4/07/2014

c.1936 Gibson L-37 Carved-top Guitar




I have a huge fondness for Gibson carved and press-arched products... they just kill the competition most days. This one is especially sweet as it has a "bluesy" shape and size (L-00 shape with 14 3/4" lower bout) with a flat back. Add to that its carved, tonebar-braced top and you get a creamy, punchy, carrying Napoleon. I wish my own L-30 had the sort of forward bark and drive that this one has.

Anyhow, this is a customer's guitar that should be up for consignment soon. My work on it included a fret level/dress and cleating/filling of the top center seam near the tailpiece area. I also filled/sealed a much smaller hairline crack on the upper bout (where you'd expect it: at the screw hole for the pickguard) and sealed up the center-seam on the upper bout of the rear.

This guitar is all-original save its tuners and has killer sound and playability. There's nothing like that Gibson 24 3/4" scale for a slick feel and the mild-v neck brings your right back to that 30s Gib feel.




There are a few scratches here and there but overall the finish is in amazing shape. It's glossy, three-dimensional and elegant.


Sprayed-on branding and (original) truss cover. The bone nut is also original and this has a 1 11/16" nut width.


The board is radiused rosewood. Pearl dots with celluloid? side dots.


The original, adjustable rosewood bridge is in good shape.


Classic Gibson tailpiece... note the fixed-up center seam. This is cleated behind so it's good for the long haul.


The sun brings out pretty intense coloring... this looks a little darker in person but still it's quite crisp.



The back and sides (flamed maple!) are stained that medium crimson-brown that Gibson was known for throughout the 20s.



Mahogany neck.

These tuners are unoriginal and came from my parts-bin. There was a mix-mash of one original strip of tuners and one replacement strip beforehand. I stowed the original strip in the case compartment for this guitar and then scrounged these from my parts bin. They're 50s/60s style but the wear and "look" is right for the time. They also work just fine.


Good neck set...



It was a bit hard to get the maple to pop while taking pics... but it's nice to see this medium flame throughout it all.







...original endpin, too.


The original chipboard case is a bit worn but it's protected this guitar all this time and still serves for light duty.


It even has some old Mona-Steel string sleeves and strings in the case pocket, too!


Here's the remaining side of the original tuners. StewMac offers repro tuners that are quite similar to these if a new owner was particularly interested in having something more 30s spec.

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