Gibson L-0 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1931)

Gibson  L-0 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1931)
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Item # 8628
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Gibson L-0 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1931), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 48 (FON), dark mahogany lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

Here is a particularly fine, amazingly well-preserved example of a rare and wonderful Gibson flat-top produced only for a brief period from 1929-31. This all-mahogany, X-braced L-0 with a 12-fret neck joint was built in early-mid 1931 and combines features from earlier and later eras into a unique package. With a clear natural mahogany finish and white celluloid accents, this model maintains an austere but elegant 1920s look but is built on the more "modern" larger body of a 1930s flat-top guitar.

The wider, less rounded body shape and X-braced top introduced on these models would be subsequently used on the 14-fret L-0 and L-00 throughout the 1930s, but the older thin natural lacquer finish and small silver script "The Gibson" logo were gone by 1932. The neck has a very comfortable slim rounded "C" profile, quite unlike the deeper heavy "V" adopted for these models soon after. These earliest 12-fret L-0s also feature exceptionally light construction, even compared to mid-1930s examples. While we are partial to all pre-WWII Gibson flat-tops, we find the L-0 from this year to be a particularly attractive-looking and a fabulous-sounding guitar, and an exceptionally responsive instrument.
Overall length is 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm.), 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.). This all-original L-0 is one of the cleanest and best preserved Gibson flat top guitars from this period we have ever seen. These all-mahogany flat tops from Kalamazoo are very lightly built and almost never survive in this sort of condition-most are heavily worn and/or much repaired. This guitar has never had a single crack. The very thin lacquer finish overall has some light micro-checking and minor handling wear, but virtually no pickwear to the top at all. The only really noticeable damage to the finish is some deep dings to the lower side just off the treble side of the heel -- it looks like a number of small hits from a slide…or possibly a pinky ring! The finish on the back and sides has some small dings and scrapes but no major wear.

The very lightly built X-braced top is extremely well preserved; indeed the entire guitar is structurally completely sound and amazingly unmolested. The original rosewood bridge has never been cut down, and internally everything is very clean and untouched, even the slim braces and tiny bridgeplate. The neck was recently carefully reset (which is something of a delicate job on these) with a bit of discreet touch-up around the heel and fingerboard edges but no other work has ever been performed. The frets are still the original height and crown, the original tuners are still shiny with lovely amber buttons and even the black plastic bridgepins and endpins are all original. This guitar plays sounds fantastic, with more depth than many of these and plenty of volume even played lightly. About as nice as they come, still with the original 1931 heavy chipboard case. Excellent + Condition.