1949 National 1145 (Gibson L-50) Carved-Top Archtop Guitar

I've worked on a few of these guitars and they're always fun critters for old jazz and popular styles. At the time, the parent company for both Gibson and National decided to have Gibson supply some guitars for the National brand. Through most of the '50s, this meant that Gibson supplied many fancier-grade bodies to which National affixed their own "Stylist" bolt-on/adjustable necks.

This '49 version of the 1145 model, however, is entirely a Gibson product, with a Gibson-made, dovetailed/set neck construction. It's thus essentially a same-year, carved-top, Gibson L-50 with a non-adjustable-rod neck, different finish, and different branding. National must have sprayed the finishes on these guitars, though, because they're consistent with the many other Valco/National instruments I've handled from the time.

Super-cool features include a clear original pickguard, original covered tuner plates (though the tuners inside have been swapped to modern units), a heavy-duty Kluson tailpiece, slick National headstock branding plate, and an almost Epiphone-looking finish style with a wide burst.

The tone is punchy, woody, and midsy and it cuts beautifully. It would make a great chop-chop rhythm box or snappy lead/fill player. As a bonus, it has a K&K pickup installed already so it's ready to go for plugged-in gigs. This was a nice surprise to find inside because K&Ks are about the only thing I like to install for acoustic pickups as the voice is accurate and they're passive and have good output so you don't need any batteries or preamp to make use of them.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, mild cleaning, mild bridge adjustments, and setup.

Top wood: solid spruce (carved)

Back & sides wood: maple

Bracing type: tonebar

Bridge: rosewood (replacement)

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret:
3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w-12 lights (it had mediums on it before and the neck was fine)

Neck shape: medium-full C

Board radius: 10"

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: lower/smaller

Scale length: 24 3/4"

Nut width: 1 5/8" (a hair over)

Body width: 16"

Body depth: 3 3/8" + arching

Weight: 4 lbs 13 oz

Condition notes: it's all-original except for a replacement bridge and tuners, though the new tuners work fine and have vintage-style buttons and are hidden under the old tuner coverplates. There's plenty of wear and tear via scratches, scuffs, nicks, and dings throughout the body. This guitar got played and used. The finish has also weather-checked all over and in a sort-of pretty, textured way on the sides. The back of the neck was "speed-necked" at some point -- probably due to finish flaking-off and something needing to be done about it -- and so it has a natural, satin glow to it from first position to around the 11th fret. It looks good and feels natural, though. The guitar is crack-free and ready to go, with adjustment room available at the bridge if needed.

It comes with: no case, sorry!