With its hand-carved spruce top, maple back and sides, (arched back), solid mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard and bridge, the L-50 was in production from 1932 to 1971 and was Gibson’s all time most popular archtop model.
This long-running Gibson archtop went through several design changes in the ’30s and ’40s including changes in hardware and body dimensions. Like other Gibsons, there was also some inconsistencies in production during World War II. But from from 1949 onward, the model stayed large the same.
True to the music at the time of its origin, Gibson considered the L-50 a jazz box, but generation after generation of intuitive players has hailed them as one of the great blues guitars, with fantastic punch and clarity and none of the bottom end boominess that many archtops are cursed with. Eric Clapton included his beloved L-50 in the first Crossroads guitar auction, (it sold for $20,000). Clapton had bought the guitar, stating a desire to sound like New Orleans bluesman Snooks Eaglin.
Archtop acoustic with a fully bound spruce top
Fully bound maple back & sides
16” wide at the lower bout
Fully bound mahogany neck
Brazilian rosewood fingerboard & bridge
Scale length of 24 3/4”
Nut width of 1 9/16”
Pearloid block inlays
20 medium jumbo frets
Original Kluson Deluxe tuning keys
Replacement trapeze tailpiece
Weight is 4.75 lbs
This classic L-50 is in stunning (almost) original condition. The only change is its later trapeze tailpiece. Apart from that, everything is the same as the day it emerged from Gibson’ Kalamazoo facility in 1969.
With beautifully aged binding and some lovely, very fine checking in the nitrocellulose finish – which shows when you catch the light just right – the guitar is in spectacular, barely played condition. A few light marks here and there, but nothing significant. The back is pristine – absolutely no buckle rash.
Original tuners working perfectly, truss rod good, original frets showing microscopic wear on first frets only. No work done on this guitar, and none needed.
The sound is just as stunning as the cosmetic condition – a sparkling top end, warm mids, and a well defined bottom end with no sign of archtop ‘woofiness’ sometimes associated with this design.
The action is perfect, with room for adjustment either way at the bridge. The neck profile is very slightly rounder than a modern C-profile, and with the same 24¾” scale as a Les Paul or other contemporary Gibson model.
A true vintage classic Gibson acoustic archtop that just makes you wanna play it …. and play and play and play it.
Comes in its padded hard shell case in excellent condition.