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string gauges for an LG-2


steelhead1950

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Howdy folks...just purchased a reissue of a 40's LG-2 from Fuller's and am in the process of tweaking it a bit and changing the strings, etc. It feels like it might have lights on it but that may be due to the shorter scale than my dread. Just wondering if it would handle mediums or medium/lights or would that be pushing my luck. I had medium/lights on a 000-18GE that I owned but the LG-2 seems more like a 00-18 in size and scale. Any input would be appreciated as I've searched the Gibson website with no luck.

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You can put mediums on it no problem (13s) If trying to keep up with big dogs in a bluegrass jam, but most people would probably like lights (12s) better, or even extra lights (11s) if you are bending. Depends on what kind of playing you will be doing. It also depends on whether the bridge is lifting at all at the back edge, if it is I would stay with lights. Heavier strings will raise the action slightly, too.

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Howdy folks...just purchased a reissue of a 40's LG-2 from Fuller's and am in the process of tweaking it a bit and changing the strings' date=' etc. It feels like it might have lights on it but that may be due to the shorter scale than my dread. Just wondering if it would handle mediums or medium/lights or would that be pushing my luck. I had medium/lights on a 000-18GE that I owned but the LG-2 seems more like a 00-18 in size and scale. Any input would be appreciated as I've searched the Gibson website with no luck.[/quote']

 

I use D'addario EJ-19 (light/mediums). I'm sure mine can handle mediums no problem.

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You can use John Pearse New Mediums on it, no problem. The A,D and G strings are light gauge, and the E,B and unwound E are medium gauge. They're great for fingerpicking, and they beef up the tone significantly. If you want to try mediums, try a set of Acoustic John Pearse Nickels......they exert less tension on the guitar than similar gauge 80/20s or Phosphors, and they'll make it sound like it's 50 years old already.

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I had been looking around for an older LG-2 but found that they were pretty expensive if they were in excellent shape. Even the ones with issues would have cost me more than the 2 grand that I was able to negotiate with Fuller's. I'll have to say that the Bozeman crowd seem to have raised the bar on craftsmanship. This little guitar is very well constructed and very clean on the inside of the box as well. The braces are very tall and thin and scalloped and the guitar is very light so that the whole thing just comes alive when you play it. It has a bit of a buzz when capoed and played hard but I think a tweak of the truss rod and a little heavier gauge strings will solve that. The only thing I don't like is the unbeveled pickgaurd but I'm guessing they were trying to be true to the original design. Maybe I'll try to find a beveled firestripe for it. I'm very pleased with the tone...it will fit the bill for the early country and oldtime stuff that I play and when I need a little more muscle I have a Martin rosewood dread that I can switch to. The clincher for me was that the nut width is the same 1 11/16" and the neck contour is very similar to my HD-28. All in all I'm a very happy camper and I have no doubt that this guitar will only improve as it gets played in. I've contacted Gibson to inquire as to how many of these reissues have been made or was this part of a special run for Fuller's. I'll let you know what I findout. If someone will explain how to upload pictures I'll post some eye candy.

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I'm envious of you guys and your small body Gibsons! All the shops in my area carry are Gibson super jumbos and dreads. I'd love to try out some of the smaller gits, esp. the Robert Johnson, Arlo Guthrie, and Blues King models, but it seems nobody has 'em. Alas.

 

Modac -- those JP Nickels are next on my list.

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I've contacted Gibson to inquire as to how many of these reissues have been made or was this part of a special run for Fuller's.

 

They began reissuing these LG2s as LG1s----even though they were X braced. That was a couple of years ago. Guitar Sale had a couple of them. They made some of them also, for export to Japan. Then I noticed they started calling them LG2s. Gibson does some funky stuff.

 

Congrats on the guitar.....I was tempted to get one from Fuller, myself.

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Jayla' date=' I'll be interested in hearing how they work out for you.[/quote']

 

I've got some JP PBs on an OM right now -- brighter than hell with an annoying metallic "sprrrZZING" (specially on the G string) at first, but that has calmed down some two weeks into it. From what I've been reading, the nickels should be more mellow, and that may be just right.

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maninblack, I don't really know how to deescribe the neck other than it feels just like my Martin HD-28. I guess that would mean "modern". It's not large but also not small and definitely not "V". I've been playing it all day and can't seem to sit it down for very long....think I'll go pick a few tunes right now.

