Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

1933

 

If an instrument appears in one of our picture galleries this is noted beneath the serial number.

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 89354

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with a square end and wide celluloid block inlays from the third fret

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, open gear Grover G-98 tuners with metal buttons, wrap-over trapeze tailpiece, pickguard is missing

Notes:  Mandolin archive lists this as having had a P-90 pickup added though this doesn’t appear on Guernsey Auction pictures

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions and www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 89609

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 476

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson' logo Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret ebony fingerboard with square end and pearl block inlays from the third fret

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, wrap-over trapeze tailpiece, individual Grover 98G tuners, replica pickguard,

Notes:

Source: Gruhn Guitars (guitars.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 89756

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end and wide block inlays from the third fret. The neck has been reset and re-fretted with period-correct wire and there is some overspray to the neck finish.

Body: Holes cut in the top for a pickup and control knobs have been filled and the top finish in these areas has been over-sprayed. The back and sides retain their original finish with an area of touch where a jack-socket repair was carried out.

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts include individual Grover tuners. The trapeze tailpiece has been re-plated and the bridge and pickguard are period correct reproductions

Notes: Has original hardshell case

Source: Musurgia (musurgia.com)

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 89764

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 566 (produced May 1933)

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ script logo, factory original hand engraved truss rod cover with Roy Smeck’s name, original tuner buttons hand engraved with ‘S’ motif

Neck/fingerboard: The 19-fret fingerboard with square end and wide block pearloid inlays from the third fret has been refretted

 

Body: 16-inch body with maple back and sides

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including Grover trapeze tailpiece engraved with Roy Smeck’s name (see notes below). Replacement pickguard

Notes: This guitar was custom built for Roy Smeck. Joe Spann of Gruhn Guitars adds: “While the tailpiece is unusual for a Gibson, the guitar shows no evidence of ever having had any other tailpiece installed. The tailpiece itself is a Grover product and is period correct. Though Gibson is not known to have used this specific tailpiece on any of their other guitars, it seems likely that the item – which is engraved with Roy Smeck's name – was fitted at his request.

Source: Gruhn Guitars (guitars.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 89782

FON: 589 – possibly 590

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the third fret

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual tuners with metal buttons, regular trapeze tailpiece, long bound pickguard

Notes:

Source: Rod Mcdonald

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 89790

FON: 508

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with pointed end and dot inlays from the third fret, ‘Eddie’ engraved on the truss rod cover

Body:

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual tuners with metal buttons, regular trapeze tailpiece, long bound pickguard

Notes: Sold at Christies 24 June 2004 Crossroads Guitar Auction for $27,485

Source: Christies 2004 Crossroads Guitar Auction (pictured in catalogue p. 88)

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 89849

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: ‘Flared’ headstock (wider at top), diagonal ‘Gibson’ script logo, headstock inlay the same as that found on 1924 Gibson TB-5 trapdoor banjo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with pointed end and the same inlays as used on various 1930s Mastertone banjos, semi circular neck heel

Body: 16-inch body

Hardware: Long pickguard

Notes: Custom ordered with unusual neck and headstock dimensions to meet the needs of guitarist Carl Kress. Hand-written interior label that reads ‘Special’

Source: George Gruhn (guitars.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 89926

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1933

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end and wide block pearloid inlays from the third fret

Body: 16-inch body, maple back and sides

Hardware: Long bound pickguard, gold plated metal parts including regular trapeze tailpiece

Notes: Has original hardshell case

Source: Nino Fazio (www.realvintage.it)

 

 

Model: L-5

Year shipped: 1933

(See Type Three Gallery)

Serial number: 90002

FON: 642

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: Re-necked at the Gibson factory in the mid 1950s (the original square end dot fingerboard and headstock overlay appear to have been retained)

Body:

Hardware: Replacement tuners, pickguard and tailpiece

Notes: Belonged to Andy Nelson, currently fitted with DeArmond pickup

Source: Larry Grinnell

 

 

Model: L-5

Year shipped: 1933

Serial number: 90009

FON:

 

Headstock:  Horizontal 'The Gibson' logo, truss rod cover engraved with the name ‘Gene Macy’

Neck/fingerboard: 19-fret ebony fingerboard with a square end and block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: Sunburst (refinished), maple back and sides, white oval label

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware including regular trapeze tailpiece, long bound pickguard

Notes: Refinished, Waverly replacement tuners, has original case with new handle. From the collection of guitarist J.Geils

Source: Mr. Music (mrmusicguitars.com)