The L-4 was first introduced by Gibson in 1911 as an acoustic rhythm guitar with an oval sound hole. During the 1930s, the oval sound hole was replaced by two f-holes, similar to those found on other archtops of the time such as the L-5 and the Super 400.
In 1949, Gibson released the ES-175, which was essentially an electric version of the L-4 with a laminated (as opposed to carved) top and a Florentine cutaway.
Electric versions of the L-4 (known as L-4 CES) with a carved top and a Florentine cutaway, were released in limited runs throughout the 1950s.
In the late 1980s, Gibson reintroduced the L-4 CES, which has been in production ever since.
This is a refinished, player grade L-4C from 1949 - the first year of the cutaway and Gibson’s first Florentine cutaway.
• DESCRIPTION - 1948 Gibson L-4 Hollowbody guitar
• BUILD Carved solid spruce top
• Mahogany back and sides
• Glued-in mahogany neck
• Bound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard
• Parallelogram markers
• 19 frets
• HARDWARE Vintage Kluson replicas
• ELECTRICS – Gibson mini humbucker from mid 1960s
• FINISH 3-tone sunburst nitrocellulose refin
• WIDTH 16” lower bout
• SCALE LENGTH 24 3/4”
• NECK WIDTH 1 ¾” at nut
• NECK DEPTH 0.86” at first fret, 1.02” 9th fret
• WEIGHT 5.1 lbs
This guitar was refinished in USA long before the current owner bought it 20 years ago. It has a very nice sounding Gibson mini humbucker from the mid 1960s installed at the base of the neck – floating above the soundboard.
It has period correct replacement tuners, and a newer tailpiece. Respected Sydney luthier Piers Crocker carved a new pickguard and installed it with a volume control some years ago.
The bridge appears to be original. The guitar has been re-fretted and there are a couple of repaired cracks on the top - both completely stable.
This guitar has been around a while and has been played extensively - but she still plays and sounds great both acoustically and amplified.
Neck is nice and straight with very little fret wear. A nice round, meaty neck profile. Current set-up has a bit of relief in the neck - could probably be lowered if you desired to set the action down.
This is a classic guitar has over 70 years of stories to tell, with plenty of miles left on the clock.
Comes in an era correct Lifton case in good condition.