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Haven't posted on the acoustic side here, but have a beat-up '52 LG-2. It is a real player: repaired cracks, either a replacement later neck or reset & redone by Gibson w. a faint headstock SN to go along with the neck block SN (no idea, bought it back when these were relatively cheap), but original finish except neck and plays great. It is a very cutting guitar and can hold it's own on lead stuff with a room full of guitars. Not booming but nice bass: my friends are always amazed by this little thing...but I do bang here pretty hard.

 

I play D'Addario EJ-16s on it (12s, lights) and it sounds very good. It is a loud little box and quite full. I played EJ-17s (13s, mediums) on it for few months and it was veritable little cannon. I have a '52 J-45, '61 J-50, and AV RI and it would cut thru those and basically was a tone monster. But I noticed the top was bulging even more than usual and was a bit concerned about the bridge starting to lift. It is kinda my "grab it take to hunting camp guitar in a gig bag" axe, but I still didn't want to overstress the little thing.

 

So I called Gibson, and called a couple shops. Can't remember who, but one said "it can handle mediums" and I think Gibson said "it's designed for lights". I've owned a bunch of old guitars from the '30s on up, and my call on my little LG-2 was "it's on the edge". So back to the EJ-16s. No longer a true cannon, but still quite the guitar.

 

Yours is a beautiful guitar, neat to see a RI. It's newer, so maybe 13s or so are OK. I'd just keep an eye on the top. They do and should lift a bit, but if it seems extreme, EJ-16s or so will still sound pretty good.

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My LG-2 is a late 40s to early 50s model and I am very pleased with the sound and feel of DAddario EJ-16 light gauge strings.

I play Old Time and Blues with this small body Gibson.

The odd thing is I like the same strings on my J-45, but I like medium gauge strings on my Martin D-18.

After getting used to medium gauge strings they feel better on my fingers, their larger profile does not cut into my fingers as much as the lights.

But the Gibsons still sound better, IMO, with the lighter strings.

Dale.

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Well after givng the new ax a good workout this week I'm inclined to stick with the light gauge strings at least for now. I've never been a fan of lights but hammers and pulloffs are defintely easier on these old fingers of mine. I'm really pleased with the old-timey sound that I'm getting and I can imagine that it's just going to get better with time.

 

I got word back from Gibson that this run, was made mostly for the international market but that a few were sold in the states. It has a sitka top......to bad it couldn't have been adi....and the nut and saddle are bone so I won't make any changes there. I've ordered a set of bone pins to replace the plastic ones so maybe I'll get a little boost in tone quality out of those.

 

Hey T, I've played a few gigs in the Red Dog and it was a lot of fun. They don't have much room for a large group to set up (I was with a 5 piece Western Swing band) and the drummer was on the small stage just above me so that his bass drum was in my ear. It was easy to keep tempo that night, ha ha!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, I just caught up on this thread- I also have one of the new LG-2 guitars. It's a beauty. As to the neck shape question- I have a friend's 1956 LG-1 at the moment. The neck on the LG-2 is very similar but not quite as full, very slightly more D shaped than the full C on the LG-1. But not really a D shape.....whatever it is, it's very comfortable and is a bit fuller in the shoulders than the neck on my 1939 Martin 00-18.

I've been experimenting with strings and have settled on Gibson Masterbuilts for the best sound. I started with 12s but just switched to 11s as I'm having some thumb soreness- it doesn't seem to affect the tone much but I'm not a hard player and it's more comfortable, especially for fingerpicking.

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It's interesting to hear everyone's comments and experiences with the different gauges. I'm also getting ready to swap out the lights that came on mine with a set of medium/lights.... also bone pins in place of the plastic ones. I'll post the results later.

 

I was able to contact Gibson and as stated earlier this was a small run of guitars made for the international market and a few were sold by various retailers here in the states. Gibson would not, or could not tell me how many they reissued but they did say that the tops were Sitka spruce, brige and fretboards were Indian rosewood, and the nuts and saddles were bone. They didn't tell me where the mahogany came from. If anyone has more info about these I'd sure love to hear from you.

 

Hey Ginny, how does the sound of your LG-2 compare to your friends LG-1? Sorry to hear you're still having trouble with that sore thumb....don't get discouraaged though. I had to start playing with one less finger on my left hand eight years ago...and that was after thirty years of having four to work with.

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