Buying a Custom Hand-Made Archtop Guitar in China

May 8, 2018 by · Comments Off on Buying a Custom Hand-Made Archtop Guitar in China 

Starting with the L-7

1933 Gibson L-7

I am a huge jazz fan, but am a rank novice at guitar playing. I have only been under instruction for about 30 months and with a full-time job, and me approaching my middle-60s, progress is slow, slow, slow.

When I started my lessons, I played my grandmother’s guitar, a lovely 1933 Gibson L-7 with a custom factory black finish, and a rosewood fingerboard that came from a Recording King guitar. I have no idea whether it was ordered this way or not. It was 1933, at the worst part of the Great Depression. It’s always possible that to save some money, first, the guitar may have been finished in black to mask any visual imperfections in the wood that would not affect its acoustic properties. It’s also possible that the Recording King fingerboard was lying around, and that a production manager chose to use any high end fingerboard that was readily available, rather than spend additional time and money to fabricate a proper L-7 fingerboard. I might have been able to perform some research with the assistance of Gibson serial number wizard Joe Spann, but when I was a small child, I took a screwdriver to the inside of the guitar to get the label out so I could read it (the things young kids do when unsupervised…). Of course, to avoid discovery, I destroyed the label and disposed of it, without my ever recording the serial number somewhere. Read more