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1930s top question


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I was reading in Adrian Ingrams book about the L5 pg 24 that when Gibson went from 16" bodies to 17" bodies (1937-39,) the company knew that pressure at the bridge area would cause a sinking of the top and as such began to construct tops in a more flattened pattern about where the bridge is.

that said, I'm looking a 37-38 Gibson Archtop & i cant tell if it has a slightly sunken top, or was this flattened top also given to other models of that time? 

action is good, sound is robust, just curious if anyone had any input. thanks everyone

See images. 


Edited by Evilive1999
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That's a fairly "advanced" question, particularly on a forum where discussion of vintage archtops has been in a long and slow decline.  Although you present the question well, and your photo is very good, I'm not sure there's an obvious answer here.  It might help to know which Gibson model you're looking at, but even then, one would need to have some expertise on such a specific topic.  Just out of curiosity, what type of internal bracing does the guitar in question have?

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hi jim, thanks for reaching out.

the guitar is a '38 L7. X bracing. I've created a 'periscope mirror' using Joes Sticky stape, wire  coat hanger and a tiny bathroom mirror. there aren't any damages internally to the bracing etc. 

since my posting just this afternoon, I've read on other forums that some guitars did  have a 'double hump' and that its not uncommon to the L7, L10 & L12. since ive never had to max out the bridge, I'm inclined to believe the evidence of my senses and the ref books in print!


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Well done, sir.  I used to use a little mirror (with a hole in one corner) tied to a string.  Very high-tech.  😀

I agree, if your bridge is operating well in a normal elevation, then no worries.  If you have any full frontal photos, I'm sure I'm not the only one here who would enjoy a view!

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