1919 Gibson L-4 – £2199
NEW ARRIVAL Introduced in 1912, the L-4 was Gibson’s finest guitar offering until Lloyd Loar’s signed L-5 arrived ten years later. The L-4 features a 16″ body, carved top and back, oval soundhole, and lavish trimmings. The guitar has an incredibly unique tone amongst archtops. What is most surprising about the L-4 is its flattop-like bass response with a full and bloomy mid-range pop. It has an open depth and amazing volume — almost a 3 dimensional tone — and sounds, not surprisingly, like the popular music of the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Think Lonnie Johnson, Eddie Lang and the like. This particular example has clearly had quite a life, and several scars to prove it, but then at 102 years old that’s not a huge surprise….. What’s really interesting to me, though, is the original pickguard with it’s tortoiseshell supports are still intact, together with the metal side bars – it really is a piece of engineering. Then there’s the beautiful plum sunburst, oval soundhole with lovely rosette, tortoiseshell tailpiece cross bar, ‘The Gibson’ headstock logo, and fossilised bone tuners. It’s like playing a piece of history, yet it feels strong enough to gig, has a very comfortable feeling, full V profile neck, and comfortable playing action. There are a few crack repairs, all of which are stable. This really is a chance to own a piece of Gibson history – the guitar even comes in it’s original deluxe hard case.