Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

1938

 

A total of 167 L-5s were shipped in this year (includes 8 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: 95120

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body

Hardware:

 

Notes: L-5 Ledger entry indicates ‘Long Scale’ and ‘N.Y. Band’

 

Source: Gibson Ledgers (Paul Fox)

 

 

Model: L-5N

Serial Number: 95122

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 672 C-2

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: 17-inch Advanced body with bound f-holes, Natural finish

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial tuners, hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert that is engraved with Allan Reuss' name and long bound pickguard

 

Notes: Belonged to Allan Reuss - the truss rod cover and the end pin are both personalised with his initials. Gibson ledger entry indicates ‘Long Scale’

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95160

FON: 672 C-2

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

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

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

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, individual Kluson tuners, Varitone tailpiece, long bound pickguard and rosewood bridge

 

Notes: Label dated ‘3-7-40’ - this appears to have been written through the f-hole and is likely the date of purchase or other significant event for an early owner. Has original hardshell case

 

Source: National Music Museum (http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/PluckedStrings/Guitars/Gibson/10875/L5Gibson.html)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95253

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: 17-inch Advanced with bound f-holes, Natural finish

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Varitone tailpiece, individual tuners, rosewood bridge and long bound Pearloid pickguard that has been cut and drilled for pickup

 

Notes: Original owner Tony Giambroni purchased this guitar from the New York Band Instrument Company.  Has original HSC

 

Source: Jeff Kelly

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95284

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number:  95314

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 857D (hard to read) followed by ‘9’ in red pencil

 

Headstock: See notes below

Neck/fingerboard: See notes below

Body: 17-inch body with parallel top bracing. Bound f-holes

Hardware: Rosewood bridge, gold-plated hardware including Varitone tailpiece

 

Notes: This guitar was re-necked at the Gibson factory at some point

 

Source: Phil Sylvester

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 95311

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal script ‘Gibson’ logo

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

Body: 17-inch body, bound f-holes

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

 

Source: The Vintage Guitar Gallery

 

 

Model: L-5

 

Serial Number: 95342

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal script ‘Gibson’ logo

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

Body: 17-inch Advanced body with bound f-holes, Sunburst finish

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

 

Source: Jean Louis Bouyssou

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95402

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard:

Body:

Hardware:

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95439

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock:

Neck/fingerboard: Block inlays

Body:

Hardware:

 

Source: www.mandolinarchive.com

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95454

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 832

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' logo

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

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

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Kluson Sealfast tuners with tulip-shaped amber Catalin buttons, Varitone tailpiece and rosewood bridge. Replacement pickguard by Gruhn Guitars

 

Source: Gruhn Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95498

(See Type Two Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Old style tapering headstock with horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: Fingerboard with pointed end and dots from the third fret

Body: 16-inch body with Sunburst finish and small unbound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, regular trapeze tailpiece and long pickguard. Waverly tuners are replacements

 

Notes: Repaired cracks and jack socket hole in top, back centre seam repair and complete refinish. Although eight 16-inch L-5s were shipped in 1938, the featured guitar's dot inlay fingerboard appears to be something of an anachronism, perhaps suggesting that it is a later replacement.

 

Source: Lowell Levinger and www.mandolinarchive.com

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95570

FON: U 98 D followed by 3 in red pencil

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow pearl block inlays from the first fret, 25 ½ inch scale length and 1 11/16-inch nut width

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with X braced top, Sunburst finish and bound f-holes. Small cracks on bass side waist and top, beneath the tailpiece

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial tuners, hinged L-5 tailpiece with silver centre insert engraved on the cross-bar with the name ‘Buddy Raye’

 

Notes: Has original ‘tweed’ linen covered Lifton case. Fretted Americana’s website has additional information on Buddy Raye.

 

Source: Fretted Americana

 

 

Model: L-5N

Serial Number: 95602

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 57 D

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal Gibson script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed and narrow blocks from the first fret, long scale length

Body: 17-inch Advanced body with unbound f-holes, Natural finish

Hardware: Long bound pickguard

 

Notes: The tuners, tailpiece and truss rod cover are replacements. The fingerboard binding has been cut through when the guitar was re-fretted and some of the body binding has come loose. There are several cracks to the body and a number of holes drilled in the side of the fingerboard as well as a plugged hole in the lower bout. The pickguard has been cut to accommodate a pickup and a hole has been drilled to fit a volume control.

 

Gibson’s ledgers indicate that was shipped on the 16th November 1938 to Lyon & Healy in Chicago.  It was returned for repairs in 1940 and then shipped back to Lyon & Healy on the 10th January 1941 (thanks to Joe Spann for this information)

 

Source: Richard Heeres

 

 

Model: L-5N

Serial Number: 95674

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: none

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with Natural finish and bound f-holes

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

 

Notes: Previously belonged to Marty Grosz. According to its current owner, Gian Russo, L-5 serial number 95674 has an unusual 26-inch scale length.  A. R. Duchossoir notes: “This L-5 was shipped on 30th November 1938 to one AJ Peterson. It is listed as a Long Scale model.”

 

Source: Marty Grosz and Gian Russo

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95721

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: Not visible

Year Shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end, block inlays start at first fret

Body: bound f-holes

Hardware: gold-plated including hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert and ‘L-5’ engraving and Grover Imperial tuners, rosewood bridge

 

Notes: repro pickguard, overspray on top and back (very old - possibly Gibson factory work), repaired side crack near end block

 

Source: Gruhn Guitar (guitars.com)

 

Model: L-5N

Serial Number: 95735

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: n/a

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo, ‘Frank Remley’ engraved on the truss rod cover

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard (re-fretted) with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret.

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body, Natural finish and bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Kluson Sealfast tuners with tulip-shaped amber Catalin buttons, hinged L-5 tailpiece with silver centre insert

 

Notes: This L-5 belonged to entertainer Frankie Remley. Since it was built as a left-handed guitar, the pickguard, bridge saddle and nut are probably replacements

 

Source: John Stewart

 

 

Model: L-5N

Serial Number: 95739

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1938

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and block inlays starting at the first fret (re-fretted). 25 3/8 inch scale

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with Natural finish and bound f-holes. Parallel-braced top  

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Patent Applied For Grover Imperial tuners, hinged tailpiece with silver centre insert, long bound pickguard and rosewood bridge

 

Notes: Repro tailpiece bracket. Has original tweed-covered Geib hardshell case.

 

Source: John Stewart and Nino Fazio (www.realvintage.it)

 

Last updated 19/08/2018