The archetypal high-end instrument for the professional jazz artist or collector, the Le Grand model from Gibson Custom is the pinnacle of achievement in archtop guitar production. The Le Grand has always been a select model manufactured in limited numbers, and only 963 of the original Johnny Smith version were produced between 1962 and 1979.
Introduced in 1993, the Gibson Le Grand model draws inspiration from the two most highly prized archtops of the 20th century. The direct successor to the legendary Johnny Smith model, the Le Grand features the comfy, slightly slimmed 3" body, and warm, X-braced soundboard of its famed predecessor. And from the classic L-5, the Le Grand borrows the long 25 1/2" scale for snap and projection, as well as the 1 11/16" fingerboard. The result is an instrument that combines the best of Gibson's most influential acoustic archtop guitars.
The core of the LeGrand is formed by an instrument that is crafted as a top-flight acoustic archtop guitar in its own right. Its soundboard is carved from a solid piece of high-grade spruce, and its back and sides are carved from high-grade maple. The guitar’s top was given the X-bracing pattern preferred by many players in a fully acoustic instrument.
The mini-humbucking pickup — known as a floating BJB pickup that was originally borrowed from a Seth Lover design for Epiphone — is mounted to the end of the fingerboard, with no contact with the body at all to avoid impeding the free resonance of the soundboard.
Likewise, the single volume control and input jack are mounted to the floating pickguard. This arrangement was so revolutionary at the time that the suspended, neck-end-mounted pickup has been known ever since as “a Johnny Smith pickup”.
- Manufactured at the Bozeman Plant, MA, USA 10th July 1997
- 17” wide, 3” deep (not as deep as L-5)
- Single rounded cutaway
- X-braced carved solid sitka spruce top, solid maple back and sides
- 1 floating BJB mini-humbucking pickup, volume control on pickguard
- Adjustable ABR-1 on ebony bass with abalone inlays
- Six-finger tailpiece unit with individual fine-tuning adjustment screws for each string
- Multiple-bound top and back of body, fingerboard & headstock
- Bound f-holes & pickguard
- Abalone split-block fingerboard Inlays
- 5” scale, 3 piece figured maple neck
- Neck shape and length: Gentle D profile
- Neck radius: 12”
- Nut Width: 1.69”
- Multiple-bound ebony fingerboard with square end
- Split-block inlays, multiple-bound headstock
- 5 piece split-diamond headstock inlay
- Gold-plated hardware
- Tortoise shell pickguard
- Tuning machines: Grover keystone
This fabulous Le Grand archtop from Gibson Custom Art & Historic Division is an absolute work of art. It was bought new by its one owner from a well known Sydney Gibson dealer and has been looked after very well.
It is in almost new original condition, with no changes or modifications. There are a couple of tiny dents on the back which are very hard to see & impossible to photograph. The top and sides are totally clean, fret wear is minescule, truss rod & tuners work perfectly and the gold hardware is still gleaming.
This is the ultimate Gibson archtop in spectacular original condition. There is very limited availability on these, and they are almost never seen in Australia. List price is well over AUD$20,000 if you can find one.
This is a beautiful guitar in every way, presented in fabulous condition. It would suit a player or collector seeking the zenith of craftsmanship from Gibson Custom, and it will more than satisfy your every expectation.
Comes in its original Gibson Custom hard shell case in excellent condition, along with Gibson Art & Historic checklist & warranty papers.
Video demo of same model - https://youtu.be/BI0ijJ3KlYc