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Leave it as is or restore it? Opinions please!

#1 User is offline   Filbert 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 05:13 AM

I have a 1939 Gibson L-30 and let me say straight off the bat, it's a lovely guitar; I have it set for Delta slide and it sounds wonderful. The (potential) issue is that it is a little bit of a beater, even compared to others from the same era that I have seen. All I can say is, mine must have been played a lot in its life as it is well-loved. It looks every one of its 80 years that's for sure:

Posted Image

What's more, the headstock is possibly the worst part - the logo is very faded:

Posted Image

So my question to you is, should I get the guitar re-finished or leave it as it is? Is it even worth getting it refinished? How much (ballpark) does such a thing cost? Should I leave the body alone and just get the logo touched up?

Part of me wants to leave the finish as it is - it wears its scars well. But part of me also thinks the whole guitar would benefit from a refresh.
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#2 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 05:20 AM

That's as perfect and beautiful as an old guitar can be. Wouldn't even cross my mind to 'refresh'. Almost as nice as this.



Attached File  tumblr_ms5v7sFVnm1rtqh62o1_500.jpg (125.32K)
Number of downloads: 4


None of my guitars are shiny pretty. I'm happy with that.

This post has been edited by jedzep: 06 February 2019 - 06:16 AM

I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.

'31 L0
'35 L00
'50 J50
'62 Martin 00018
'57 Guild M20
'63 Guild F30
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#3 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 05:28 AM

View PostFilbert, on 06 February 2019 - 05:13 AM, said:

...should I get the guitar re-finished or leave it as it is? Is it even worth getting it refinished?...

I wouldn't touch it. If you refinish it not only would it cost a considerable amount to do properly it would also, in all likelihood, devalue the instrument.
There's also the very real possibility that it would not sound the same after a re-fin.

View Postjedzep, on 06 February 2019 - 05:20 AM, said:

That's as perfect and beautiful as an old guitar can be. Wouldn't even cross my mind to 'refresh'.

This.
It would cross my mind but then the thought would be dismissed instantly.

Pip.
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#4 User is offline   Filbert 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 06:00 AM

Fair enough, thanks for the words of wisdom [biggrin]
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#5 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 06:17 AM

...of course, I'd take the pick guard off.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.

'31 L0
'35 L00
'50 J50
'62 Martin 00018
'57 Guild M20
'63 Guild F30
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#6 User is offline   Filbert 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 06:20 AM

View Postjedzep, on 06 February 2019 - 06:17 AM, said:

...of course, I'd take the pick guard off.


I might need to do that anyway - it has a crack right around where the top mounting screw is so it is extremely fragile.
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#7 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 07:23 AM

How much cleaner is the finish under the guard? Photo? You got a lot of strumming to do.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.

'31 L0
'35 L00
'50 J50
'62 Martin 00018
'57 Guild M20
'63 Guild F30
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#8 User is offline   Filbert 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:15 AM

View Postjedzep, on 06 February 2019 - 07:23 AM, said:

How much cleaner is the finish under the guard? Photo? You got a lot of strumming to do.



There's a bit of a difference but is not immediately eye-jarring. I think it is less to do with wear and more to do with sun fade on the finish. I have already given the guitar a good clean with Dunlop polish just to take some of the grime off and it has made a bit of a difference to the overall look.

Edit: Pic with the pickguard off:

Posted Image

This post has been edited by Filbert: 06 February 2019 - 08:21 AM

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#9 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:58 PM

Sound advice from Jed and Pip. No need to go beyond the cleaning/polishing that you've done. The headstock logo looks just fine too! Very sweet looking old guitar. I'd get a nice replica pickguard for it, but that's just my opinion.
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#10 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:46 PM

Ooops, there's a hole.

https://reverb.com/i...35-tiger-stripe
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.

'31 L0
'35 L00
'50 J50
'62 Martin 00018
'57 Guild M20
'63 Guild F30
0

#11 User is offline   Dave F 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 05:33 PM

Pretty close to the new L1 f-hole

Posted Image

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#12 User is offline   jtees 

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:28 PM

I like new looking guitars, BUT that one should not be touched. It would just be wrong. Too much history.
*****
Please check out some of my music:
https://soundclick.c...e?albumID=18884
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