Orville Johnson demonstrates his unusual Gibson L-50.
by Teja Gerken
May 21, 2015
This 1930s Gibson L-50 guitar is owned by Peghead Nation Blues Guitar instructor Orville Johnson. Originally designed as a budget model, the L-50 has a carved spruce top and birch back and sides. This particular instrument is interesting because it has a single round soundhole rather than f-holes, which were more commonly used on L-50s. Despite its flattop-like appearance, the guitar is braced with two parallel tone bars, has a floating bridge, and the strings are anchored with a trapeze tailpiece. “It’s an interesting sound,” says Johnson. “It has almost no low-end, it’s midrangey, and kind of punchy, but not very loud. But, the sound that it does have is a good sound, so I’ve enjoyed playing it.”
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