Gibson L-4N Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1942)
Gibson L-4N Model Arch Top Acoustic Guitar (1942), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 97509, natural lacquer finish, maple back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case. Item # 7148
This fine pre-WWII L-4N is a actually bit of a stylistic throwback; although built just at the beginning of the war years many of the features are more typical of an early/mid '30's guitar. The L-4 was by this point the highest grade 16" wide archtop guitar offered by Gibson, the models above from the L-7 on up having been "advanced" to 17" bodies. The earlier L-7 had in fact been identical to this L-4 except for the new-for-1939 natural finish option, one of the many confusing marketing moves perpetrated by Gibson during the Depression!
With its 16" body, unbound F-holes and deep "C" profile neck this L-4 is in fact the closest thing remaining in Gibson's late 1930's line to the original 1924 L-5, the first modern archtop. With fancy Lucas-style fingerboard inlay and fleur-de-lys inlaid peghead, this L-4 is in some ways fancier than many earlier more expensive Gibsons. Besides looking very stylish, this L-4N is very nice guitar for a range of musical applications, equally at home in early Jazz and Blues or more recent styles.
Overall length is 41 1/2 in. (105.4 cm.), 16 1/8 in. (41 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This guitar has had some resroration performed but remains a lovely sounding and good playing instrument. The natural finish is quite nice overall; there are some checking and monor dings and scrapes but no major areas of wear. The back center seam of the neck has been re-sealed, and a clear overfinish added to the back of the neck. The finish is worn down on either side of the neck by the fingerboard. The tailpiece is original, the adjustable bridge is a modern fitting, and the tuners and pickguard are replicas. It has been professionally refretted and a strap button added to the side of the heel. There is an under-bridge pickup from "Pickup The World" attached to an endpin mini-jack; this is currently not mounted but is available for use if desired. Overall this is a nice period example of a blonde 16" Gibson archtop. Includes a well-worn but functional HSC. Overall Very Good + Condition.
This item is currently on hold.
Prices subject to change without notice.
Click on a thumbnail above for a detailed view.
| Home | Contact | Hours | Purchase | Search | Just
Retrofret - New York String Service
233 Butler Street | Brooklyn, New York, 11217 USA
718 237 6092 Voice | 718 237 6092 Fax
All text and photographs © 2003 Retrofret and may not be reproduced without permission.