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Gibson L-48 Archtop Acoustic Guitar, 1952

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The Gibson L-48 archtop acoustic steel string guitar was built from 1946 to 1971, and was intended as a lower cost, basic and straightforward guitar. Many early examples do have solid Spruce tops, while the sides and back are a mixture of Mahogany and Maple laminates.

Here we’re looking at a Gibson L-48 built during 1952 at the historic Parsons Street plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Its tuners and tailpiece have been replaced, and it has a newer hard shell case, but otherwise it is in original condition with no sign of repairs. The top is solid Spruce, possibly Adirondack, with Mahogany sides and an arched laminate Maple back. The neck is Mahogany and the fingerboard, typical of the period, is Brazilian Rosewood as is the bridge. The faux tortoise pickguard is original. The frets seem original, and are quite worn to the third fret, with matching fingerboard wear. I’d have to say that many open position chords were played on this guitar!

The nitrocellulose lacquer sunburst finish is original – the top is sunburst and the back, sides and neck get a dark walnut tint. There is expected but not excessive natural lacquer checking.

This is a fun guitar to play. It has the standard Gibson 24.75 inch scale length, so chords are a comfortable reach. On many ‘Professional’ level archtops, scale length reaches 25.5 inches so that the extra tension can drive the top harder, but as this model was aimed at the amateur player, comfort is more important. Still, it’s pretty loud and the solid Spruce top provides a good degree of response and an overall warm yet percussive sound.

A non-original hard shell case is incuded.

Price: $1999.00 CAD
  • Model: L-48
  • Year: 1952
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 23172 25
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 16/10/2018

  • Not Consignment

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.29lbs 1.95kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43.5mm 1.71in
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