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Welcome to the Pre-War Gibson L-5 Owners’ Club

This website is dedicated to the acoustic L-5s that Gibson produced prior to World War II, with special emphasis on the original 16-inch model (surely one of the most beautiful guitars ever made!). If you are fortunate enough to own a pre-war L-5, or are simply a fan of vintage Gibsons, we hope that the information presented here will be of interest to you.

  • guitar galleries

If you own a Pre-War Gibson L-5, we’d love to hear from you. Email us here.

“Volumes can be written on the achievements of the Gibson Guitar Company but from my perspective as an archtop guitar maker, nothing overshadows the Pre-War L-5.  It launched the archtop guitar as a legitimate, mainstream jazz instrument.  The impact that the L-5 had on players and luthiers alike, is as profound as that of Andrea Amati (1505 – 1577), who is credited for violin design as we know it today. Nearly 100 years after its introduction in 1923, the L-5’s fundamental archtop f-hole design has proved to have staying power.  It set a high bar and gave direction for all other manufacturers and individual makers, who, at best – and in every case – contributed but refinements to Gibson’s seminal creation. I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to contribute to Paul Alcantara’s website – http://www.prewargibsonL-5.com – a tribute to the quintessential jazz guitar.”

Bob Benedetto, Benedetto Guitars

This site is written and curated by Paul Alcantara. Paul is a journalist, guitarist and guitar collector. He was Vintage Consultant for Guitar Buyer Magazine for over 15 years. Site designed and edited by Sally J Hall.

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