Up for sale, a 1947 Gibson L-7 archtop acoustic guitar, outfitted with a custom Lollar-made double McCarty pickguard assembly. Featuring a full 17" lower bout width and all solid tonewoods, this golden age Gibson archtop features a hand-carved spruce top, figured carved bubble maple back and sides, and a two-piece flame maple neck capped with a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. Identical in construction to the L-5 and differing from that model only in its cosmetic appointments, this L-7 is a stunner both acoustically and plugged in.
Strung with roundwound 12-52 nickel strings, the guitar's unplugged sound has exquisite clarity and breadth, with equal presence on each string and a midrange-forward bark and cut when you dig in hard with a flatpick. The double McCarty pickguard is a custom ordered assembly furnished by Lollar with a pair of flat pole P-90-style pickups which have 3/8" alnico rod magnets, individual Volume knobs, and a shared Tone control, all mounted to a floating five-ply pickguard with a 1/4" endpin jack. The pickups are hyper articulate and glassy, with a Tone control that has a broad sweep from percussive treble snap to smooth, mellow woof. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Gibson has been dialed in with fresh strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has light flame figuring along its length with a round, substantial C-shaped profile carve that fills the palm and chords easily. The bound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard features pearl trapezoid inlay and the original slender "banjo" fretwire which shows only very light wear on the crowns of frets 1-4 and sparingly little wear further up the fretboard. The guitar plays easily up the 25 1/2" scale, with a straight neck and responsive truss rod, and the nut measures 1 11/16" in width, upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. The headstock is fitted with brand new Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines with transparent, sharp-edged keystone buttons, turning smoothly and perfectly matching the footprint of the original gears. On the back of the headstock, a stinger was added long ago, along with a very thin maple veneer, presumably very cleanly masking a previous repair. There are also a couple small touched-up finish chips on the headstock face.
The body features an era-correct vintage Gibson Brazilian rosewood floating bridge with compensated saddle, along with a vintage chrome-plated Gibson tailpiece with raised diamonds. The bridge has optimal height with plenty of room for adjustment on both thumbwheels, and the top has ideal curvature with no sinking. The neck has also been reset in the guitar's lifetime, meeting the body at an ideal angle. The McCarty pickguard is a top-tier boutique recreation (courtesy of Lollar) of one of Gibson's most celebrated options for electrifying your archtop, brainchild of Gibson luminary Ted McCarty. Originally introduced in '48 and offered specifically for pairing with the L-7 model, the McCarty guard is the perfect add-on for this instrument, and while the pickups have the visual appearance of a P-90, these rich-sounding single coils feature alnico rod magnets for a more sparkling and fat sound. The white Gibson label with low A-prefix serial number is visible through the F hole and in great shape.
The top has four very cleanly plugged holes for previous electronics on the treble-side lower bout, along with one repaired crack extending from the treble-side F hole. The top has been professionally refinished courtesy of Riggio Custom Guitars in a very faithful and warm two-tone Sunburst with just a hint of red. The top features some simulated aging and lacquer checking, matching the natural wear on the original Blonde nitro gloss on the back and sides. Deep bubble maple figuring extends liberally across the back, with figuring on the sides as well. There are two repaired cracks and a plugged input jack hole on the treble side of the body, with some finish loss adjacent to the binding on the lower bout near the tailpiece. A light spot of buckle rash central to the back and some additional ancillary scuffs and nicks consistent with age rounds out the cosmetic wear, and the neck profile was refinished long ago in a smooth nitro gloss.
The original black hardshell case with purple interior is included, and while the exterior does show some wear, the case is still viable with working latches and the original handle.