the back joint with thin wood strips. The binding that joins the back to the sides had obviously been removed to facilitate the separation of the back from the sides. The binding shrunk, and when it was reinstalled there was a piece of binding added to fill the gap caused by the shrinkage, just above the end pin. The sides were over sprayed with lacquer to touch up this repair.
Other repairs done to this L-5 are a neck reset, refret, and the standard adjustments to the action. The guitar plays great, and has a straight neck. It is strung with standard medium gauge strings, (013-056).
The original serial number on the interior white label is unreadable, but a previous owner has written, in Sharpie pen, the number 91440. The specifications and features on this guitar are identical to another L-5 with serial number 91438 that appears on the fantastic website "Prewargibsonl-5". This serial number implies a 1935 shipping date. The FON number is difficult to read but appears to be 126X-7, indicating a late 1934 production date.
The hardware on the guitar is gold plated. The wrap-around gold tailpiece is original, and the ebony bridge is original. The gold Grover G-98 Statites (6:1 tuning ratio) have been replaced with a later set of gold G-98 Grovers with a 12:1 tuning ratio. The pickguard is missing. The original red line Geib case is included and in fully funtional condition.
The guitar is very loud and well balanced, with a full range of sound from a deep bass response to smooth mids and a bright high end.