From Gibson Custom comes a beautiful and highly sought-after L-10 archtop acoustic guitar. This collectible Gibson guitar sports all the classic features and design practices to make a monumental guit... Click To Read More About This Product
From Gibson Custom comes a beautiful and highly sought-after L-10 archtop acoustic guitar. This collectible Gibson guitar sports all the classic features and design practices to make a monumental guitar of incredible quality, with a tone that helped define an entire genre of American music: Western Swing.
The Gibson L-10 guitar body design
First introduced in 1929, and built in very limited numbers for just a decade, the Gibson L-10 is arguably one of Gibson's rarest 17" archtops. Like its more famous Gibson relatives the L-5 and L-7, the L-10 acoustic guitar started off as a 16" guitar but had been "advanced" by an inch in 1934. The L-10 was easily identifiable by its "double-arrowhead" fingerboard inlay, the same inlay used on a legendary Gibson flat top of the period, the Advanced Jumbo. Although the original guitar was only made until 1938, the Gibson L-10 was the same guitar Chet Atkins played in his early years performing on the radio. The rhythmic sound of Gibson's big-bodied f-hole archtop guitar helped define the sound of western swing. From Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys to the Light Crust Doughboys, the Gibson L-10 sound was monumental. This reissued L-10 sports ornamentation unique in the Gibson Custom Shop line: eye-catching split-arrow fingerboard inlays, and distinctive checkerboard Ivoroid body binding. The purely acoustic archtop guitar has fallen out of use in recent decades as most players now demand a floating pickup on such a guitar. However, the powerful, cutting sound of a 17" archtop with f-holes has been revived by Gibson Custom Shop to inspire another century of incredible American roots music.
Spruce top and maple body
The spruce top and maple back and sides give the Gibson Custom L-10 acoustic guitar an evenly biased, warm tone, with robust, well-defined lows and sparkling highs. Selecting the right wood, and the formula to dry it out, are two of the most central procedures to Gibson's guitar-building process. Beginning with its first catalog in 1903, Gibson has assured its customers that every guitar would be built using woods with "the most durable, elastic, and sonorous qualities," and today's Gibson acoustic guitars are no different.
The Gibson L-10 guitar is equipped with an ebony fingerboard, which enhances note attack and articulation. Ebony is a very popular up-market fingerboard material, known for its strong, clear tone. A hard, dense, dark-black exotic wood, ebony has commonly been regarded as a deluxe, upgraded option. Ebony is also extremely hardwearing, and more resistant to humidity and climate and weather changes than many other fingerboard woods.
The fingerboard of the Gibson L-10 guitar has a 12" radius that is preferred by many rhythm kings. It provides smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates "dead" or "choked out" notes, common occurrences on fingerboards with lesser radiuses.
The acoustic guitar is equipped with Kluson-style tuners. These tuners echo the look and performance of the Klusons used on Gibson guitars from years past.
Set neck joint
Distinguished by one of the more traditional features that has always set a Gibson guitar apart from others is a glued neck joint. Gluing the neck to the body of the acoustic guitar ensures a "wood-to-wood" contact, no air space in the neck cavity, and maximum contact between the neck and body, allowing both pieces to function as a single unit. The result? Better tone, better sustain, and no loose or misaligned necks.
The "floating bridge" of the Gibson L-10 guitar is mounted on a wooden base and held against the guitar's top by the pressure of the strings, rather than being permanently attached. The hollow or semi-hollow nature of the guitars they appear on means they are also partnered with a trapeze tailpiece. The combination contributes to an appropriately round, warm tone that suits the nature of the guitars they are mounted on”the classic jazz set up, in other words”although such guitars have been used for rock and country, too.
Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson acoustic guitar is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. Unlike the polyurethane finishes used by many guitar manufacturers, a nitrocellulose lacquer finish is porous when cured, allowing the wood to naturally "breathe" and mature. Microscopically thin, the finish on a Gibson acoustic guitar first requires seven main coats of nitrocellulose lacquer. After drying overnight, the initial seven coats are then level sanded and given two additional coats. Left to dry for five additional days, the finish is then wet sanded and buffed to its final glass-like sheen. The time-consuming nature of applying a nitro finish has been employed ever since the first Gibson guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894. Why? For starters, a nitro finish means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone. It's also a softer finish, making it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can't do the same on a poly finish.