Gibson L-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1934)

Gibson  L-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1934)

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Item # 8687
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Gibson L-00 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1934), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 921 (FON), sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The L-00 has always remained one of Gibson's most popular Depression era flat-top guitars, then and now. While this model was at the bottom of the flat-top line in the early/mid-1930s, it offered a great value in sound. This example was built in 1934 (when the list price was $27.50, without the case) and it has far less play wear than most, surviving in more original condition than many.

The top finish is a deep sunburst with a small lighter center, typical of the mid-1930s guitars. There is single-ply white celluloid binding around the top edge, which is also ornamented with a "firestripe" tortoise celluloid pickguard and a three-ply sound hole ring. The back and sides are finished in dark mahogany, as is the fairly shallow "V" profile neck (softer on the spine than some examples) with an unbound rosewood fingerboard. The headstock carries a white stenciled "Gibson" logo and simple openback strip tuners.

This model was a working-class standard of the day, a professional grade guitar at a price affordable to blues players, Hillbilly string bands, and many other itinerant musicians as well as Gibson's intended student customers. This one was originally shipped outside the US, as there is a tiny "Made in USA" stamped on the back of the headstock. Each one of these guitars has its own character and this one is great-sounding both finger- and flat-picked, with a powerful ringing tone that never gets harsh.
 
Overall length is 39 5/8 in. (100.6 cm.), 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This is a very nicely preserved early 14-fret L-00, with some light wear but no major damage or alteration. The neck has been well-reset, and there is a light clear overspray over much of the guitar, most notably the back and sides. The heaviest is in the heel area, where it look like some finish patching was done during the reset process. The top and back of the neck have a light overspray as well; the headstock is untouched. There are a couple of small grain cracks in the treble side, cleanly repaired and not very evident from the outside.

Overall there is far less wear than most of these budget Gibsons, and internally the bracing and bridgeplate are unaltered. The bridge is original -- it looks like the slant of the saddle has been adjusted for better intonation and the top oversprayed. The frets and fingerboard show only very light wear in the lower positions, and playability is excellent. This is a great looking, very fine playing and sounding example in ready-to-gig condition. Includes a newer HSC. Excellent Condition.