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Everything posted by bobouz

  1. Started playing in 1971 at the age of twenty. After purchasing a new Yamaha FG-160, I soon developed a strong interest in guitar construction & desirable build quality, and became well aware of the big three at the time - Gibson, Guild, and Martin. By 1973, I was scouring flea markets for inexpensive solid-topped acoustics (archtops & flat-tops) to restore to playing condition - never paying more than $40 for an instrument. After restoration, I would use them to trade for higher end instruments, including four new Guilds. Along the way, the flea market finds included three Gibsons: a 1948 L-48, a 1950s LG2-3/4, and a 1964 Epiphone FT-45n Cortez (B-25 clone). These were my gateway drugs into a love affair with Gibson's short-scale fingerboards & fast neck profiles, as well as the percussive tonal characteristics that worked well with my fingerpicking style. Dozens of Gibsons later, the attraction still remains!
  2. bobouz

    New Es335

    Yes, but this has nothing to do with Gibsons & Epiphones being built today. When Gibson bought what was left of the original Epiphone company in 1957, they decided to create their own in-house competitive line. Starting in 1958 (and initially using up the parts procured from the Epi purchase), they began producing Epiphones in their Kalamazoo factory. Sometimes these were exact clones of Gibson models (except for the headstock & pickguard), but there also were unique models that significantly parted ways with Gibson's own offerings. Build quality of the two lines was identical. In 1970, the arrangement ended, as Gibson decided to have Epiphones produced in pacific rim countries. The first of these was Japan, then Korea, and now primarily China and Indonesia (some models are still occasionally made in Japan & Korea). The fact remains that thornev's "335 expert" is completely off base, and I would consider suspect any information he puts out.
  3. bobouz

    Es339 fake?

