1952 Gibson L-48 Electrified Archtop Guitar

I'm fond of the ply-body L-48s from the '50s. I always feel at home on older Gibson necks and they have a chunky, chordally-delicious sound to them. I'm not sure I'd want to be playing lead on one all day long, but like the Kalamazoo archtops of the '30s, I think they fill a chord-chugging "band" role perfectly and maybe even a bit better than something with more of a distinct snap or cut in the higher-end of the tone like you'd find on a carved-top guitar.

That said, this one has clearly been played as an electric for a while, now. It came to the shop with a '50s/'60s DeArmond FHC "guitar mic" pickup with its monkey-on-a-stick mounting contraption. Now that the guitar's been fixed-up, it sounds lovely through that old DeArmond. It's got a very late-'40s/early-'50s vibe going on -- clean and balanced, with a bit of a peak in the upper-mids and highs that gives it a ton of snap. You can plunk around on it like you're playing "acoustic," but if you dial-in a bit more gain it will do a lovely, toasty-sounding bluesy/rootsy thing.

Repairs included regluing both top braces (they were totally loose) through the f-holes, a fret level/dress, a minor seam repair to the back, cleaning, a tiny bit of wiring work, and setup. Aside from the DeArmond unit and some later tuners, it's otherwise original and in a pretty clean state. It looks awfully nice in person.

Strings are 50w-11 with a wound G and they give the guitar a relaxed feel. It'd be neat to use this with an on/off footswitch while jamming with buddies -- play it acoustic (it still sounds nice acoustic) while backing or singing and then flip it on for lead work.