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Everything posted by tpbiii

  1. Not reall Not really. I know my 4th cousin, Larry Barnwell, who originally ran the mandolin division in Boseman in the 1990s (and he still lives there). But he left Gibson years ago to become the western US sales manager for Martin and retired last year as the e-commerce director for Martin. We talked quite a bit about guitars over the years, but also a lot about family history. He also has some nice old guitars and plays bluegrass -- maybe it is genetic😎. Best, -Tom
  2. This is sort of surreal. They seem to have reissued -- same year or one year off -- a lot of my collection. Except the Super Jumbos -- I was never into those. I don't know if this is good or bad. -Tom
  3. A few years, my friend (and well known bluegrass flat picker) Tony Watt came to visit and demoed a bunch of my guitars. He came back recently and did some more. Tony is a confessed mahogany Martin dread lover (1937 D-18 and modern 1937 D-18A), he seldom likes (1) Gibsons, (2) straight braced Martins, (3) rosewood of any type and (4) small guitars. Well (oddly) last time he ranked two Gibsons at the top -- 36 AJ and 43 S RW), but he did not care for either the 36 J-35 Trojan or the 35 Jumbo (which I certainly personally like and use for bluegrass.) So he came back and did some more. Here is the whole augmented set. Tony Watt Demos Let's pick, -Tom
  4. What are you guys to say????? And no, it is. -Tom
  5. I spent a couple of years doing careful comparisons of Gibsons -- also Martins. Gibsons Martins LARGE FLAT TOPS (GIBSON AND MARTIN) SMALL BODY FLAT TOP (GIBSON AND MARTIN) These were all recorded with the same faithful sound recording system, and they all contain comparable pieces. if you want to compare any two, bring up both videos and go back and forth. Of course it will take months -- I did because I really wanted to know. Best, -Tom
  6. Hi Nick, I am no expert either, but I do have a little relevant information about features. This is a 1936 L-4. The L-4 went to f holes and dot inlays in the early 30s. Then in 1936, a few of these appeared for awhile. Round holes and Nick Lucas inlays. IME, reasoning on dates and features with Gibson is like tap dancing in a mine field. Best, -Tom
  7. If it is a 60, it would have an R year designation. As I understand it, all those early pickguards were hand engraved and they were often signed -- although not always. Hand engraving is pretty visible. I have never done any serious study in that period, but I have never seen that finish. I have never seen prices like that particularly on a mahogany B&S instrument. Also that period had some binding shrinkage. 61 was the first year of the SN craziness -- a true 60 is generally easier to date, Best, -Tom
  8. I have been wandering through my audio/video recordings from the past decade -- I have a couple thousand of them, many of which I have more or less forgotten. This was one I came across that I had sort of forgotten from a year or so ago. People come to my house to play my guitars a lot -- I love to record good players and get their take on various instruments. Well my friend George Hergen is a 60s style folk singer (also Irish) -- which was where my late wife and I started 50+ years ago. George is mostly a solo artist, and he mostly likes 00 Martins, but we have one old Gibson that can give the old Martins a run for their money -- a 1931 Gibson L-2. So one day George played a lot of our guitars and sang a lot of folk songs -- he is mostly a solo performer -- but then when he was wrapping up he asked my wife Aina Jo if she could sing one with him. Well for the past 30 years she was sort of a bluegrass parking lot bass playing high baritone singing engine -- but she knew hundreds of songs and had great harmony skills. So here is what came out -- George, Aina Jo, and 1931 L-2 Gibson. Let's pick, -Tom
  9. All through the WWII, Gibson built a lot of "floor sweep" instruments. The LG-2 all had banners (except for a very few early ones), but they kept making L-00s out of parts. Many of the wartime L-00s have many Kalamazoo features -- headstock, etc. -- but all were x-braced like all L-00s. I don't remember seeing any wartime banner L-00s, but there may have been some.
  10. Early 43 (big neck, no truss rod) and late 44 (less neck with truss rod). They both IMO are fine examples, but tonally quite identifiably different and the feel is also quite different. The 42/43 is near mint I guess and mostly stays home because of that -- the 44 (a Memphis bar guitar) has been my go to ragtime/gospel guitar for more than 20 years. This is the 44 J-45 -- video quite old. Best, Tom
  11. Here are our slope Js. The two of interest to this conversation are the two on the front right -- 54 SJ and 53 J-45. Both are letter dated, so that is a really good estimate I believe. None of the others is newer than 44. Best, -Tom
  12. tpbiii


    Ware is normal and modern finishes are thin. I is widely believed that thick finishes impact found.