    The serial number would make it a 2012. Everything looks good!
  4. As Nick mentioned above in post #2, this model was made between 1919 & 1926. Gibson also produced a "junior" mandolin during this period, which had a very similar label. Both were stripped down models, and did not receive a truss rod like most other Gibsons did in 1922.
  5. While doing some research on a new-to-me guitar I recently picked up, for some reason I happened upon an old AGF discussion thread. The topic was Gibson's adjustable bridges, and noted luthier Rick Turner was weighing in hot & heavy. To cut it down to the basics, Turner said he'd changed out bunches of these bridges & they weren't worth one crap, and anyone who thinks they are worth a crap is a moron. Maybe not his exact words, but very close - and it really was quite a rant. With a luthier churning out such forum commentary while foaming at the mouth, it's no wonder many folks will feel free to parrot the bad wrap - whether or not they actually have any experience with these bridges. Now from a luthier's perspective, I totally get that the design is an affront to the basics of ideal guitar construction techniques. Absolutely, installing a bunch of metal hardware on your spruce top (and then maybe even throwing in a plastic bridge as a bonus), on paper seems like one of the dumbest things you could ever do. But a funny thing was created on the way to the nut house - A unique acoustic tone was born. And quite a few folks found that tone totally compelling. Sure, a lot of the adjustable bridges have self-destructed, and if you're a luthier you might shake your head every time another one comes through the door. But guess what? A whole lot of standard-fare bridges from the '60s have given up the ghost, too. They're old guitars. On the other hand, every once in a while you'll run into something like my bone stock '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez. Adorned with that silly plastic bridge, hardware, & adjustable saddle, it all is sitting there intact - exactly as it was when it left Kalamazoo, and structurally stable throughout. Regardless of Gibson's original intent, it also sounds like a million bucks that you won't find on any other street corner.
  6. Re the WM line, all had departed by 2001 except the WM-45. I had two of them - an ‘01, and a second one that was either an ‘03 or ‘04. The latter had graduated to a full gloss finish as opposed to the earlier satin back & sides. Both were fine instruments but were traded off in favor of a ‘02 J-45 Rosewood, which I still have.
  7. Big fan here of the slightly metallic overtones delivered by the ‘60s adjustable saddles, in particular when coupled with a ceramic insert, plastic bridge, & LG size body. Essentially, the plastic bridge just ends up holding the bridge pins in place. Tone transfer goes through the saddle and into what amounts to something more akin to a metal mini arch-top bridge. The rosewood adjustable bridges typically will also go tonally in that direction, but the effect seems a bit more pronounced with the plastic bridge, imho. Note that this does not at all apply to non-adjustable plastic bridges, as seen on an LG-0. In this case, the saddle is resting directly on the plastic bridge, so string transfer must go through the plastic - a totally losing proposition!
  8. My primary advice would be to not buy anything without a good return policy. Small body guitars are a real crapshoot in terms of getting a hoped-for tone out of them. Within any particular model line, you can easily find similar-era examples that will range from satisfyingly rich, to boxy, to “stuffed with socks”. Best of luck in your search! Edit: Just saw your post above - Hope the L-OO works out well for you.
  9. I'm resurrecting this old thread because I don't do pics, and Fred's "LG-1 reissue" photo in the post directly above is the exact model I just purchased. Wanted to share a little info on this one since it's such a rare & odd duck. The guitar has a 2006 serial number, and per the COA that came with it, it's called "The Early '60s LG-1 Limited Edition", and states that it's from a "Limited Edition run of only 20 made for the USA in 2006." Where it totally parts company with an LG-1, is the fact that it indeed has X-bracing - so for all intents & purposes, it's an LG-2 in LG-1 clothing. The back & sides are solid mahogany, and the top is solid spruce. The rectangular open-slotted bridge and batwing pickguard do follow early '60s form for this model, up until the belly-up bridge was introduced in 1962. The neck profile is spot-on pre '65, as are the jumbo frets, both of which I happen to love. There most likely are some floating around, but personally I've never handled another Montana-made acoustic with jumbo frets. So for me, the instrument's playability is superb. As for it's tone, this one matches up with the best LG-style bodies I've ever encountered. I would describe it as dry, punchy, and well-throated for it's size. And as icing on the cake, it came to me in near-mint condition, with just one tiny nick on the edge of the headstock, near one of the tuners. It never ceases to amaze me how even though you think you're paying attention, every once in a while some obscure model pops up that you never heard of. In this case, it's truly a little sweetheart! Edit note: The guitar also has a center-seam back brace, as seen on the LG-2 & LG-3.
  10. The body shape of the WM-00 was introduced in 1999, when much of Gibson’s acoustic lineup was revamped. They called it the “Advanced 00” design. The L-130, L-140, L-150, and later the Emmylou Harris model shared the same body shape. I played a number of them back then, but never came across one that truly stood out in the tone department.
  11. Could the top be a bit sunken & the tall saddle is compensating for it?
  12. Maybe “The Lounge” is the best place for that. Personally, I don’t mind one bit if other brands are discussed, but in the past it has been an issue for some forum members.
  13. Lovely guitar, Sal - Congrats!
  14. I have an ‘09 ES-339 and a ‘10 ES-330L with the 30/60 neck, and it’s my favorite profile on an electric. But I also have a ‘12 LP Special that has virtually the same profile - without being speced as a 30/60. Clearly, there are other Gibson’s out there with very similar profiles. I think if you can find & play a guitar with the 30/60 profile, the feel of it will stay locked in your mind as you assess other instruments. If you are looking to buy an instrument online, be sure you have full return rights rather than taking a total leap of faith based on the sellers descriptors. Best of luck in your search!
