SN: 84679. FON: 9306 Friends, A Lloyd Loar L-5, like the Martin OM-28 and D-18/28, is one of the defining guitars of our time. It’s the first f-hole archtop guitar. Most all of the great jazz guitarists played one at some point or one of the many f-hole archtop offshoots from Gibson and other builders. The L-5 played by Maybelle Carter is called, by George Gruhn, “the most significant guitar in country music.” It’s something of a holy grail in its own right, like a prewar ‘bone or an OM-45.
This 16-inch "Type Two" version from 1929 is one of the most popular and playable of all L-5s -- essentially a Type One without the Virzi -- and one of the best sounding. It does have the Master Model label. It is, coincidentally, only two serial numbers away from the Robert Armstrong owned instrument that is now in the Hank Risan collection. It's from the same batch. The back and sides are figured maple with a beautiful illusion of depth to the back. The spruce top is crack free with original guard, hardware and tailpiece. The maple neck is straight and the ebony board is clean. Possibly a clean neck reset at one point in its life. The frets look original but I suspect a really good fret job was had somewhere. The fretboard is bound with a point on the end. Bound headstock shows the classic Gibson flower pot and stacked “The Gibson” inlaid logo. Replacement tuners appear to be from 1948 or thereabouts. The bridge is an excellent repro from Cumberland Music, fitted by Mark Tossman.
The condition is quite good. The really rich looking Cremona sunburst is all original and mostly intact. No cracks in the wood, a few cracks in the binding. There might be a 6” length of replaced binding on the fretboard or it has aged to a different color from wear. There’s some belt buckle dinging on the back but not the bluegrass rash. The top shows some playwear and a few handling dings and scratches. The truss rod cavity has been carved out to enable a larger wrench to get in there. Some of the work is visible in the pictures. The truss rod cover is a replacement. The pick guard has reacted to the hardware in one small spot also visible in the photos. The case is original. All the hinges and latches work but it’s taped up and in otherwise rough condition.
I’m saving the best for last. The reason to own this guitar is the way it plays and sounds. It has the C-shaped neck that is modern and comfortable feeling. It has really nice note separation and that classic Gibson mid-range chuck that it is classically familiar. The current owner acquired it from George Gruhn's very fine shop a number of years ago. It’s a fascinating guitar.
Band & Sides: Maple
Bridge & Fretboard: Ebony
Nut width: 1-3/4”
String spacing: 2-1/8”
Body width: 16”
Scale length: 24-3/4”
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We represent the instruments as accurately as we can. All instruments are shipped on 48-hour approval. If there is damage as a result of the shipping, please contact us immediately and we will deal with the insurance company. If the instrument is damaged in transit from you to me, then you are responsible for dealing with the damage and insurance. For refunds, all instruments must be returned in the same condition as we shipped them in.
All instruments are shipped on 48-hour approval. If there is damage as a result of the shipping, please contact us immediately and we will deal with the insurance company. If the instrument is damaged in transit from you to me, then you are responsible for dealing with the damage and insurance. For refunds, all instruments must be returned in the same condition as we shipped them in.