  13. In the news of the weird, I am sort of well known for teaching the rules to the world. In the 1980s, my wife and I were hanging out in the mountains where everyone knew the rules, but nobody talked about. Well we gradually figured it out and I wrote an article for the local Atlanta area bluegrass club. Well the article was met with many accolades -- I had found a need! So I submitted it to BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED -- the primary international bluegrass magazine. That was 20 years ago. The article has been translated into 10 languages and republished on every continent but Antarctica -- mostly by bluegrass clubs, etc, If anyone cares, here is the link. BLUEGRASS JAMMING If you know the rules and have one or more of the required skill sets, you can walk up to one or more people and immediately make (often good, some times spectacularly) music with them. I just spent the weekend near Boston doing exactly that. Best, -Tom
  14. Yea. I think we were using that one and the Beltone with its own international fan club in that practice, and I handed it to Rick because I played harp on that song.
  15. My experience in this area is a whole vegetable soup -- so I don't know if I can be coherent. The guy who played lead guitar in our last bluegrass band was a hot flatpicker who could also do hybrid picking. Because of the basic structure on the majority of bluegrass songs, he did not use it much -- I found an early practice session (very imperfect) where he did both a bit. The problem with this style in bluegrass is it just does not have the power to hang in everywhere in traditional bluegrass. Although he started in bluegrass in the 1970s, Rick later played a lot plugged in his life. That light touch just could not blend without dropping the level of the whole band. I mix a lot of styles when I play, not necessarily well. I am a technique player -- I just have a few techniques which I mix with many melodies, and whatever comes out is the song. Seldom any fine tuning or arrangement. So at some level -- often quite low -- I play rhythm and lead with a flatpick, alternating thumb ragtime/gospel with finger picks, three finger Scruggs style banjo, claw hammer banjo where I freely use 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers interchangeably for volume control, and just bare finger finger style. Somewhere in this odd mix (I have been doing in for 60 years) my brain connected my 1st and 2nd finger with my 2nd and 3rd -- so anything the first two fingers can do, the 2/3 can automatically do too. I don't know how odd that is. So I can hybrid pick. But I never was able to make it work to my satisfaction for strong acoustic music -- the various pieces just get in each other's way for me. Works great on the couch in the quite. Just some thoughts. -Tom
  16. Here is a LG-2 from 1946. Nice guitar. Best, -Tom
  17. We were a Gibson family. We did not own any Gibsons -- we were too poor for that. When I was maybe 12, my best friend and next door neighbor got a new LG-0 and lessons. I learned from him on that guitar. By the time I went away to college in 1961, I could play a few folk songs (KT, etc.) and a few rock songs (Ventures, Johnny be Good, etc.) -- all on borrowed guitars. I pledged a fraternity at MIT and there were a lot of both acoustic and electric guitars around which I could borrow. I had a scholarship, but I had to pay for room and board. That cost $500 per semester -- I worked construction each summer to pay for one semester and my parents paid for the other. Well we had to buy our own meal on Friday night, but the house supplied PB&J 24/7. So I freed up $75 by eating PB&J for a year. There were no Gibsons in the house, but I wanted a Gibson. A LG-0 would have been fine but I found a "new shop worn" LG-1 that fit my budget. I played it for 20+ years until it was stolen out of my office at GA TECH. When I went over to the dark side (bluegrass) in the 1970s I learned most common Gibsons were not adequate for that genre. I now have 4 Gibsons that I play in bluegrass regularly -- pretty much as much as I play my prewar dreads. 35 Jumbo, 35 RSRG, 36 AJ, and 43 SJ (RW). Here is that story. https://vintageacousticinsruments.blogspot.com/ Let's pick, -Tom
  18. I have never heard it called that. There is a definite evolution in sound from 1942 on -- for me my newest (of 4) is a 53, the last year to make the cut. It is sort of like the Sherman tank -- functional and not too special, but there were so many of them. And I guess that is the point perhaps.
  19. 1946 LG-2. The head stock decal is the determining factor, although a few would be 1947. Here is mine. Best, -Tom
  20. Moving on from 1936. c. 1938 c. 1940 Rosewood 1942 1943 1944 Post war later. Best, -Tom
  21. 1926 1932 1933 1935 Hawaiian 1935 1936 More to come. Best, -Tom
  22. F-250 with 7.3 L International. Also F-350 King Ranch,
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