The 1937 L-00 Legend prides itself as being the most expensive small body acoustic guitar from Gibson, and it would be understandable to wonder how a small instrument can command a premium price tag. However, a casual search for Gibson L-00’s on sale will give you a better idea of how highly coveted these guitars are.
Interestingly, the L-00 started out as an “economy line” guitar, with its smaller size and lighter construction. But thanks to legendary players like Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson and many others, the humble “blues box” have established itself as a special musical tool that continues to be in demand.
While other parlor guitars are based on random vintage models, this particular model is an exact replica of one of the world’s most iconic acoustic guitars, Lee Roy Parnell’s original vintage 1937 L-00 guitar. As such, the 1937 L-00 Legend is built using the best tonewood and materials that the company can get their hands on, handcrafted to precisely replicate the smallest details of the original guitar.
Lee Roy himself said, “I never thought it possible, but the new 1937 L-00 is actually better than my original. It is very inspiring to play.”
Here’s a short video snippet the features the 1937 L-00 Legend:
The guitar’s top is crafted from Adirondack red spruce, while the back and sides are made from Honduran mahogany. The company adds that careful wood selection and strict wood drying procedures are followed to ensure the quality of each material. The top of the guitar is supported by hand scalloped braces, following the tall “X” design as found on the inside of Parnell’s vintage 1937 L-00. The resulting combination is said to reproduce the original guitar’s tight low end and warm bluesy tone while providing volume and clarity that surpasses typical parlor guitar models.
Gibson specifically mentioned that they utilized the highest grade rosewood on earth to craft the fingerboard of this guitar. The raw materials must meet strict standards before it can even enter the production area. Classic dot mother of pearl inlays serve as markers, they are inserted into the fingerboard without using fillers, as part of the guitar’s premium building process. The fingerboard also feature traditional binding over the fret ends.
Even the period-correct white button tuners are precisely handcrafted to copy the exact dimensions of the ones found on the original. Another noteworthy feature is the guitar’s rosette, which is a single-ring that consists of 3-ply binding. Specifications of the guitar include a scale length of 24.75″, 1.76″ nut width, and it comes with a rosewood rectangular bridge.
The Gibson 1937 L-00 Legend has an MSRP of $5,499.