1932 Gibson L-0

A wonderful sounding all-mahogany Gibson L-0 that offers all the expressive smoky darkness these early 1930’s 12 fretters are famous for, along with a strong and present fundamental and a full and rounded high-end. It’s a particularly magical guitar that does the mellow/dead-string thing really well.

The natural-finish all-mahogany large-bodied L-0 was built from late 1929 into late 1932, when the specifications changed to the now-familiar Tuxedo white-on-black. The change appears to have been gradual, with both black and natural L-0s shipping concurrently for what seems like a few months. There were even a few batches of 14 fret natural L-0s shipped in early 1933. Through the years, whichever incarnation we encountered has always been a guitar we’ve fallen hard for.

This example has just been through our shop and emerged with new frets, a new old-looking bridge, and a new bridgeplate that is 1/8” oversized. We’ve repaired cracks along the edges of the fingerboard extension and have added a compact popsicle brace to the area under the extension for the needed support. The back and sides are free of cracks or repairs, and the top’s flaws are quite minor; there are a few very short, repaired cracks stemming from the back edge of the bridge. All of the guitar’s braces are tightly glued, with no evidence of any regluing. The neck has been reset, the tuning machines are original, and the instrument’s original lacquer has not seen any touch-up. There is plenty of playwear to the finish; there remains no lacquer to much of the neck barrel, the finish is arm-worn on the top’s lower bout, and the top shows pickwear north of the pickguard and along the soundhole. The net result is a wonderfully attractive playworn vintage Gibson with perfect playability and incredible tone.

The neck has a round carve, a nut width that’s a hair shy of 1-3/4, and a 1st fret thickness of .850”. It’s a great feeling neck, with a depth and shape that has broad appeal thanks to its vintage-meets-modern dimensions.

Set up with a full height saddle, Monel 12s and an action of about 4-5.5 64ths at the 12th fret.

With original soft-shell case