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JimR56

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About JimR56

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  1. Based on the design of your tailpiece, I was thinking 1934-37, but a serial number of 96189 would indicate 1939. The tailpiece could have been changed, or possibly a leftover part. Anyway, we're in the ballpark, but it's tricky if you're unsure about certain digits. With regard to the A236, I'm not sure. I would have thought an FON would be stamped rather than handwritten, and perhaps have four digits following the "A", rather than three. Gibson did use some FON's with an A prefix in 1935, so that's something to consider. FYI, I use the following site as a guide to dating Gibsons: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial It requires careful reading, and one also has to accept the fact that Gibson has a history of a certain amount of ambiguity and confusion with regard to their numbering systems. I've seen quite a few vintage Gibson archtops with black finishes, but most of them were Gibson "special" models dating to the 1940's. Anyway, it's going to be hard for me to say, even with better photos. A cord for your pickup shouldn't be a problem to locate via a web search. It might involve a few phone calls once you've found a source, but something like that should absolutely be available. I would be hesitant to try to clean that guitar until you know what that is on the surface. It reminds me of the look of mildew, which I have seen on a vintage piano with an ebony lacquer finish. Anyway, I suppose a good guitar polish and a good quality cloth might produce good results, but I would use a light touch. In general, I think that your best bet is to contact a reputable vintage dealer or repairperson. This guitar deserves a well-qualified expert to inspect it in person, and discuss any issues it may have. I don't know if there are any such shops near where you live, but I can recommend a couple of experts who you could contact by phone or e-mail, just for a start. One would be George Gruhn at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. They do appraisals via the mail if you supply them with photos, and they have a fine repair shop. They have been among the best in the business for decades. https://guitars.com/ (home page); https://guitars.com/appraisals (info about appraisals and repairs) Another potential source of information and assistance that I can recommend is Joe Vinikow at Archtop.com in Seattle. Archtops are their specialty, and they also are very helpful with accessories for floating pickups like your DeArmond. Here are links to the website: https://www.archtop.com/ (home page); https://www.archtop.com/ac_order.html#anchor46414635 (page with contact info) If you're able to supply an experienced dealer like George or Joe with good photos of your guitar, I think that's your best bet for now, unless you have a person with similar experience and knowledge in your area that you could take it to (but even if you do, that might not be possible due to the pandemic). Anyway, if you can share some good photos here, I might be able to offer better opinions about some of the details. Hope this was helpful.
  2. Things seem a bit slow around here lately. There are several members who are knowledgeable about Gibson flat-tops, so don't be shy about keeping this topic going. In the meantime, I would suggest that you try to post some photos of the guitar. The more the better. Cheers.
  3. It's my lack of expertise with flat-top guitars that makes me uncertain. Anyway, don't give up here. Be patient and keep asking questions. There are several members here who know their flat-tops!
  4. That is a very nice L-7... a great thing to have inherited. It does appear to date to the mid-to-late 1930's. Is there a serial number on the oval white label? If not, see if you can find a "Factory Order Number" (FON) stamped inside the body (shine a light through the f-holes). It appears to be in wonderful condition, but your photos are a bit small and it's hard to see details clearly. If you can post larger images, or perhaps post links to larger images on a photo-sharing site, that would help a lot. I'm a bit surprised at how shiny the body is, other than some surface film (dust, and/or mildew?). Makes me wonder slightly whether the guitar could have been refinished at some point in time to have an underlying sheen like that. If it was refinished, that would hurt its value significantly, but it's still a fine guitar. The tailpiece looks original, apart from a possible modification (am I seeing a plastic insert in the center portion?). I'll wait for you to reply before I conjecture any further, but I will say that the DeArmond floating pickup is a great thing to have, and is pretty valuable all by itself if it's functional. Thanks for sharing this old gem here!
  5. Wow. Well, regardless of the confusion around identifying/dating this thing, I feel much better now. Why? Because I can see that the guitar is now in the hands of someone who appreciates it and will take care of it. The "before" and "after" images are actually startling- in a good way! Kudos to you for what you've done with it. I was going to say that this is one of the cleanest-looking prewar archtops of its type that I've ever seen. I even wondered whether it could have been refinned because it was so clean. Now it appears that somebody just neglected it and let it collect dust (not to mention dirt). That sunburst is really gorgeous. Anyway, maybe there's a true expert on prewar acoustic archtops out there somewhere, and you will eventually have your riddle solved. In the meantime, I would just enjoy the guitar and not be too concerned about it. 😎
  6. I don't blame you for being puzzled. I've been puzzling over this for a couple of hours. The more I try to figure it out, the more confusing it gets. This is nothing new when it comes to sorting out some of these low-end, prewar Gibson archtops. We've had topics like this here before, and sometimes it's nearly impossible to provide a solid answer. First of all, an L50 is supposed to have a pearl logo, not silkscreened like yours (of course, it's easy to find plenty of L50's on the market with silkscreened logos, but what's not easy is to know whether sellers can be trusted to identify and date their guitars correctly). So the logo might suggest that your guitar is an L48 (especially if the body is all-mahogany...?), however... The L48 is supposed to have been introduced in 1946 (by which time the white silkscreened logo is supposed to have been discontinued). FON's in the 5000 range were used in 1941, but supposedly on lap steels primarily. The 5000 range was also used in 1950 (too late for this guitar). The red pencil sequence number (suffix) is supposed to be a WWII-era thing, but a 5000-range prefix doesn't go along with that. My gut is telling me that your guitar dates to 1941. At least your silkscreened logo and FON both fit for that year. To me, the logo carries the most weight, since it was phased out by the gold banner logo, and Gibson FON dating is usually tricky. As for the model... I'll just say that it's too bad that ALL of the authors and scholars seemed to have dropped the ball when it comes to outlining the details of the low-end Gibson archtops of the 30's/40's period. It's always been confusing, and probably always will be. Here's a link to Gruhn's guide (scroll down to pages 141 to 143 for his details on these models): https://www.google.com/books/edition/Gruhn_s_Guide_to_Vintage_Guitars/sgeZ_cISRpAC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=gruhn's+guide+gibson+L48+L50&pg=PA137&printsec=frontcover For more info on FON's, I usually rely on this page: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial
  7. The serial number dates to 1965. I'm not a flat-top expert, but it appears to me to be a B-25 model. Not sure if the bridge is original (I've seen variations on this design, which I find a bit confusing).
  8. Well, no matter what, you've got a very nice instrument there. If you're so inclined, let us know what they say (and what they said prior to the sale... I'm curious about this now). Btw, my first hollowbody Gibson was a '64 Kessel Regular that I bought in 1981. I traded it away several years later, but it was a great guitar. I still get periodic urges to get another one like it.
  9. I agree, of course! 🙂 , and back on topic... so is the OP's L4, if it is indeed one of those original late-50's L4's with CC pickups. I'd love to see more photos!
  10. Thanks for posting the photos, LVXIFER. Now I fully understand what you were referring to, and I think you've pretty well examined the situation correctly. Other than the non-matching head inlay, and the missing label, the guitar appears legit to me. I have no idea what's going on with that stamped number over the label residue, and that troubles me slightly. I would say it's quite possible that somebody custom-ordered the instrument with the Custom-style head inlay pattern, but with the missing "i" dot, perhaps it was sent back to Gibson for a repair and/or mod of the headstock in that '69 to '72-ish period. The shape and dimensions look right, though, and the "Custom" truss rod cover is one of those things that is always turning up on guitars where it doesn't technically belong. The fingerboard appears to be rosewood, so that is of course correct for the specs for a Standard. So, there are little mysteries there, but it's hard to explain them. Proceed at your own risk, I suppose, and try to get as much info as you can from the seller. If they don't cooperate or satisfy you with their comments, maybe it's better to steer clear of this one. Unless it's under-priced, of course! 😉
  11. You know, bobouz... I think that L5 on the trunk of the car may be an L5CEST, not an L5CES. I'm serious, but just kidding in terms of trying to make myself correct. Haha.
  12. Ah, you're right- I had forgotten about that photo, which is of course from the cover of the "Jazz Winds From A New Direction" album (which I own!). Well, if I have any excuse for my error, that's the only place I've seen a photo of him with that guitar... I wonder if he ever even used it? Poor guy had so little access to good guitars. 🙃 Just kidding, of course, and when I use the phrase "poor guy" in relation to Hank, it of course has much more serious and sad meaning in terms of his real life. Thanks for the compliment on my L5. It sounds as good as it looks, and I am very fortunate to own it.
  13. JimR56

