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Gibson L-3


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I have an old gibson I found in my grandpa's basement after he passed. I'm not exactly sure what model it is. The serial number isn't visible anymore. I'd like to restore it for my dad but I want to make sure its worth the time and money. Here are some pics

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It's a bit difficult to answer your question. Your photos are quite small, and it's hard to tell what sort of condition it's in. It doesn't look too bad, but I take it that you are finding some issues with it (playability? cosmetic? structural?).


Also, when you ask whether it's "worth it", that's kind of subjective. Is it going to be played, or are you looking at it more as a keepsake and wondering what kind of value and investment potential is has? There are different things to consider, and there's no way I could even guess what it needs in terms of repairs, and what that might cost.


Are you in Philly? If so, I'm sure we might be able to help you select a shop where you could take it to be assessed.


Another thing about this that's probably subjective. Personally, if I discovered something like that in a family basement, I would absolutely, positively do whatever I could to conserve it and cherish it as a family heirloom. It's a piece of guitar history, AND family history. Having guitar players in the family who could enjoy playing it would just be an added bonus.

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  • 3 weeks later...

First of all it's hard to assess an instrument from photos. And these photos are very tiny.


I have a 1914 L-3 and I love it. I play it regularly. Until a week ago it was my only acoustic. (I just bought a late 40s - early 50s LG-2) Coincidentally, my daughter is visiting from out of state and tonight we celebrated the L-3's 100th birthday! It's weathered looking but the very chunky V neck without truss rod is straight and true. It has an amazing tone. Very alive. Not loud, but can sound alternately ancient and mysterious or very sweet on the unwound strings. It's not collector grade but as a player it's unique and wonderful.

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