1935 Gibson L-00 with original Challenge case and Hawaiian style accessories
Posted on August 08 2019
The Gibson L-00 model has been a favorite of mine ever since I started collecting vintage guitars. At less than half the going rate for its larger sibling the J-35, the L-00 is a 1930s heirloom acoustic guitar that can still be purchased to both play and collect. The standard L-00 construction was a 14 1/2″ lower bout with an X braced Adirondack Spruce top, Honduran Mahogany back and sides and a Rosewood fretboard. This particular L-00 was purchased with the intention to learn to play Hawaiian style slide guitar but was soon forgotten after the owner lost interest. It was stored away in its original Challenge brand chip board case with the nut extender, fingerpicks, Dobro brand slide and Hawaiian method playing book without any attention at all. The family member of the original owner decided to donate the guitar to the local music school since he didn't have any interest in playing. The music school owner recognized the guitar as valuable so they sold it and used the money to buy more instruments for the students. This 1935 Gibson L-00 is one of, if not the finest 1930s examples currently on the market. It's so rare to see these guitars in their original case in good condition without sloppy repairs or issues. These guitars lived through a time without climate control so many of them have warped, distorted and been poorly repaired. This guitar was spared of that awful fate. The action is perfect at all locations on the fret board and the saddle height is exactly as it came from the factory. This guitar is an absolute joy to play and has a very lively top. It’s had a few maintenance type repairs to bring it back to the professional grade instrument that it is known to be. Repairs include a professional neck reset, bridge reglue and refret. All interior braces are clean and untouched. This guitar retains all its original parts including the very rare brass open back Grover tuners and bushings that so often go missing. The nut, saddle, bridge pins and end pin are also original to the guitar. When I pick this 1935 L-00 up, I’m struck by how the tone and feel can transport the player into a time period where cell phones and lap top computers didn’t constantly distract from the beauty of hand made music. I’m confident that you will be of the same opinion.