Serial number: 90901
Year shipped: 1934
Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo
Neck/fingerboard: See Notes below
Body: See Notes below
Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including regular tailpiece
Notes: This guitar was converted to an electric in the 1950s and has since been restored as an acoustic. It had been heavily ‘varnished’ and was unplayable when its current owner purchased it. The restoration was carried out by luthier Michael Heiden, who installed a new dot inlaid fingerboard in place of the original fingerboard which had block inlays. The guitar’s current owner reports that now “it not only looks glorious, but also feels, plays, and sounds fabulous!” The pickguard is missing and the tuners and bridge have been replaced. Has original Redline hardshell case.
Images courtesy of Richard Poitras
Luthier Michael Heiden restores L-5 Serial Number 90901
When this guitar was acquired, two holes had been cut into the top to fit pickups with additional holes – on both the right and left of the bridge – for tone and volume controls. At a later stage the pickup holes had been filled with spruce patches and the remaining holes plugged.
A heavy coat of varnish had been applied to the body and neck as well as the fingerboard. Though the guitar still had its original trapeze tailpiece, later Kluson tuners had been installed, the pickguard was missing and there were no thumbwheels on the bridge.
Restoration was carried out by luthier Michael Heiden (heideninstruments.ca). This included fitting a new 19-fret ebony fingerboard with a square end and dot inlays from the third fret and rebinding the neck (the guitar originally had a block inlaid fingerboard).
New patches were fitted to the holes in the top – fortunately the braces were undamaged – and the guitar was refinished with a black top, to conceal the repair work and sunburst back, sides and neck. New Grover 18:1 Sta-Tite Gold tuners and a new bridge completed the work.
“As a memento of its previous life, the guitar retained the 1940s strap hooks that were on before the restoration,” says its owner Richard Poitras.