Gibson L-12

In Archtop, Gears on November 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

Gibson L-12 Archtop Guitar (1932 – 1955)

Scale length: 24.9″ Nut Width: 1 11/16″


The gibson L-12 , L-7 and the L-10 were gibson L models that were produced in the late 20s early 30s after the famous L-5 archtop acoustic guitar .

Unlike the l-5 these gibson guitars are less sought after by collectors but are still considered vintage historic and collectible quality guitars that are rare and are increasingly gaining value on the vintage market .

In 1934 the gibson company wanted to add extra volume to their l-5 arch top guitars by increasing the body width from 16 inches to 17 inches and at the same time added this feature to three other L models (L-12 , L-7 and L-10) which paved the way for their highly acclaimed gibson super 400 with an 18 inch body in 1934 .

Since then gibson created archtop acoustic guitars with such premium craftsmanship that today these guitars are amongst the most sought after guitars in the world .

The Gibson l-12 was introduced in 1932 with a 16″ wide body, trapeze tailpiece , single bound body , single bound pickguard and peghead , rectangle enclosed fingerboard inlays , had gold plated hardware and were made in mahogany sunburst finishes .

In late 1934 gibson increased the body width to 17 inches wide , they had an x-braced top , fingerboard inlays were switched to double parallelograms, diamond shaped peghead inlays and were made in sunburst finishes .

In 1937 a flat tail piece with cutouts was added, in mid 1939 the gibson l-12 featured parallel top bracing and in 1941 the l-12 had crown peghead inlays, sealed tuners and tulip tuner buttons .

Very few or no l-12 guitars were made during world war 2 , full production resumed in 1946 ( post war ) and were discontinued in 1955 .

In 1947 gibson also introduced the gibson l-12 p ( premier ) which had basically the same specs but were made with a rounded cutaway ( considered higher quality model ) and were discontinued in 1950 . Less than 90 of these gibson guitars were made
Very often the L-12p is compared to the super 400 or the gibson L-5 but they are not in the same caliber both historically and performance wise .

Model: L-12 and L-12p (Premier) Acoustic Archtop
Available: 1932 to 1955
Collectibility Rating: C+ (all models non-cutaway. A higher-end model, but still not an L5 or Super 400, so has limited appeal except to some few collectors).

1932 L-12 introduction specs:

16″ wide, trapeze tailpiece, single bound top, back, fingerboard, ornate rectangle-enclosed fingerboard inlays, single bound peghead, double-handled vase and curlicues peghead, gold plated parts, red mahogany sunburst finish.

1935 L-12 specs:

17″ wide, X-braced top, triple bound top, peghead and pickguard, double-parallelagram fingerboard inlays, 7 piece diamond/star shaped peghead inlay, sunburst finish.

1937 L-12 specs:

flat plate tailpiece with cutouts.

1939 L-12 specs:

parallel top bracing.

1941 L-12 specs:

single bound peghead and pickguard, crown peghead inlay, sealed tuners, tulip tuner buttons.

1947 L-12p (Premier) specs:

rounded cutaway introduced on premier model. Premier model discontinued 1949.

L-12 Discontinued 1955.
Vintage Price Value For 2008 :
1932 – 1934 > $3 500 to $3 900 ( 16″ body )
1934 – 1941 > $3 400 to $4 100 ( 17″ body )
1946 – 1955 > $2 900 to $3 500 ( post war )
1947 – 1950 > $5 500 to $6 000 ( l-12 p )

1932 – 1955 > Avg Upward Trend Of 8% A Year Since 2000
1947 – 1950 > 11% ( l-12 p )

Note : Prices are according to 4 different vintage guitar price guides and rounded off to the nearest dollar.

You can find lots of Gibson L Guitars For Sale at bargain

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