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1950s Gibson L-50 Vintage Carved Top Archtop Guitar w/ DeArmond Rhythm Chief 1100, Case


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Up for sale, a 1950s Gibson L-50 archtop outfitted with a vintage DeArmond Rhythm Chief Model 1100 pickup and complete with a hardshell case. This L-50 features a hand-graduated carved spruce top paired with maple back and sides and a one-piece mahogany neck capped with a replacement bound ebony fretboard.

With a 16” lower bout width, this Gibson delivers tons of natural projection and power, offering a bold, cutting tone. The midrange is warm-yet-immediate, yielding a lively response with the ideal combination of percussive chop and articulate breadth. Via the DeArmond Rhythm Chief Model 1100 pickup, the sound is notably detailed, and the Rhythm button enables the player to toggle between mid-scooped, crisper lead tones and big, bass-rich sounds at the push of a button. This L-50 weighs 5lbs 7oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-49 roundwound nickel strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a substantial C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .920” deep at the 1st fret and .995” at the 9th. The ebony fretboard has been replaced, complete with pearl block inlay, fret-edge binding, and pristine slender fretwire. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24.9“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the modern carved bone nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The headstock sports a replacement Gibson logo, and a set of genuine 1950s gold Kluson Deluxe “no line” tuning machines which turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

The DeArmond electronics function as intended, with the pickup governed by Master Volume and Tone knobs, plus the aforementioned Rhythm button. The “monkey on a stick” mounting equipment is not present (the pickup is adhered directly to the top). The pickup features adjustable pole pieces, and can be dated to the mid ‘60s by the knobs and unique mini-jack screw-on output. The chrome plating on the pickup and control assembly is all notably clean. All of the hardware has been replaced, including the inlaid ebony bridge and gold raised diamond tailpiece, which was likely sourced from a higher tiered Gibson archtop. The neck set is ideal, and the bridge has ample room for adjustment at both thumbwheels, ensuring decades of future trouble-free use. The multi-ply bound pickguard, while not original to the guitar, is a vintage component, sporting a small flower inlay.

The original nitro lacquer finish has been oversprayed on the entirety of the instrument, with the original Walnut gloss retained on the back, rims and neck profile. The top has more extensive Ebony lacquer overspray on top of the original Sunburst, with the original finish peeking through in a few areas under close inspection.

There is one small, professionally repaired split on top extending from the bottom of the treble-side F hole. Cosmetic wear is limited to a handful of minor dings and faint scratches on the body as a whole, as well as a cluster of dings on the top at the bass-side upper bout along the strum path. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss, with just a few shallow marks along the profile length.

A vintage hardshell case is included, along with a screw-on micro-jack to 1/4“ cable.