Maybe the 'L' in 'L-00' should stand for "legendary" - this is, after all, a guitar that set the standard for its class when it was introduced in the 1930s, and has kept the bar high for the better part of a century since. Famous for delivering projection that's nothing short of incredible for such a compact instrument, the small-body L-00 guitar strikes an excellent balance of comfort, playability and tone that makes it one of the best-known models in the Gibson lineup. Today's options carry forward all the best traits of the original 1930s L-00 guitars, with a few key updates that allow them to fit seamlessly into the musical landscape of the twenty-first century.
One of the best things about L-00 guitars might be the simple fact that anybody can own one. If you're a beginner, or a casual musician on a tight budget, just check out the lineup from Epiphone, including the EL-00 PRO Acoustic/Electric Guitar or one of its limited-edition versions. These instruments make the much sought-after sound of the L-00 affordable to any player who wants it, and they're loaded with a surprising set of features at such a price point, including genuine Fishman electronics and solid spruce tops.
Of course, you're not out in the cold if you're a discerning guitarist who has to have that Gibson name on the headstock - in that case, take a look at instruments like the Gibson Limited Edition L-00 Genuine Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Guitar. Want an impression of how Gibson tweaks their instruments each year to keep their standards high? Just read up on the year's highlight model to see what was changed: for instance, the Gibson 2016 L-00 Standard Acoustic-Electric Guitar updated the winning L-00 formula with a revised nut, truss rod cover and inlays, plus an L.R. Baggs VTC pickup and an adjusted fingerboard edge contour.
The number one question you should ask before taking home a new guitar is whether it's the right instrument for your needs - and if those needs are to get full, rich J-45 caliber sound from a small-body guitar, then one of these L-00 guitars is sure to be the best fit for you. All that's left to do, then, is look through the options and figure out which specific model to make your own! Take your time and choose wisely, and you'll be well-prepared to take that next step in your musical hobby or career.