    Share your ES's

    I've been a Gibson fan for 45 years, and I've owned most of the ES models (and although I too love a good 3X5 or 330, I dislike the trend toward people automatically equating the term "ES" with the double-cut thinlines exclusively. In other words, I'm glad when someone includes a mention (or better yet, a photo) of one of the myriad of other ES models like the 150, 250, 300, 350, 175, etc etc etc! Photobucket has messed up my online links from various forums, and this site won't allow me to post images hosted on certain other guitar forums, but I'll try to find some examples to post here. These happen to be guitars that I owned years ago, but no longer own... 1940 ES250 1954 ES350 w/CC 1958 Super400CESN
  14. If you've ever seen my avatar, then you've seen two. 😎 Mine was custom-ordered in 1966. Here's a bigger image for you... Hank Garland's CC-equipped guitars (at least the best known ones) were a Byrdland (natural finish) and an L7. Hank had a lot of guitars, and may have also had a full-depth L5 with a CC, but I'm not sure about that. I don't think so. The L5CC player that I think of, though, is Kenny Burrell, who had a custom L5CC that he used in the early 1960's on some of his best recordings. As mentioned, the L4's with CC pickups are very very rare. I've only seen two or three in my 45 years as a Gibson enthusiast. Please post more photos if you can!
  15. What is the serial number? Can you post some photos?
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