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1936 Gibson L-75
In 1932, as the Great Depression raged across the nation, Gibson released the L-75, a top-tier and very expensive guitar retailing at $75 and even brandishing the shocking amount in its model name. Like other guitar makers, Gibson had responded to the depression by making less expensive guitars (through subsidiary brands like Kalamazoo). But, Gibson also pushed forward with the development of high-end models, believing in the strength of the rich to persist. His gamble was wrong. The L-75 went out of active production in 1936 and was discontinued in 1939. The L-75 is by result one of Gibson’s rarest archtops.
This 1936 Gibson L-75 is in wonderfully playable shape. The action is set medium-low and plays well and true all the way up the neck. It sounds great. It has that rag-time sound like the other L series models, but it is bigger and fuller (due to its larger body size). The finish is beautifully aged and checked. The guitar is a stable, reliable player. It intonates well, stays in tune, and sounds wonderful. Still paired with its original hard shell case, this rare L-75 is a truly great piece as both a collector and a player.
This guitar comes to us by way of a new Gibson collector friend we’ve made here in the Carolinas. Thanks to him for much of the information we have on this guitar as well.
The L-75 has an archtop and a sound hole like the other Gibson L series models, but with a larger body. The top is solid Spruce, and the back and sides are solid Mahogany. There are a couple thin, well-repaired cracks in the body (please see pics).
The full sunburst on the L-75 (applying as well to the back and the sides) was rare among Gibsons. The finish of this guitar is beautifully aged and checked.
This L-75 is even rare among its own model, as the headstock inlay is . Many early L-75s have just the the pearl inlay “Gibson” logo. This one also has Fleur de Lis inlay beneath the Gibson logo.
The neck is straight, set up with med-low action, and playable up and down. The fingerboard is Brazilian Rosewood.
The current bridge is period correct but not the original. The original bridge is included. The pick guard is not original but it and the support are period correct. All binding is intact and good condition. The tailpiece and end pin are original. The tuners are Kluson style reproductions, period correct but not the originals. The tailpiece, end pin, and hard shell case are original. The case is missing the handle and someone way back made one of copper wire. The case is in solid shape, closes tightly and the interior fabric is still attached and not loose.
The most recent restoration on this guitar was done in 2016 by Jake Wildwood of Antebellum Instruments. This included cleaning, crack repair, fret level/dress, set up adjustments, and new tuners. A detailed listing of the 2016 restoration is included with the guitar.
This rare Gibson is a beauty. It plays great, sounds great, and is newly restored to last another 85 years. Still paired with its original hard shell case, this rare L-75 is a truly great guitar as both a collector and a player.