The Gibson L-4 archtop has a storied history that's deeply intertwined with the evolution of jazz music. This guitar became renowned as jazz's quintessential rhythm instrument in the hands of virtuosos like Eddie Lang during the 1920s. Interestingly, its journey from a standard acoustic guitar to today's dynamic L-4 CES Mahogany Archtop exemplifies Gibson's commitment to refining and enhancing already exceptional instruments.
Originally, the L-4 was conceived as a more potent and robust version of Gibson's popular L-1 and L-3 designs. Marketed as a "grand concert size" model with 20 frets, one more than its predecessors, the L-4 was aimed at delivering a louder and bolder sound.
A significant transformation occurred in 1935 when Lloyd Loar, the renowned Gibson designer, oversaw a redesign of the L-4. The traditional round sound hole gave way to a pair of f-holes, a change intended to enhance tonal quality and projection significantly.
Throughout the 1940s, various elements were incorporated into the L-4's design, such as crown pegheads and parallelogram inlays on the fingerboard. However, the guitar underwent its most significant innovation in 1949 when it was electrified.
In response to the emergence of popular music's electric era, Gibson introduced the laminated top ES-175 in 1948, drawing from the acoustic carved top L-4. However, musicians continued to seek a true electric L-4 with a carved top. The first batches of these guitars were produced in limited quantities during the 1950s but were perfected towards the end of the decade.
As part of its evolution from a rhythm guitar to a lead-and-rhythm instrument, the L-4's body design evolved. It transitioned from rounded edges to a single cutaway horn, facilitating easier access to higher notes. Finally, in 1958, the design reached its zenith with a production run of 20 guitars bearing the Gibson L-4 CES name. These guitars featured various pickups, including Charlie Christian pickups, Alnicos, and humbuckers. Over time, the humbuckers proved to be the most versatile and practical choice.
Fast forward to today, and we have this preowned 2007 Gibson L-4 CES model built in Nashville, Tennessee. It's in remarkable condition with minimal signs of playwear, limited to light polishing swirls on the lacquer finish and a slight patina on the gold parts. Notably, it has been upgraded with an Ebony bridge and Benedetto A6 pickups, although the original bridge is included in the case. This guitar also comes with its original hardshell case. A very rare and exceptional archtop guitar that carries a rich legacy of jazz history.
Acoustic Centre offers free shipping on all new itemsto most locations within Australia on all orders over $99, excluding Western Australia, Northern Territory and Far North Queensland. Used items have a flat rate shipping fee of $59 within our usual shipping locations. We also offer competitive Express shipping options at checkout.
Customers located in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Far North Queensland recieve free shipping on all accessory orders over $99, but will incur a flat rate instrument or large item shipping charge of $179 (or $299 for Express shipping).
Occasionally due to issues with delivering to remote or unusual destinations, we aren't able to offer free postage. We reserve the right to retract the offer if freight costs exceed 15% of your purchase. We will always notify you if there is an issue and offer a full refund or arrange alternative delivery options.
All strings and accessories will be shipped with tracking via courier or Australia Post. Other items including guitars and amplification equipment will be shipped using our courier service providers, with a tracking number and signature on delivery.
The Acoustic Centre ships goods Australia-wide, however at this time we are unable to accept international orders.
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