1950 National 1135 (Gibson L-7 Body) Carved-Top Archtop Guitar




I was the brief owner of the last killer National 1135 that came in the shop. The owner of this 1135 got hooked from seeing that one pass through the premises -- and not taking the plunge back then. Fortune works in odd ways, though, and the slightly-more-relaxed sound of this guitar fits his picking style more than the last one would have -- so all is well!

The story is the same with this guitar as with the last one -- the body is a carved-top/carved-back Gibson L-7 body that was sold to National. National then installed one of their bolt-on/angle-adjustable "Stylist" necks and finished it to taste. This one is mostly original but has a replacement bridge and pickguard -- though the pickguard is appropriate. Because it's a 1950 and not a 1951, the neck is slightly slimmer front-to-back, the inlays are a hair different, and it has the more-thin, low-profile cover at the heel area for the adjustable angle mechanism.

Sound-wise it's punchy, loud, wide-sounding, and rumbly. I absolutely love the tone of these guitars. Still, for me -- that 17" body width is what made me sell the last one. If I was taller, I think something like this would be it as far as guitar-searching is concerned. They sound glorious.

Work included: a fret level/dress, repair of a wide-open back seam (cleats and clamps, hah hah), top crack repair, better-fitting of the replacement bridge, much cleaning, and a good setup. The neck's straight and it plays with spot-on 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. String gauges are normal 54w, 42w, 32w, 24w, 16, 12.

Scale length: 24 3/4"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2"
Body length: 21"
Lower bout width: 17"
Waist width: 10 1/4"
Upper bout width: 12 5/8"
Side depth at endpin: 3 1/2" +top/back depth
Top wood: solid spruce, carved
Back/sides wood: solid maple, carved back
Neck wood: mahogany veneer over magnesium core
Bracing type: two-tonebar
Fretboard: rosewood, bone nut
Bridge: rosewood, adjustable
Neck feel: medium C-shape, 10-12" radius board

Condition notes: plenty of mild-to-medium wear-and-tear in scratches and whatnot throughout, replacement bridge and pickguard, repaired back seam and one repaired top crack, otherwise original.


















Oh, right -- the brown endpin from my parts-bin is a replacement, too.

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