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A video demo of this guitar can be seen here.


A mid-1930s L-50 like this may be the biggest bang for the buck if you're looking for a vintage 16-inch Gibson archtop.  That's why we love to have these available.  While the model had lots of little variations during the pre-war era, this version is the most desirable.  The reason is that it is the closest in build to the higher end versions like the L-5, L-7, L-10, and L-12.  That feature is the neck joint with the elevated fingerboard, rather than the flush fingerboard found on most L-50s.  This feature means the neck angle is more like the higher end versions and allows plenty of room to mount a floating pickup.


This guitar has a hand-carved, graduated spruce top with parallel "tone bar" bracing, laminated maple sides and back, an ebony bridge, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and a one-piece mahogany neck.  The neck has a medium, slightly rounded V-shape neck carve which is typical of the period.  The tuners are modern StewMac reproduction style replacements. The bridge is original. The tailpiece is a later circa 1940s model which is more robust and solid than the original.


This L-50 has been a working musicians guitar much of its life and has been refretted before.  The current frets show a bit of wear with some slight flattening of the frets at a few points.  They have lots of life left in them though, and the playability is superb.  All notes ring out clearly at all frets.  There is plenty of room at the bridge to adjust either up or down, as the player prefers.  The guitar has the  classic, warm, punchy tone of a pre-war Gibson 16-inch guitar with nice balance and a hint of that nice "built in reverb" effect that they often have.


The guitar shows some wear and tear to be expected with a well-played but well cared for 80+ year old guitar.  The top and sides are crack free. The back has reglued braces and two repaired back as shown.


Weight - 4.5 pounds

Nut width - 1.75 inches

1st fret depth - 0.94 inches

10th fret depth - 1.13 inches


The guitar comes with an appropriately sized chipboard case or gig bag as the buyer prefers.


Ships free in the continental United States.  We also ship worldwide. Please contact us for international rates.

1936 Gibson L-50 - Elevated Fingerboard

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