17-Inch Gibson Advanced L-5

In August 1935, the Gibson L-5 was given a radical makeover emerging with a larger 17-inch wide ‘Advanced’ body and multiple binding around the top, back, fingerboard, pickguard and headstock – the latter now restyled so that it was wider at the top (the familiar Gibson design). More radically, the first ‘Advanced’ L-5s also incorporated an X-braced (as opposed to parallel braced) top.

Initially the 24-½ inch scale length was retained but this was officially changed in 1938 when it was increased to a full 25-½ inches (examples can be found with the longer scale length as early as 1936). Around the same time an extra fret was added, returning the model to the 20-fret fingerboard that it had started out with.

From 1939 the L-5 was offered – as the L-5 Premier – with a single rounded ‘Venetian’ style cutaway and both cutaway and non-cutaway models were available with an optional Natural finish. Around the same time, Gibson reinstated parallel top bracing.