Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

LG-1 Question and Vintage Education


duluthdan

Recommended Posts

A few years ago my son acquired an LG-1. The FON (7643 24) indicates a date of 1951. Brought that guitar with me to my luthier for an estimate to get it 100%. His reaction when he saw the guitar at first was that he'd only seen a Firestripe guard on early 40's LG1s, Here's a pic.

image.jpg1_zpslmjfzaq8.jpg

The estimate to bring this guitar to 99% includes:

- New Saddle

- New Tuner Buttons

- Neck Set

- Fretboard Level

- Fret Job

- Wedge for the Fretboard Extension

- Repair / Replace the badly worn spruce bridge plate

 

$1,500 estimate [scared]

 

This is why I am generally loathe to dip my toe in this vinatge water.

 

That being said.... I do have a 1957 J-50 (ADJ) headed my way. More on it when it arrives.... never say "never" I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prices seem a little high and as you know, you can't put too much in a guitar like this.

 

I had my '51 worked on. Level fret board and refret for $250. A neck rest would have been $400 more but it did not need one.

 

$1500 could probably buy you a mint one.

 

But don't listen to me. I've put a few hundred in a $50 Kay

 

.62ba25ed-2ef9-415a-94bd-2ac4d9c9188e_zps61270544.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pickguards like yours show up on LG-1s and 2s starting around 1947 and can be seen found through easily 1951.

 

The repair estimate does seem high. If you do not want your wallet emptied I have found it best to avoid repair shops housed in guitar stores. My repair guy, as example, works out of a building behind his house and charges $300 for a neck reset. A friend of mine in California has a repair guy who works out of his house who only charges $200. A nearby very well thought of store, by comparison, will hit you up for $500 for the same job. I guess it is to be expected though assuming their overhead will be quite a bit more than a guy working out of his basement or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

But don't listen to me. I've put a few hundred in a $50 Kay

 

 

 

Kays and their ilk have been my downfall for decades. There always seems to be one hanging round that needs work. At the moment it is a late-1930s Kay K-6. That $50 Schmidt Westbrook Stella I recently snagged is right there in line with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a thought. Have the nice rosewood rect bridge taken off the LG1 and slap it on to the J-50 adj to get rid of that adj contraption. Then put any replacement bridge on the LG-1 and you'll still have a guitar that will disappoint the ear.

 

While there are guitarists that can get a ladder-braced box to sound good, in most hands it's nothing to write home about. Don't know why Gibson even bothered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few years ago my son acquired an LG-1. The FON (7643 24) indicates a date of 1951. Brought that guitar with me to my luthier for an estimate to get it 100%. His reaction when he saw the guitar at first was that he'd only seen a Firestripe guard on early 40's LG1s.

 

The estimate to bring this guitar to 99% includes:

- New Saddle

- New Tuner Buttons

- Neck Set

- Fretboard Level

- Fret Job

- Wedge for the Fretboard Extension

- Repair / Replace the badly worn spruce bridge plate

 

$1,500 estimate [scared]

 

This is why I am generally loathe to dip my toe in this vinatge water.

 

That being said.... I do have a 1957 J-50 (ADJ) headed my way. More on it when it arrives.... never say "never" I guess.

 

 

You've run into the classic problem of expensive repairs on a relatively low-value vintage guitar. All of the jobs you have listed cost the same to do whether they are on a '51 LG-1 or a '46 SJ. Guess which guitar is worth spending the money on? Hint: it ain't the LG-1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bridge plate on mine looked rough, but luthier said it was doing its job just fine. I've seen here members who have found and/or used a bridge plate plate. I think it's a thin piece of hardwood but it might have been metal. It is firmly attached to the existing bridge plate so the string ball ends aren't sinking into gouged out holes. Possibly your luthier is looking to do work that isn't absolutely necessary, since he seems to be looking to charge a lot. Tell your son to play and enjoy it - while most don't have an ear for ladder backs, they are sweet and unique. Comfortable to play and pretty sturdy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Luthier's estimate was based on "worst case scenario". Might be able to get by for awhile with a "Plate-Mate" as suggested by 40 years, and a new saddle with the right radius to replace the god-awful mismatched drop in flat piece of whatever is in there now. Son loves this guitar - plays it with a thin pick, and makes it sound sweet, while in my hands it sounds horrible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since we collected vintage guitars for a long time, we often took the long view on lower value instruments -- good deals compared to the repaired value of the instruments, but where the cost of repairs turned it into a bad deal.

 

A few examples I recall were

 

$150 for a Kalamazoo KG-11 (Carson Robeson) when the repaired value was maybe $350 and the required neck set refret was $325.

$225 for a '34 0-17 Martin that needed $400 in repairs and was only worth maybe $600 repaired.

A 59 LG-1 for $150 that needed (it turned out) about $200 in repairs and was worth maybe $400. (My "new" LG-1 bought in 61 was $75.)

 

Now those guitars have been repaired and are probably worth (conservatively) $1000, $2500, and $1000 respectively. They basically stayed on the shelf until the price went up enough, and then they got repaired. Of course, the market might have not gone up -- but in my lifetime, it always has.

 

Best,

 

-Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...

$1,500 estimate [scared]

 

This is why I am generally loathe to dip my toe in this vinatge water.

 

Just have to watch which ol' stream you dip that toe into. As Nick had mentioned, the work can cost the same whether or not the value of the guitar will exceed the cost of the work put into it.

 

Here is the Plate Mate coming off of this old J-45:

 

photo1_zpse6cdcec0.jpg

 

The luthier put it on (with a 25% markup) without authorization. More importantly, it was the first time I had ever noticed such a dramatic difference in the sound with regard to the little changes people do with things around the bridge. Just changed the sound from less hog, to more metal (brassy?). Using a mechanical drawing stencil, off it went. In another guitar, it might help with a case of the muddies. Or, want more volume out of your rose' SJ-200? .. Totally reversible, but if the backing adhesive was first blotted with a paper towel, it might come off more easily.

 

I'll live with this in the meanwhile:

 

photo2_zps3b298f80.jpg

 

... especially since the creative mind of Stewart MacDonald's Dan Erlewine has brought this little gem to the market:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSm4kMSlIYo

 

Dan Erlewine might not win an Edison Award for innovation in his field, but his homespun yankee ingenuity gives him my nomination for Most Valuable Player.

 

 

That being said.... I do have a 1957 J-50 (ADJ) headed my way. More on it when it arrives.... never say "never" I guess.

 

 

Dan- glad to hear you're gonna give ADJ a chance. The one guitar to have, when you're having more than one ; ) .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...