Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums


All Access
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by tpbiii

  1. 1946 LG-2. The head stock decal is the determining factor, although a few would be 1947. Here is mine. Best, -Tom
  2. Moving on from 1936. c. 1938 c. 1940 Rosewood 1942 1943 1944 Post war later. Best, -Tom
  3. 1926 1932 1933 1935 Hawaiian 1935 1936 More to come. Best, -Tom
  4. F-250 with 7.3 L International. Also F-350 King Ranch,
  5. All of my 50+ vintage Gibson guitars are perfect -- just not for the same thing.
  6. I really don't like Gibsons -- or any other guitars really. Of the 50 or so old Gibsons I own, I guess I find the 36 AJ, 35 Jumbo, and 31 L-2 the least offensive. I you count banjos, the 1927 Granada is not as bad as some others. (What is the difference between a Gibson Granada and a macaw? Answer -- one is loud, obnoxious and in-your-face and the other is a bird.)
  7. I have a couple -- 1936 Stage Deluxe and 1935 Radio Grande. They have quite different histories. The Stage Deluxe I bought in the 1990s in the early days of ebay -- it once belonged to Garnet Rogers who I have gotten to know since. The neck has not been cut down -- 2 1/4". It is not as hard to play as you might think, and my late large handed wife loved it. I has a huge raw sound if you hammer it, but headroom to the moon. The other one has a new neck crafted by Randy Wood -- sonically it is in the same class as my 36 AJ, and that is saying a lot. Here it is before conversion. Good hunting. Tom
  8. "Best" is often subjective. Since I love power bluegrass, the only ones I have found that can do that in sort of the same way as the old D-28s are the three RW Js: AJ, RSRG, and SJ RW. But I also love others for other reasons. For example my go to ragtime/folk/gospel fingerpicker (with finger picks) is my 44 J-45. My favorite bare finger picker is the 1931 L-2. And (oddly I guess) my favorite folk revival strummer -- that is where my late wife and I started in the 60s -- is a 62 Hummingbird. It is not as powerful as earlier Js, but its full balanced tone seem to me just right for that. Let's pick, -Tom
  9. No. They can be great guitars, but IMO there best use historically is as strummers behind people with big voices, which I don't have. Modern ones are maple, and maple doesn't cut as well as mahogany or RW in acoustic string bands like bluegrass. The simple answer is I don't know nearly so much about them as the Js and others. Best, -Tom
  10. I would not disagree with that, but if you are leaving the acoustic guitar world, a lot of 30s one piece flange flathead original 5-string banjos are in the same class -- Granada, RB-6, RB-18, All American, etc. Martin D-28, Loar F5, Granada Mastertone -- The 1945 Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.😊
  11. IMO, the clear answer -- particularly as compared to the Martin D-28 -- is the Advanced Jumbo. The were introduced in 1936, and made until 1940 -- only two were made in the last year. They are rosewood guitars -- rare for Gibson -- and for many years people thought the were Brazilian because of verbiage in the Gibson catalog that talked about "rosewood from Brazil" -- but the wood had a characteristic look different from the BRW on the Martins. The other thought was it would was another species of RW from Brazil -- Amazon RW. Eventually it was tested and found to be Indian -- all the Gibson RW used for the back and sides from c. 1934-1943 was that species, although fingerboards and bridges were BRW. The other main candidate I think -- although it does that fit my music interests -- is the Super Jumbo 200. Introduced in 1938 with RW back and sides, later models were built using mahogany and maple. It is the RW SJ-200s that command a kings ransom. The popularity of the banners is a more recent thing, and historically they never had the interest of the 30s guitars. The main reason was they were never on average as powerful as the older models -- the RW SJ may have been and exception and mine is. The power requirement comes from the days before universal sound reinforcement (1940-50s). There are a lot of banners and they are quirky guitars with a cool history, but their primary impact is from foreign and modern markets -- they were never highly regarded by the non-urban acoustic genres. The L-2 is another interesting suggestion. Historically they were sort of grouped in with L-0, L-00, and L-1, but they were only made around 1931-32. The first ones were mahogany, but then a few BRW ones were built. Many of the latter had trapeze setups, but a few had pin bridges. Many of the trapeze models have been converted to pin bridges. These were transition instruments, and like the Martin of a similar period, their tone is unique and very (IME) beautiful. Here are my late wife and my golden era Gibsons Front row -- 1926 L-1, 1938 HG-00, 1937 L-Century, 1936 Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe, 1935 Roy Smeck Radio Grande, 1931 L-1, 1934 L-00 3/4 Back row -- 1935 Jumbo, 1936 Advanced Jumbo, 1936 Jumbo 35 (Trojan) Here are some banners Front row -- 1943 J-45, 1943 SJ, 1943 SJ (RW), 1944 J-45, 1953 J-45 Back row -- 1942 LG-1, 1946 LG-2 Let's pick, -Tom
