1949 National 1145 (Gibson L-50) Carved-Top Archtop Guitar (VIDEO! Ready to Go, Fresh Work Done)

$ 1550.00

Quick notes: 1) This is consigned. 2) I’ve done it all up and it’s ready to go! 3) Please read the following text for full details and specs — it’s borrowed from my original blog post on it…

For all intents and purposes, this National 1145 is the same guitar as a same-year Gibson L-50. The only differences are the headstock shape, a non-adjustable truss rod, and the hardware choices (though the pickguard is Gibson-supplied). I’ve owned both late-’40s L-50s and L-48s as well as another one of these 1145s (but with the National-made Stylist neck, rather than the Gibson-made dovetail-jointed neck like on this guy), and they handle and sound just about the same as one another.

Gibson carved-tops of the late ’40s tend to sound a hair brighter and more out-front aggressive than ’30s and early ’40s versions and then early-to-mid ’50s versions, too. They remind me (this one does, too) more of Epiphone carved-tops. They leap out and really suit heavy-handed chord choppers or fiery lead players. This also makes them a little more responsive to fingerpicking, too, as the tone remains clean and forward.

The only work this guitar needed was a glorified setup, basically, and now that it’s done it plays spot-on and quickly and has, well, a Gibson feel. As I mentioned, most of these National-branded, Gibson-bodied guitars featured National-installed necks, but the ones (like this one) with the dovetailed, glued joint were made by Gibson and have the same feel as a Gibson-branded neck. That’s a big leg up on the checklist of “cool guitardom.”

I’m pretty sure that National did their own finish spraying on these instruments which is why they have unique patterns vs. their Gibson counterparts and age a little differently, with the maple of the back and sides getting a bit of a greenish tint over time vs. a deep, buttery yellow. It’s a cool look!

Repairs included: a fret level/dress and setup-side work.

Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: ply maple

Bracing type: tonebar (kerfed)

Bridge: rosewood adjustable (replacement)

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)

String gauges: 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 custom light

Neck shape: medium C

Board radius: ~12″

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-lower

Scale length: 24 3/4″

Nut width: 1 11/16″

Body width: 16 1/8″

Body depth: 3 1/4″ arching

Weight: 4 lbs 11 oz

Condition notes: it’s got wear and tear by way of pickwear and mild scratching throughout. The bridge is a replacement. The pickguard appears to be an original Gibson guard but the original L-bracket mounting hardware has been changed to a fancier, glued-on version. There’s mild finish flaking to the sides but overall the instrument looks great.

It comes with: a beat-up molded hard case.