This 1940 Gibson L-12 represents one of the earliest examples of the parallel braced, 17-inch version of the Gibson archtop. This is the version that powered much of the big band era rhythm section, replacing the x-braced version which didn't have the mid-range punch to work in bands with horn sections. This guitar has the classic bark that was sought after by players of the 1930s and 1940s. The top is Adirondack spruce and the back and sides are flame maple. The neck is three piece flame maple with a walnut center strip. The fingerboard is Brazilian rosewood.
The frets appear original and show significant wear. For the time being, the guitar still plays very well. They could hold up for quite a while longer for a player with a light touch, but would likely need to be replaced fairly soon for a hard gripping player. The neck has a full C-shape, typically seen in the 1940s, very comfortable for players who like a circa 1954-1957 Gibson neck carve.
The guitar shows a complete mahogany stain refinish that appears to have been professionally done quite a while ago. This finish is in very good condition with some scratches and a few small chips. There are filled holes on the bass side of the fingerboard extension, consistent with a prior floating DeArmond pickup mount. The tailpiece appears to be original to the guitar, but shows brazing repair at the hinge that appears very well done and strong. The bridge and tuners are replacements, the tuners being unmarked, Kluson Deluxe style. These tuners works beautifully. The original internal label is in place, but is largely unreadable due to finish overspray.
Weight - 5.19 pounds
Nut width - 1.73 inches
1st fret depth - 0.93 inches
10th fret depth - 0.98 inches
The guitar comes with a great fitting case that appears consistent with the 1980s. This case is in great condition with all hinges and latches working appropriately.
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