Gibson L-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1936)

Gibson  L-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1936)
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Item # 8977
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Gibson L-00 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1936), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 913B-44, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, hard shell case.

The L-00 has remained one of Gibson's most popular Depression era flat-top guitars, then and now. While this model was at the bottom of the flat-top line in the early/mid-1930s, it offered a great value in sound. This example was built in 1936 (when the list price was $30.00, without the case) and it has far less play wear than most, surviving in more original condition than many. Many of these were literally played until they fell apart, we've put quite a few back together!

The top finish on this L-00 is a deep sunburst with a medium-sized lighter center, typical of the mid-1930s examples. There is single-ply white celluloid binding around the top edge, which is also ornamented with the distinctive 1930's "firestripe" tortoise celluloid pickguard and a three-ply sound hole ring. The back and sides are finished in dark mahogany, as is the fairly shallow "V" profile neck (softer on the spine than some examples) with an unbound rosewood fingerboard. The headstock carries a white stenciled "Gibson" logo and simple openback strip tuners with plastic buttons.

This model was a proletarian standard of the day, a great sounding, sharp looking professional grade guitar at a price affordable to blues players, Hillbilly string bands and other itinerant musicians as well as Gibson's intended student customers. Each one of these L-00's has its own character and this one is great-sounding both finger- and flat-picked, with a powerful ringing tone that never gets harsh.
Overall length is 39 5/8 in. (100.6 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.).
Overall this is a very nicely preserved L-00, cleaner than many of these working class wonders and one of the nicest of this model we have had in some time. It shows typical checking to the finish with small dings, dents and scrapes, with a couple of deeper dinks into the back. The lower edge of the soundhole rim and along the edges of the back are the only places there is much notable wear into the finish down to the wood. There is some capo scuffing and wear to the back of the neck in the lower positions but no deep gouges. There is one deep ding into the upper side just above the endpin.

The only crack on the instrument is one sealed grain split on the back off the front edge, pretty minimal damage for this lightly built instrument 80+ years along. The bridge has been reglued and there are marks around it, but the original rosewood piece maintains its original full height has never been cut down. The saddle has been re-worked, with more radius than it had originally. There has been a very neat neck re-set, evidence of which is only really noticeable under blacklight inspection. The frets and fingerboard show some light wear but nothing that affects playability. This is a lovely playing and sounding guitar, a super example of this pre-war Gibson classic in a high-grade modern HSC. Excellent - Condition.