  12. That particular batch is not documented, but it looks like 1944. Nice guitar.
  13. Give my best to cousin Larry! -Tom (Barnwell)
  14. Well .... a question in one of the most confused area of vintage guitars -- maybe in history. I have had a serious interest in this question ever since I learned years ago that my late wife and I owned the only Trojan documented by FON -- 960-12. Here she is. The name emerged when Lynn Wheelright publish an article that found the name mentioned 39 times in the Gibson shipping ledgers in late 1936. What the name actually was was the internal project name for the Jumbo35 -- ie, the first J-35s. The early J-35s -- the ones referred to internally as TROJANS -- were really dumbed down Jumbos -- mostly the same with less decoration. At the same time, Gibson introduced the Advanced Jumbo -- which had the more modern "advanced" body. Over time, the features of the J-35 evolved -- with a variety of decoration changes and eventually in the mid 1937 time frame even adopting the "advanced" body shape. So what is a Trojan? 1. There is only one -- ours. (Not a lot of people buy that.) 2. J-35s from the first few batches in 1936 with identical features to ours (a small number of batches). 3. All J-35s with the Jumbo body dimensions (pretty common). So since the market is polluted by historic hyperbole, there probably is no real answer to your question. The market peak IMO was maybe 2007 -- fairly soft sense. EXC all original asking price might be $12K+. A good average sale price would be $10K+ Since I am neither buying selling, these are just guesses. Best, -Tom
  15. That looks a lot like the guitars made by United Guitar Company from Jersey City NJ. They never used their own name, but built guitars for catalog sales for lots of catalog companies in the heyday of catalog sales under many names. It also looks a lot like a Harmony H-162 -- made from the early 40s to the early 70s. Those too were rebranded a lot. Best, -Tom
  16. Thank you all so much for the kind replies. Her memorial was at the Armuchee Bluegrass Festival -- a place we both loved. Here are the videos of the musical part of the celebration. https://vimeo.com/showcase/6034122 There is a 32 RB-3 Gibson banjo and our 35 Jumbo Gibson guitar there, as well as an old Kay bass, a 46 D-28, and up front Aina Jo's 39 S-51 five string Kay bass and her late 50 MWard (Kay) guitar she learned on and played for me the night I met her in 1967. [For those who like such trivia, that bass was the main instrument of Mike Fuller (Fuller's Vintage Guitars) for many years. Aina Jo liked it better than the near identical one she already had, so she left her older one in Texas and brought this one back to Georgia.] I love all the odd threads of our musical lives. Best, -Tom
  17. It is with a heavy heart I would like to announce the passing of my wife of 50 years, Aina Jo Barnwell. She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly one month ago. I know many of you already know this, and I thank for your sympathy. You may have noticed what when I talked about old instruments, I always said WE and OUR. That was because in our 50+ years of making music together and maybe 45+ years of acquiring old instruments, we always did it together. Our rule of thumb was to never play instruments that were younger than us. Since she would have been 75 today and I already am, we had to be into golden era stuff. As a team, we were really good I think. I am very aural -- and a profession sound science geek as well -- and she was no-filters visual. We only wanted excellent sounding instruments -- that was much easier to do earlier than today -- and the details of condition were of major import since our rational was that we were doing a retirement investment and we needed to correctly assess market value. She could find every flaw, every repair, every bit of refinish or over-spray. We never bought duplicates -- we wanted to cover the pre 1970 sound palette of acoustic guitars and banjos. We loved to mix it up acoustically -- songs, harmonies, instruments, and voices. We had 200+ instruments. We did her memorial last Sunday at the Armuchee Music Park, where we probably played 200+ shows. More importantly, we also played in the parking lot for maybe 10 hours a day for every show -- one of our musical homes. Her friends -- Louisa Branscomb and Kathy Reed -- spontaneously wrote a song in her honor when they heard she had passed called AINA JO. Our current band was called the SPRUNG CHICKENS, and Louisa and Kathy came and performed the song on a SPRUNG CHICKENS tribute set in the actual festival and in the memorial on Sunday. It was a fine send off I think. Here is my FB post about the memorial -- it includes a version of the song. FB Link Best, -Tom
