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Gibson Reissues the L-20!!!???


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Looks to be the same as my '94 L-20, but the newer ones have an 1 3/4" nut, whereas mine has a 1 13/16" nut (I've read that some have 1 7/8" nut....


Found a little more info:


A special limited-run 6-string from Gibson Acoustic!

Gibson's limited 20th Anniversary L-20 acoustic guitar puts a piece of Gibson history in your hands! Part of an extremely limited run of 20 instruments made to commemorate the 20 years of Gibson's acoustic guitar production in Bozeman, Montana, the rare 20th Anniversary L-20 is a Nick Lucas-style guitar, loaded with elegant 20th anniversary appointments. This is your chance to own a distinctive, vintage-style (and highly collectable) Gibson acoustic

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The custom shop has produced a lot of great guitars for these 20th Anniversary lineup. My local shop has three of the models: SJ-200, J-35, J-45 HB. They're all just next to perfect, but quite pricy. They've also got a brand new Jackson Browne prototype that's pretty cool.

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This is just one of the interesting models they are doing to commemorate their 20th year of production in Bozeman.


At the Homecoming this year, Ren and the good Gibson folks introduced us to some of the lineup that was planned, starting with a J-35 re-issue, and it has turned into a varied group of models.


I had hoped that they might do a run of something in that nice old sycamore that they used for the J-200 and J-100 in 1989 thru 1990, and while there was some talk of that, I don't think I've seen anything like it yet. But I remember the L-20, being a fairly unique model from the early 90s, being one of the models.


I agree with you on the maple neck thing, though; it wouldn't have been my first choice either.



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A little of the L-20 History:




Compiled by


Carl Darnell


In 1992 Eldon Whitford visited Gibson at Bozeman Mt. to tour the factory and in conversation suggested they build a guitar based on the Nick Lucas Special with 12 frets to the body. Read Gibson’s Fabulous Flat-Top Guitars for Eldon’s story about the L20. The factory had already started the L20 project a little fancier and somewhat different than Eldon’s idea.


The prototype L20 was built in the Custom Shop by Ren Ferguson and his crew and sent to the 1993 January NAMM guitar show. Ren said that the 12 fret to body did not sell well and only 20 or 30 of them were made. The rest of the L20’s are 14 fret to the body.


I have not been able to find out why the catalog lists them as L20 Special but the labels inside the 4 L20’s I have found say L20.


The L20’s were built in 1993 and discontinued in early 1994. As far as can be determined the production totals are as follows:



1993 1994


72 Antique Natural 3 Antique Natural


5 Vintage Sunburst 3 Vintage Sunburst


24 Koa International Special 6 Koa International Special




Bill Gonder said that 2 or 3 L20’s were built of Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. The remainder were Indian Rosewood and Koa. The Koa L20’s were built by special order for the Asian market.




I know of :


4 - L20 Antique Natural 12 fret Indian Rosewood


1 - L20 Vintage Sunburst 12 fret Koa


1 - L20 Antique Natural 12 fret Koa




My L20 is an Antique Natural Indian Rosewood and was signed on the inside of the top by James Wright on 3/9/93. At that time he worked in production and later worked in the Custom Shop.




The dimensions of the L20 are;


Body length--19-1/8” Depth at neck--4-1/4” Upper bout width--10-1/8” Waist--8-3/8”


Lower bout width--14-3/4” Depth at end pin--4-3/4” Sound hole--4” Scale--24-3/4 Weight--5 pounds




The above information was collected from Walter Carter, Bill Gonder, Ren Ferguson, Stan Werbin and Eldon Whitford. I want to thank them for all the help they gave in finding out more about my L20 which I have named Marcie. It is a beautiful name for a beautiful guitar with a beautiful voice as well.




Follow up email:

Acutally Walter Carter gave me the production data and both Ren and Bill told me that not more than 20 to 30 L20 were 12 fret. The Koa's were sent overseas and some came back or were never sent. Gibson don't always know what they have made or when. They are always making one off guitars in the Custom shop and selling them through their Gibson Gold dealer program. Both Ren and Bill said they discontinued the L20 for the centennial model in 1994. I suspect it would have been discontinued anyway because of slow sales. As much as I like the tone of the L20 is is overweight and low on volume. If Gibson would have built them light, which is not what they do, it would have been a killer guitar and sold well. It does have very good sustain and vibrates freely. I suspect they quit making the 12 fret and sent most of the rest of the produdction overseas. Stan Werbin said some of them had wolf tones so they may have gotten bad PR from that. There may only be 50 or so L20's in the States.

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Das44....only think of it at NIGHT.....in your night dreams....NOT your day dreams!!!!! LOL....it is a sweet guitar. I must say, and I may be biased here, that this guitar has the biggest woody..............sound of any Gibson guitar I've played. If you look up "woody sound" in Wikpedia, it should have a pic of this guitar. I actually found a sencond one on Craigslist locally and a friend of mine in Louisianna, wanted one, so I arranged the purchase and shipping for him. It was a '93, and sounded brighter than my guitar, I could have had either, but I just love the woody sound of this guitar......If someone plays the new L-20's I would love to hear their review....

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Cant stop looking at it.


OWF I hate you so much for doin this.... I'm gona be sittin in geometry thinkin bout this guitar..... if I fail it's your fault


If you order it....then you can ease your mind knowing it is on its way to you and you will be so happy you will ace geometry tests for the next 3 months !


just say'n :-/

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If you order it....then you can ease your mind knowing it is on its way to you and you will be so happy you will ace geometry tests for the next 3 months !


just say'n [-o</


no I'll drive myself nuts waiting for it to some.

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Well if it is any consolation DAS44......I do see the old ones come up for sale every once in a while....the last one was listed for $2500 and sold pretty quickly.....still looks like it is a bit under what the new ones cost, and aesthetically, I think better looking. This is one I missed a while back that I am STILL kicking myself over....




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