5/04/2016

1934 Gibson L-7 (Modified) Archtop Guitar


My friend Greg caught the L-7 bug while trying out another friend's old Gibson L-7. I guess it's been torturing his thoughts as he lit out and bought this heavily-modified '34 L-7 and brought it here for show-and-tell -- and to get a new nut with wider string spacing installed. In the future it'll probably be due for a fret level/dress and a K&K pickup install, too.

Apparently this began life as a normal L-7 (non-cutaway), but went through Randy Wood's hands many, many moons ago and came out with a cutaway, refinish, fancier fretboard inlays, and a big pickguard-mounted electric pickup jazz setup. Greg yanked that off (he's mostly an acoustic musician) and swapped the old flatwound strings for a new set of roundwound 12s. After cutting the new nut, I set it up, and away it roared back to life with gusto.


This thing has punch and cut in spades -- and with that distinctive Gibson fancier-archtop lower-mids "grunt" when pushed hard with a big old pick. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about adding a cutaway to an antique archtop guitar, but at the time it was probably a way to make it more useful to the earlier owner -- and it's certainly useful for its new owner as he zips up and down the neck taking leads like a squirrel on speed.



The fancier inlays weren't mentioned at first, but I knew right away that they were simply too cleanly-inlaid to be Gibson factory work from the '30s.




Don't say otherwise: you and I, both, love bound f-holes.








The guitar itself is in very, very good health -- a testament to the skills of whoever reset the neck and did all of the modification work in the past.

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