Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tone Wood: Gibson 16'' non cutaway achtop maze

Gibson 16'' non cutaway achtop maze 

The Gibson L4, L5(16”), L48 and L50 are all look a likes and these days it is difficult to understand why Gibson has made so many almost identical models.

I bought a very nice pre-war Gibson L50 archtop guitar. The first L50 (1932) had a 14,75 inch body which changed to 16 inch in 1934. The first 16 inch L50 guitars (the so called pre-war versions) were produced with a solid flat maple back and sometimes with a carved maple back. After the war Gibson changed to laminated rims and laminated arched back. 

The picture shows an L50 from 1937. Hand carved solid spruce top, hand carved solid flamed maple back and rims. The elevated neck extension, the dot position markers and the pearl Gibson logo inlay is typical for the prewar versions of the L50. 

The elevated neck gives enough room for a floating pickup. It could have been an L5 if it had a bit more bindings and inlays d of course an ebony fingerboard.