  15. Yes indeed. I didn’t want to go off in too many directions, sticking only to the belly-up bridges under discussion. The belly-down SJs were truly a whole different ballgame. But if we continue to open the floodgates a little wider, here’s an additional tidbit of info re belly-ups: On Montana’s current belly-up bridge (all except the SJ), the saddle resides pretty far north of the pins. On the ‘57 J-185 (referenced in one of my above posts), the pin holes are at the extreme base of the bridge as in today’s Montana version, but the saddle is set much closer to the pins, increasing the break angle. The current spacing gap seems to have more in common with the saddle location frequently seen in the ‘60s on adjustable bridges.
  16. BK - No, the "bridge pin plan" has not been changed. If you go back and read my second most recent post (I guess our posts are no longer numbered in a given thread), I address the fact that the Southern Jumbo is the one exception to the rule (since the 1999 revamped lineup). This is because Montana is staying true to the Kalamazoo belly-up bridge pin placement on Southern Jumbos. Back in '99, I obtained a copy of the newly released & revamped Gibson Acoustic catalog (which I still have), and almost immediately noticed the difference in bridge pin placement on the Southern Jumbo (thanks to a rather healthy case of OCD). The more centralized belly-up pin location occurs only on the Southern Jumbo, and this is consistent with every version I've come across since '99.
  17. Absolutely. A lot depends on the era they might choose to use as a frame of reference, and even then, there will probably be some liberties taken. In the case of this bridge pin placement, it goes back to at least 1957, as reflected in a Gruhn photo I’m looking at of a ‘57 J-185, and of course it was seen through much of the ‘60s.
  18. BK - Yes, that's the typical pin hole placement for the belly-up bridge. In 1999, Montana's model lineup was revamped with an eye towards vintage classics and more accurate specs. So from '99 forward, you will see this location on belly-up Montana bridges. The one exception is Southern Jumbo models, which historically had the pin holes located further away from the bridge base (on vintage SJ versions with a belly-up bridge). The post-'99 Southern Jumbos I've seen accurately reflect this difference. Again, I have not had an issue with any of the five Montana acoustics I own with this bridge pin location. If the 2002 example you're considering is structurally stable at this time, it would be a pretty good indicator that with 17 years under it's belt, most likely it'll be just fine moving forward.
  19. That might be a bit of an optical illusion. I have a 2002 J-45 Rosewood, as well as belly-up Montana bridges on other instruments from 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2015. My quickie eyeball test says they're all the same. The one difference is that the pearl dots are set a bit lower on the 2002. Back in the '70s, I used to worry quite a bit about that lack of glue space on belly-up bridges. To date, I've never had a lifting issue with any Montana belly-up bridge - but I do think it's important to make sure the ball of each string is properly seated on the bridgeplate after installation (I use an automotive inspection mirror & flashlight). All of that said, in my experience the early 2000s were very good years for Gibson slope-shoulders. Along with the J-45 Rosewood, I also had a J-50 and two WM-45s from that era. All of them were tonally very nice, but this particular 2002 stands out for me in the dry & woody department.
  20. The J-185 is my overall favorite Gibson, but a good J-45 with the signature thump is hard to beat & can be soooo addictive tonally. Congrats, enjoy, and keep us posted with updates!
  21. Yes, Gruhn’s book lists two pickups & the slider switch appearing in 1949. In 1950, Epiphone’s “New York” pickups are introduced on this model, which Glen’s instrument does not have. Along with the serial number info, it logically should be a 1949. Neat guitar!
  22. According to Gruhn's Guide To Vintage Guitars (Vol. 2), #85013 corresponds to Epiphone serial numbers used between 1945 & 1950. The "85" refers specifically to the Zephyr De Luxe Regent model. The final three digits signify it's ranking within that model's production.
  23. Perhaps the guitar was started in '64 & assigned it's serial number, then set aside for some reason & completed in '65 after the switch to the 1-9/16" profile. Just a guess, of course.
  24. I think you're mistaking his very dry wit for greed. When someone once told him "That's a great sounding guitar," he set it down and said, "How does it sound now?" In many interviews & recorded conversations I've heard, he liked to banter a bit with others & would throw out comments such as the one referenced. As for the Nashville Sound thing, yes, he was focused on a formula that he thought would broaden the appeal of country music, which most likely was an ongoing mission at the time with RCA, who hired him. In my mind, Nashville has always been a pathetic money-grubbing operation, with locked doors at every turn. Atkins came to town as the Carter's guitarist & at their insistence, after Nashville tried to block him out because of his different sound & virtuosity. Bottom line, he was just trying to find his way through the morass like everyone else. Yes, he succeeded wildly, and had musically strong opinions. But it was more than just Chet holding up the Outlaw-foo-foo, it was the overall structure of Nashville and it's studios. Willie & Waylon tried like heck to break through there with the "right" look & sound. If they had, they would have been drinking at the trough & dancing to the bank like everyone else. Fortunately for the greater good, they found success elsewhere. As for Atkins overall, I judge him by his music, the company he musically kept, those who thrived musically by playing with him, and the fact that he helped resurrect the career of someone like this guy named Les Paul. He didn't have to do that & certainly didn't need the money by then, but he did it because he wanted to. Give a listen sometime to 1974s "The Atkins-Travis Traveling Show" with Merle Travis for a quick history lesson and some beautiful music that captures the essence of a long & winding road.
  25. Personally, for what they're asking, I'd hold off & look for a cleaner example. Of the Gibson CA models, I happen to like the Tennessean more - primarily due to the extra frets clear of the body. Over a decade ago, I purchased a 1990 Tennessean, which was the initial year for that model (silver pickguard & TRC, no armrest). That said, the Country Gent is very cool, and I wouldn't mind having one of those, too!
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