Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

1936

A total of 169 L-5s were shipped in this year (includes 17 with old-style 16-inch body)

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

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 93291

FON

Year Shipped: 1936

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Notes: According to Guernsey’s Auction House, where this L-5 was offered for sale in 2016, its first owner was George VanEps. It subsequently belonged to Howard Roberts before being acquired by Don Peake in the early 60s. A member of the famed Los Angeles Wrecking Crew, Peake used the guitar on numerous hits including ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ and ‘Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ by Ike and TinaTurner and ‘If I Were a Carpenter’ by Bobby Darin. The list of entertainers whose recordings feature Don playing this L-5 includes Jan and Dean, Roy Orbison, The Monkees, Barry White, Del Shannon, Rick Nelson, The Jackson Five, The Osmonds and the Mamas and the Papas.

Source: Guernsey’s Auction House

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 92783

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 321A3

Year Shipped: 1936

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo, truss rod cover engraved G.E.M. (possibly C.E.M.)

 

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, narrow block inlays start at first fret, 24 ¾ inch scale length

Body: 17-inch body with maple back and sides and unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware including hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert and three engraved diamonds

Notes: This guitar was refinished, refretted, and had the tuners replaced by Gibson in the late 1950s. A floating DeArmond pickup has also been installed.

Source: Carter Vintage (cartervintage.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 92824

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 314-3

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays from the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with small bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial tuners, hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert and long pickguard

Notes: Returned to Gibson factory in 1936, where it was reconditioned and upgraded – hence the small bound f-holes, the hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert and the Grover Imperial tuners

Source: Craig Brody of guitarbroker.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 92895

FON

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 92947

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 447B

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo, ‘Made In The USA’ stamp on rear of the headstock

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays starting at first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual open gear Grover G-98 Tuners with metal ‘butterbean’ buttons and flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend. The bridge is a replacement

Source: Vintage Jazz Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 92961

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 447B followed by ‘12’ in red pencil

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo with no dot on the i

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: 17-inch body with maple back and sides

Hardware: Rosewood bridge, gold-plated hardware including hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert and three engraved diamonds and open gear Grover G-98 tuners with metal butterbean buttons

Notes: Repaired crack in X-brace and new mother of pearl nut. The bottom of the original bridge (which had been shaved down) was built up.

Images courtesy of Greg Poulos

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93079

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 554B-6 (the ‘6’ is in red ink)

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal Gibson script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and narrow blocks inlays from the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with small unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware including flat tailpiece engraved with ‘L-5’ legend. Tuners and bridge are replacements and a strap button has been installed on the heel

Notes: Fitted with a nickel-plated DeArmond Rhythm Chief Model 1000 pickup, which is dated July 13th, 1966. Evidence suggests that this guitar was refinished at the Gibson factory early in its life. 1950s Gibson brown hardshell case with pink plush lining.

Records indicate that this guitar was sold by Skinner Auctioneers in 2002 (where it was incorrectly dated as a 1935 L-5) for $6,463

Source: Glen Johnson and Skinner Auctions and Gruhn Guitars (guitars.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93097

FON:

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93099

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 554

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with X-braced top and unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual tuners, flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend and long pickguard

Source: Vintage & Rare Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93121

(See Type Three Gallery)

FON: 1356-18

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: horizontal 'The Gibson' logo,

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard (refretted) with a pointed end narrow and narrow block markers from the first fret

Body: 16-inch body

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual tuners, regular trapeze tailpiece and replica long pickguard

Notes: This guitar is listed in Gibson shipping ledger as 'Old L-5'

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93170

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with narrow block inlays from the first fret (has been re-fretted), 24 3/4-inch scale length

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with unbound f-holes and Sunburst finish

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend, reproduction Gotoh tuners and long bound pickguard

Source: John Stewart

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93206

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with X braced top and unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial tuners, hinged L-5 tailpiece with silver centre insert, long pickguard and Brazilian rosewood bridge

Notes: Has original hardshell case

Source: Dexter Johnson, Carmel Music Co. (carmelmusic.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93207

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover G-98 tuners with metal ‘butterbean’ buttons, hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert, long pickguard and rosewood bridge

Source: Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey Auctions

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93222

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard: 24 ¾-inch scale length

Body: 17-inch Advanced body with X braced top and unbound f-holes

Hardware: Non-original Kluson Deluxe tuners, bound celluloid pickguard and bracket

Notes: Some overspray to the rear of the headstock and a strap button installed on the bass side of the heel. One of 19 17-inch L-5s shipped in 1936

Photograph courtesy of Musurgia (musurgia.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93276

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo with no dot on the ‘i’

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: 17-inch body with maple back and sides and large unbound f-holes

Hardware: Rosewood bridge, gold-plated hardware including a hinged L-5 trapeze tailpiece with silver centre insert and three engraved diamonds. Grover G-98 tuners with metal butterbean buttons

Notes: Has original tweed hard shell case. This L-5 displays a number of unusual features including a rosewood fingerboard and parallel top bracing (in general early Advanced L-5s are X braced)

Source: Retrofret (retrofret.com)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93277

FON:

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93281

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 634

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays starting at the first fret

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover open back tuners, flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend

Source: Gruhn Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93549

FON:

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware: Old style tailpiece

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 93639

FON: 999-2

Year shipped: 1936

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, narrow block inlays from the first fret, 24 ¾ inch scale length and 1 ¾-inch nut

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with X braced top and unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, flat tailpiece with ‘L-5’ legend, rosewood bridge and long pickguard

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com