1936 Gibson L-7, Tobacco Burst
A Brief History from our Tech Writer
The 1930s were a time when Big Band Jazz ruled the popular music scene, with a wall of sound from winds and brass leading the way. The unamplified guitars of that day had a hard time being heard amid the cacophony, and guitar makers like Gibson had to do their best to make the guitarists blend better. It was to this end that Gibson increased the body size of their archtops from 16” to 17” in an attempt to increase volume. A brief listen to recordings from this time and genre and you can decide for yourself if it worked, but nevertheless, we today are blessed with some big beautiful jazz boxes from the ‘30s. The L-7 was actually meant to be a more economic model, despite having more ornamentation than the pricier L-5, having beautiful “picture frame” inlays that really make them stand out.
This 1936 L-7 is a fairly well preserved example, with all of its gorgeous inlays still intact. It did not survive all these years without issue, however, with the two biggest blemishes being a couple dryness cracks in the top. One is under the tailpiece and extends to just before the bridge, and the other starts at the screw hole for the pickguard and extends down to about an inch before the bridge. Luckily, neither of these cracks are threatening the structural integrity of the guitar, as they do not move or open up under finger pressure. Aside from those cracks, there are no other issues with the instrument aside from cosmetic blemishes on the body and back of the neck. The tuners are original and the original pickguard is included with the guitar, though it is not secured to the body as the screws are missing. The tailpiece is genuine Gibson, though it does not match pictures from other ‘36 L-7s so it may be a replacement. Looks and parts aside, this guitar has a great aged sound that is well balanced, if not perhaps a bit lacking in the basses. The trebles have a great lead sound that is very “old jazz” sounding; a perfect guitar for anyone looking for a throwback. Don’t miss it! Ships in its original hard-shell case.
Weight: 5 lbs. 1 oz.
Nut Width: 1 11/16”
6.5/10 (good condition) 1936 Made in the USA
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