Gibson L-50 Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1938)

Gibson  L-50 Arch Top Acoustic Guitar  (1938)

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Item # 8192
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson L-50 Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1938), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 1262C-18, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, Spruce top, Maple back and sides, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

In the depths of the Great Depression, Gibson had a pressing need to develop more affordable guitars, and the (originally) $50 L-50 was one result. After a couple of false starts with smaller bodied designs, by 1938 the L-50 had emerged as a fairly affordable Gibson carved top guitar suitable for students, but also well suited to more advanced players on a budget. In many ways typical of its era, this L-50 is a 16" mid-sized arch-top guitar with a flat back; plain trim, but excellent materials and impeccable craftsmanship.

The body is single-bound top and back, with a sunburst top and dark stained back and sides. It is equipped with the standard simple adjustable ebony bridge, trapeze tailpiece, and elevated tortoise Celluloid pickguard. The bound rosewood fingerboard is inlaid with pearl dots, while the headstock features a pearl Gibson script inlay. The tuners are nickel-plated individual Grover Sta-Tites with celluloid buttons. These 16" mid-1930s Gibson arch-tops have a distinctive feel and sound with plenty of punch and are excellent entry-level vintage carved top guitars. They are also great for many funkier period styles like blues, ragtime, and jug band music, and even make surprisingly good finger-pickers. Then as now, the L-50 offers a very nice 1930s solid wood, carved top guitar at a comparatively affordable price.
Overall length is 40 1/4 in. (102.2 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.).

This is an extremely well-preserved guitar, as nice as we generally expect to see pre-WWII Gibsons these days. There are small dings and dents to the finish, a few of which have been touched up, and some light checking overall. The back of the neck has a bit of finish worn away on the sides down by the nut, which looks to have a touch of clear overspray. The original frets have some divoting in the lower positions that does not affect play.

It remains otherwise all original with the only notable alteration being a slight lowering of the saddle from the bottom. The guitar plays very well and has a big sound, not as sophisticated as the bigger pre-war arch-tops but with a charm all its own. Includes a somewhat battered but still fully functional 1970s HSC. Excellent + Condition.