Gibson L-5 Archtop guitar – U.S.A. – 1922


Acoustic Hollow Body Archtop guitar


Spruce top and body, maple and birch back and sides, maple and mahogany neck

Ebony fretboard


Like Orville Gibson before him, Lloyd Loar (1886-1943) combined his technical skills with his musical experience. During his five-year tenure, between 1919 and 1924, he improved many of the technical aspects of Gibson’s designs. However, his masterpiece was the Gibson L-5 archtop, which dates from 1922 and is considered one of the most important guitar designs ever.
The L-5, like previous Gibson models, had f-holes instead of round or oval soundholes and a large body, which benefited the acoustics.
The Gibson L-5 had fourteen frets, a truss rod for neck adjustment, an adjustable bridge, and a celluloid pickguard that provided stability and comfort. The instrument had a warm, full sound.
A cutaway model was introduced in 1939, followed in 1951 by a fully electric version; the L-5 CES.

Last updated on 11 May 2020
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