Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners' Club

 

 

 

contact us at info@prewargibsonl-5.com

1939

A total of 209 L-5s were shipped in this year (includes 2 with old-style 16-inch body)

From 1939 the L-5 was offered - as the L-5P (Premier) – with a single rounded ‘Venetian’ style cutaway. Examples with a cutaway and Natural finish were designated L-5PN

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

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 95666

FON: D-1 (?) The D is ink stamped and the 1 is handwritten

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: The truss rod cover has the name ‘S.C. Ronsley’ engraved on it. Grover Imperial tuners

Hardware: Rosewood bridge

Notes: Has a new nut, minor binding issues, a separated centre seam and has been re-fretted.  The original tailpiece and pickguard are missing

Source: Mark Anagnostopulos

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95795

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo

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

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

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Kluson Sealfast tuners with tulip-shaped amber Catalin buttons, Varitone tailpiece and rosewood bridge and long bound pickguard

Source: Vintage Guitars Sweden (vintage-guitars.se)

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95833 (hard to read)

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year Shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: 17-inch body, unbound f-holes

Hardware: bridge, tailpiece and tuners are not original and pickguard is missing

Notes: truss rod cover appears to be replacement or modified

Source: Frank

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95840

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year Shipped: 1939

 

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 and Grover Imperial tuners. Rosewood bridge

Source: David Johns

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: 95865

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 139 D-1 (could be 189 D)

Year shipped: 1939

 

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 Sunburst finish, parallel-braced top and bound f-holes

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

Source: John G Stewart

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number: 95928

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 244 E-1

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo

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

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

Hardware: Rosewood bridge, gold-plated hardware including Varitone tailpiece and Grover Imperial Tuners. Long bound pickguard

Notes: A. R. Duchossoir adds: “This L-5 was first shipped on 30th March 1939 to Gibson rep Clarence Havenga. It was some kind of demonstrator because it was shipped/delivered seven times to various reps and dealers between March 1939 and Feb 1940. In the books it is clearly labeled as « LS » (Long Scale).”

Source: Gian Russo

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number EA 5127

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: Spruce top, quilted maple back and sides, bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold plated hardware including hinged tailpiece and Grover Imperial tuners. Rosewood bridge.

Source: Herbert Maschner

 

 

Model L-5N

Serial number EA 5130

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: Natural finished spruce top, figured maple back and sides, bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold plated hardware including Varitone tailpiece and Kluson Sealfast tuners with Catalin buttons,. Rosewood bridge

Notes: A strap button has been added at the heel and one of the tuner buttons is a replacement

Source: Ryann

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial number EA 5157

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: horizontal script 'Gibson' logo. A small area of binding has been repaired on the headstock

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

Body: 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body with bound f-holes. The body has been over-sprayed.

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware including Varitone tailpiece and Kluson tuners. Rosewood bridge, replacement pickguard

Notes: Some areas of replaced binding and screw holes on the bass side of the neck from a pickup. Has original hardshell case.

Source: Tommy Kay, Imperial Vintage Guitars (shaiashguitar@gmail.com))

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: EA 5168

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal 'Gibson' script logo

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

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

Hardware: A strap button has been added at the heel and all of the hardware has been replaced

Source: Marek Rejhon

 

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: EA 5231

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo

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

Body: 17-inch wide ‘Advanced’ body with Natural finish, large bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Varitone tailpiece. The pickguard is missing

Notes: This guitar belonged to Nashville session and radio guitarist Jack Shook.

Source: Cheryl Offutt

 

 

Model: L-5N

Serial Number: EA-5376

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON: 441 E

Year Shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end, narrow block inlays start at first fret, large neck heel

Body: Natural finish, 17-inch body with maple back and sides and large bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated hardware, Gold-plated Kluson Sealfast tuners with Catalin buttons, Varitone tailpiece, rosewood bridge and long pickguard

Notes:

Source: Eric Schoenberg, Schoenberg Guitars (om28.com)

 

 

Model: L-5PN

Serial Number: EA 5459

(See 17-inch Premier Gallery)

FON: 459 E-7

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: L-5PN (17-inch body with cutaway and Natural finish)

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Varitone tailpiece and bound pickguard

Notes: Raised brass star on pickguard was added by a former owner

Source: Gary's Classic Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5PN

Serial Number: EA 5556

FON:

Year Shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

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

Body: Maple back and sides, Natural finish, bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold plated Grover Imperial tuners and Varitone tailpiece. Rosewood bridge

Notes: First shipped to the Stoner Piano Co. in Des Moines, Iowa.

Source: Kevin Siggins (gibson-prewar.com)

 

 

Model: L-5PN

Serial Number: EA 5577

FON:

Year Shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo

Neck/fingerboard: Laminated maple neck with 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end

Body: Maple back and sides, Natural finish

Hardware: Gold plated, Grover Imperial tuners and Varitone tailpiece

Notes: Clear overspray to the back of the neck, replacement pickguard, frets and nut. Has original tweed hard shell case

Source: Musurgia (musurgia.com)

 

 

Gibson L-5P

Serial Number: EA-5682 (The serial number on the paper guarantee label and die-stamped headstock match)

FON: 309E-7

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo, Grover Imperial tuners

Neck/fingerboard: 20-fret fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays from the first fret. Fingerboard extension is flush with the top

Body: bound f-holes and sunburst finish

Hardware: gold-plated hardware including Varitone tailpiece

Notes: First year of issue with cutaway. Has original tweed covered hardshell case with orange and black stripes. Needs refret, binding repair (or replacement) and is missing truss rod cover

Source: Gruhn Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: EA 5695

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal ‘script’ logo

Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret fingerboard with pointed end narrow block inlays from the first fret, 25.4  inch scale length, 1 10/16 inch nut width

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

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Kluson Sealfast tuners with Catalin buttons, Varitone tailpiece, long bound pickguard, rosewood bridge

Notes: Sealed centre seam

Source: Joe Vinikow, archtop.com

 

 

Model: L-5PN

Serial Number: EA 5573

(See 17-inch Premier Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

Headstock: Horizontal script 'Gibson' logo, 'Made In The USA' stamp indicates that this guitar was intended for export. Van Eps String Damper fitted above the nut

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

Body: L-5PN (17-inch body with cutaway and Natural finish)

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial enclosed tuners, Varitone tailpiece

Notes:  This guitar belonged to session guitarist Tiny Timbrell. It has guitar has a ‘1 1/8’ written on the label inside the body

Source: Jay Timbrell

 

 

Model: L-5

Serial Number: EA 5574

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

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 Sunburst finish and bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated, Varitone tailpiece. Has replacement pickguard and newer US made Grover Imperials tuners

Source: Schoenberg Guitars

 

 

Model: L-5N

Serial Number: EG-5026

(See 17-inch Advanced Gallery)

FON:

Year shipped: 1939

 

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 parallel top bracing, Natural finish and bound f-holes

Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts, Grover Imperial tuners, hinged L-5 trapeze tailpiece with silver centre insert, Brazilian rosewood bridge. Has replacement pickguard

Notes: The tailpiece hinge has been professionally repaired. Has original striped tweed G&G hardshell case

Source: Joe Vinikow (archtop.com)