1936 Gibson L-00 with rare Maple rims
Posted on May 12 2020
This clean 1936 Gibson L-00 with Black finish and rare Maple rims came through the shop a few years ago. It was a fine example with a lightly braced top. I'm always a vintage Gibson guitar buyer but I especially love the small body acoustics from the 1930s. Please contact me here to sell a vintage Gibson guitar.
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 is a bit of a rarity because it escaped the Kalamazoo factory with flame Maple rims instead of the typical Mahogany. We may never know exactly why this was done since the materials shortage issues didn't arise until a few years into 1940s. The Maple rims may have been the reason for painting this batch black instead of the more typical dark stained Mahogany back and sides with a sunburst top.
This 1936 Gibson L-00 is one of, if not the finest 1930s examples currently on the market. The finish is still nice and soft with light checking throughout. 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 is the most distinctive sounding L-00s I've ever had. 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, center seam glue and one short back hairline glued (~2.5"). The interior top bracing and bridge plate are clean and untouched. Two of the back braces have been glued tight to the body. This guitar retains all its original parts including the plastic tuner buttons that so often shrink and crumble. The 1930s acoustic guitars lived a hard life in their early days without air conditioning and proper climate control so many of them are worn and distorted as a result. Against all odds, this guitar survived in excellent structural and cosmetic condition which allows the player a tiny window into what the instrument would have sounded like straight out of the factory in 1936.
When I pick this '36 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 (edit: sold!).