FRETS.COM New Instrument Review
February 7, 2001

Hey, even the company that can't shoot straight hits an occasional bullseye
"1934" Gibson L-5 Reissue

© Frank Ford, 200; Photos by FF

Well, here's another great reissue from Gibson. Instantly the favorite of orchestra players, this first iteration of the f-hole archtop guitar set the pace for generations to come. Gibson chose to copy the 1934 version of their popular 16-inch wide jazz guitar, which had been in production since 1923. Unlike the earlier versions, this 1934 one has a straight cut at the end of the fingerboard, leaving room for a floating "Johnny Smith" style pickup.

Fancy figured maple, a beautiful transparent sunburst color, and the highest possible shine make this elegant instrument visible from the back row of the audience. The top and back are graduated to the original specs, giving this guitar the "cutting power" that put Gibson on the map in the first place! And, unlike many of Gibson's historic reissue instruments, this one carries no extra premium price tag.

Please click the small photos

About the only thing they didn't get "right on" is the width of the binding as viewed from the side. This reissue has binding about 50% wider than the original.

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