Gibson L-50 (c. 1943)
Gibson's vintage archtop guitars still stand out as some of the most sought-after jazz boxes ever made, but the company's classic L-50 model proves that authentic tone and a gorgeous Gibson sunburst can still be had under $5000. This one, made during Gibson's World War II banner era, has a remarkable, throaty growl that responds effortlessly to the player's right hand, and lends it an excellent versatility for all different types of tunes. The L-50 varied a great deal over its production run and specifications can sometimes vary dramatically from year to year, but this one features spruce and maple construction, dual F-holes, and a 16" lower bout. This thing looks just as good as it sounds, too, with a quintessentially Gibson sunburst and the original celluloid tortoise-pattern pickguard.
Wear is fairly typical for a guitar of this age, and is especially visible on the top, including a small but salient patch on the bass side of the lower bout where the finish has worn away. While the pickguard and bridge are original, the tailpiece and tuners are not, and have been replaced with functional, but not period-authentic parts. Additional wear is visible on the back and the neck - all within the range of normalcy for a guitar of this age. Playability is excellent, with low, clean action and minimal fret wear, making it a delight to play in all neck positions. Unlike most banner year Gibsons, it even has an adjustable truss rod. We consider it to be in very good condition. As the original chipboard case has long since fallen apart, this guitar now comes with a non-original hard-shell case, which fits it very well.