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1959 Gibson L-48 Vintage Archtop Acoustic Guitar Sunburst, Time Capsule w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1959 Gibson L-48 archtop acoustic guitar, time capsule-clean and in perfect working order. Jaw-dropping in its presentation and a guitar with truly barely a scratch on it, this 100% original golden age Gibson archtop has a quintessential 1959 neck profile carve. The L-48 was introduced in 1946 as a slightly less expensive alternative to the famous L-50, which debuted back in 1932. This non-cutaway archtop has a 16” wide bout and a 3 1/2“ body depth with a Honduran mahogany top, sides and one-piece neck, as well as a maple back. Currently strung with flatwound 12-52 nickel strings, the tone is extremely articulate, balanced, and warm. This L-48 is ideal for complex Jazz voicings and sweet, woody percussive chording. The present midrange has excellent chop, and the trebles are sparkling and round. The bass register is smooth and full, blooming nicely as notes sustain. Weighing only 5lbs, this archtop has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action.

The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a round C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder, shy of some of the more aggressive “baseball bat” shapes of 1957-58, yet still plenty full, measuring .885” deep at the 1st fret and .955” at the 9th. The neck profile is nigh flawless, free of palm wear with the original nitro lacquer gloss along the entire profile. The Brazilian rosewood slab fretboard features pearl dot inlays and perfect original medium jumbo fretwire. The scale length is a full 24 3/4", and the nylon nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width. The headstock features a gold Gibson silkscreen, and the original Kluson Deluxe single line strip tuners have gleaming nickel plating and original white plastic buttons that show no signs of shrinkage.

The Brazilian rosewood floating bridge with compensated saddle is present, along with the single-ply transparent tortoise pickguard and bracket. The nickel trapeze tailpiece rounds out the hardware, shining like new. The mahogany top has a consistent arch, the bridge has room for adjustment on both thumbwheels, and the original neck set is still viable for low action in every register. Visible through the bass-side F hole, the original L-48 factory stamp is present and bold, and on the other side of the body, the S-prefix factory order number dates the guitar to 1959.

The Sunburst gloss finish is bold and rich, and there's barely a scratch on it. This L-48 is simply freakishly clean and an exceedingly rare anomaly, perfectly preserved for over six decades.

The original faux alligator brown chipboard case is included and equally as clean as the guitar with functional latches, the original handle, and small Gibson badge on the case pocket.