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Rick W

Nick Lucas 12 fret reissues and lefty Nicks

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So, I've been obsessing over Nick Lucas style guitars lately.... I've been checking out all the various reissues that Gibson has released and I've noticed there are very few 12 fret reissues. The only info I've found on any being built was an old ad for a 12 fret, mahogany Lucas that had already sold. The ad said that Gibson did a lot of 6 of them in 2006. That's it! If you Google search Gibson Nick Lucas reissue, the only reissue 12 fretter you'll only see is the guitar I'm talking about. In my perusing of info on various forums it seems the 12 fret, bigger, mahogany bodied models were the favorites of the majority of the vintage owners (I'm sure opinions on this vary wildly and I'm speaking in general terms), though the 14 fret maples seem to bring the cash.

In addition, if you search for Gibson Nick Lucas lefty left handed, it won't return a single lefty Lucas picture! I find this really odd. I have a friend who has a lefty 14 fret Lucas, so I'm sure there's more out there.

I guess this all leads to my questions...have I missed something and there's more 12 fretters out there? If you're a Lucas fan what is your experience with them and which has been your favorite? Thanks in advance for the great info that I'm sure these questions will reveal!

RW

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Hey Smurfbird,

Yeah, my favorite Dylan period was when he was playing his 13 fretter. I see 13 fret reissues out there but not nearly as much as I see 14 frets.

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When I was jonesing for a Nick Lucas a few years back I went a different route. I snagged an early 1930s Oahu. The body is built to the same specs as a NL. Mine has a maple body but Kay Kraft also built versions under their own name with mahogany and rosewood bodies. 12 frets and nice 1 15/16" nut although the neck is a longer scale. Certainly not a spot on sound alike for an NL, more like one with a touch of attitude. In all honesty I like the sound of the Oahu better.

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I had one of the 12 fret 2006 mahogany Gibson reissues.

 

terrible QC - immediately needed a new tuner & the nut was cut so badly I had a new one installed as soon as I got it.

 

There was a thread here way back then with another owner with the same issue.

 

Beautiful looking - hohum (but not bad) tone.

 

Note - back then I said: "This is a great sounding bluesy guitar, exhibiting everything you would expect from a Gibson deep body OO."

 

Actually, I'm a little chagrined by that - subsequent experience has led me to re-evaluate, but then, it makes one realize that such claims on the net are a little suspect (even by me)! mea culpa...

 

Here's my old page on it: http://music.jeffers...%20Reissue.html

 

My Fairbanks 13 fret NL blows it out of the water.

 

 

 

 

NLExportPic0009_zps1ew1cqxy.jpg

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I had one of the 12 fret 2006 mahogany Gibson reissues.

 

terrible QC - immediately needed a new tuner & the nut was cut so badly I had a new one installed as soon as I got it.

 

There was a thread here way back then with another owner with the same issue.

 

Beautiful looking - hohum (but not bad) tone.

 

My Fairbanks 13 fret NL blows it out of the water.

 

Thanks for the comment Yggdrasil. I've read the comments about the nut and QC problems with the 2006 guitars. I'm hoping that quality has improved since 2006. I'd love to have a Fairbanks. Really beautiful guitars! You never see a lefty...

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When I was jonesing for a Nick Lucas a few years back I went a different route. I snagged an early 1930s Oahu. The body is built to the same specs as a NL. Mine has a maple body but Kay Kraft also built versions under their own name with mahogany and rosewood bodies. 12 frets and nice 1 15/16" nut although the neck is a longer scale. Certainly not a spot on sound alike for an NL, more like one with a touch of attitude. In all honesty I like the sound of the Oahu better.

Hey Zombywoof....seems like I've seen your name at MyLesPaul.com. I've heard great things about Oahu/Kay Kraft copies. I'd love to find a lefty. Isn't Bill Collings about to do a Kay Kraft reissue through his Waterloo brand? Seems like I saw a video from NAMM about it....that could be interesting.

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Thanks for the comment Yggdrasil. I've read the comments about the nut and QC problems with the 2006 guitars. I'm hoping that quality has improved since 2006. I'd love to have a Fairbanks. Really beautiful guitars! You never see a lefty...

 

 

 

 

I just edited & added to my post above.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Zombywoof....seems like I've seen your name at MyLesPaul.com. I've heard great things about Oahu/Kay Kraft copies. I'd love to find a lefty. Isn't Bill Collings about to do a Kay Kraft reissue through his Waterloo brand? Seems like I saw a video from NAMM about it....that could be interesting.

 

 

 

 

I know there's a lot of love for the Waterloos, but I've tried a couple and they don't speak to me.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gibson made a 12 fret large body Nick Lucas, no pickguard. They tried to duplicate the original finish and it turned out rather odd to me. This has been a few years back. I saw a couple for sale. They may have been for the Japanese market. They did not look at all like any of the other NL reissues. I recall it was a Ren build.

 

Here is a mahogany Kay Kraft and original Nick Lucas (non original bridge. I have seen one other mahogany round neck Kay Kraft, most were maple. While the Kay Kraft is a great guitar it does not have the sophistication of the Gibson Nick Lucas and doesn't have the same price.

 

I would seek out a Fairbanks NL instead of a Gibson reissue. I haven't played one, but the talk is good, they sure look the part unlike any of the Gibson reissues. Gibson should contract with him to build their Nick Lucas line.

 

DSCF3139.jpg

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Thanks for all the info guys. I'd love to have a Fairbanks or McAlister, but I've blown my guitar stash money for this year on a lefty Bourgeois Bryan Sutton D-150 signature model. I notice that Fairbanks is doing a 25 piece run of an early Southern Jumbo reissue that looks beautiful. Maybe next year!

AE60F2C1-FC84-43CE-A847-B2008E9C8270.jpg

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DSC03448.jpg

 

 

 

DSC03613.jpg

 

DSC03808%2B-%2BCopy.jpg

Wow, very nice! It seems like I saw those guitars and porch on a YouTube search during my Lucas Google searches. I'd love to see a lefty collection like that, but I doubt one exists....

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