1948 Gibson L-5P Premiere
1948 Gibson L-5P Premiere
One of the finest archtops models ever produced, this vintage L-5P "Premiere" model sports the early designation for the cutaway body style that was later renamed the L-5C (for cutaway) in 1949. These guitars feature a large 17" archtop body, carved Spruce top, Maple back and sides, Maple neck with Brazilian Rosewood fretboard and block inlays, and the pre-war Gibson script-logo inlay on the headstock. This example is in very good overall condition showing normal cosmetic signs of age including light finish checking and small dings. A floating DeArmond pickup has been added with controls fitted to the pickguard and the tuners are replaced '70s-era Grover Imperials. This guitar plays very well with a fast, slim neck and produces a crisp, clear and woody tone that is perfect for classic Jazz rhythm, intricate chord-melody playing as well as modern Jazz styles. A rare, top-of-the-line vintage Gibson archtop! Includes original hardshell case.
"Let me tell you about how the magnetic pickup singlehandedly killed the archtop guitar. Back in the good old days, electrons roamed free, magnets sucked, and the idea of guitar amplification was nothing more than a Buck Rogers fever dream. Archtops were carved by sweaty first-generation Americans whose fathers were instrument makers and whose grandfathers were instrument makers. Not only were these guys born with a chisel in their hands, they were skilled enough to perform their own Caesarian with it. Their intuition for coaxing the best possible sound out of maple/spruce boxes was coded into their DNA and this generation produced the finest archtop guitars ever constructed.
As the decades passed, though, bands got bigger, venues expanded, drums happened, and the lowly guitar was lost in the mix. The solution for many was to attach a magnetic pickup to the top of their archtops. The issue? A pickup attached to an active and dynamic guitar top is literally the recipe for feedback. Accordingly, large manufacturers and luthiers alike began increasing the thickness of their tops in an attempt to tame the squeal. It was moderately successful but effectively destroyed any chance of producing an acoustically superior instrument.
This particular L-5 was fortunately built in the before times, when the tops were carved thin and the only PAF folks worried about was the Polish Air Force. A floating DeArmond pickup is present but is neck-mounted for optimal vibrational isolation. The L-5 is the world's flagship archtop guitar, and this one is a tremendous example from the model's last true golden age."