  18. Congratulations! We always believed in balance. Good/evil, right/wrong/ sweet/salty, Ford/Chevrolet, Evinrude/Mercury, Gibson/Martin ... We always had both in our lives. Last year I did a set of posts on the Vintage Martin Facebook page based on our guitars. These were guitars of the same era that competed in their day and subsequently changed the musical world. This was the one from 1935/36 -- in the worst depression in US history, two of the most consequential guitar models ever. They still are. Let's pick, -Tom
  19. I would guess 50s or 60s J-50. That is just based on the top finish, the shape, and the bridge.
  20. I don't really have much substantive to add -- which has never stopped me of course. We have no LG from those years -- we have a 46 LG-2. The two Gibsons we have from that period -- we have them dated as 1948 (3772-28, ES-150) and 1950 (4919-10, CF-100). Historically it has been hard to date (for me) in that late 40s-early 50s period, so this is at best an informed guess. Arguably the CF-100 features might be relevant -- many consider it to be a pimped out LG-2. We are away from both instruments right now, so I can't look inside and see the sides. What I can do is show the braces, the tuners, and the FON. Best, -Tom
  21. Wow, that is a big topic. Playing with other people for us (wife and I) is pretty much all we do anymore ne. That is why we have such a big fascination with bluegrass -- at its core, it is all jamming, often combined with a lot of improvisation or at least unrehearsed elements. At this point in our lives, we have little interest in solo performers or even well rehearsed acts. When this form of presentation attracts you (collaborations), then the interaction on the fly of the performing musicians adds another -- and for us hugely compelling -- element to the music. Some people find it a lot easier than others, but it is certainly not like playing alone. The skill sets are certainly related, but they are often not the same. Here are a few suggestions. Keep it simple. This is a relative suggestion depending on your skill set and who you are playing with, but I think it is always good advice. Here is a picture of a guitar case. It came with I guess the most famous instrument we own I guess -- a Martin 00-40H played extensively by super famous flatpicker, Norman Blake. He is one of those amazing flat pickers who changed the world. This is the advice to himself that he always took on stage. Know how you are going to communicate non verbally How you do this is up to you. For example here is an article I wrote for Bluegrass Unlimited 20 years about how it is done in bluegrass. JAMMING Rehearsing is good. Every case is different, but knowing your holes is good even when working without a net is very compelling. Tell your audience what is going on It is all part of the show, and generally they will love it. Just a few random thoughts. If you ever come to see us, we will make you jam .Like I always say Let's pick, -Tom
  22. LG-1 or LG-2. The logo and pickguard would date it from late 1947 to 1955. Because of no letter in the FON, then before 1951.
  23. As part of my vintage guitar demos I did maybe 10 years ago, I did a finger style rendition of the old gospel song NEARER MY GOD TO THEE. I got a message to decease from youtube from a copyright claim from a German company. I don't speak German, but even so it was clear that the song title in German was NEARER MY GOD TO THEE. Well the song was copyrighted in the 18th century and thus clearly in the public domain. I wrote them back, gave them the data, and said they could be liable for attacking the public domain stuff. They went away and did not come back. Our main repository is vimeo -- never had any issues there. Best, -Tom
  • Create New...