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Please bear in mind that the date assigned to each instrument is based on its Serial Number. This was added just before the instrument was shipped and therefore does NOT necessarily correspond to its date of production. Sometimes production and shipment dates diverge by as much as four years. A combination of construction features and the FON can be used to pinpoint the actual date of production (see Spann’s Guide To Gibson by Joseph E. Spann, published by Centerstream).
In August 1935, the Gibson L-5 was given a radical makeover, emerging with a larger 17-inch wide ‘Advanced’ body and multiple binding around the top, back, fingerboard, pickguard and headstock - the latter now restyled so that it was wider at the top (the familiar Gibson design). More radically, the first ‘Advanced’ L-5s also incorporated an X-braced (as opposed to parallel braced) top. Initially, the 24-½ inch scale length was retained but in 1936 this was increased to a full 25-½ inches. Around the same time an extra fret was added, returning the model to the 20-fret fingerboard that it had started out with.