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1950 (?) LG-2 -


mkross

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Hi everyone,

My name is Mike and I wanted to post some images of my first Gibson guitar purchased last week, an LG-2 from what I believe to be about 1950. I've owned a 1920 Gibson A mandolin for a little while and love it, and ever since wanted to pair it with a guitar. I purchased this guitar from the original owner, who told me he bought it in New Mexico in 1956 when he was 14 years old. It does not look like a 1956 though, since it has the teardrop pickguard, scalloped bracing, 19 frets, and tapered headstock. The FON stamped inside at the base of the neck is "5580 21". According to some old posts I've read the 1950 models FON are within the 3000-6000 range, though it's not definite. By looking at the photos, can anyone shed any more light on dating this guitar?

The more important thing for me would be to know what the original tuners would've been. The tuners are not original to my eyes, and I'm interested in finding either the correct new replica tuners, or finding vintage tuners that could drop in. I've seen several 1940's LG2's with open gear tuners, though it seams they switched to the closed Kluson tuners by 1950. Any thoughts? Also, any thoughts on what the original bridge pins and end-pin would've looked like? These black plastic ones are replacements.

I've taken the guitar to one reputable local luthier, and he found many of the braces becoming unglued inside the body and one is cracked. The action is a bit high (3/16" at low E, 12th fret) but he wants to avoid a neck re-set by re-fretting the guitar with taller, modern frets and adjusting the saddle. The original saddle has a decent amount of height, and doesn't look like it was ever shaved down. The bridge is in pretty good shape and there aren't any cracks in the body, so not bad overall. I'll probably take it to one or two more luthiers for more opinions before settling on the type of repairs. If anyone has any opinions based on the images I'd love to hear 'em - I've learned so much from all the previous posts I've browsed.

 

Here's a link to some images (I wasn't able to embed them within this post):

 

Thanks again - looking forward to being a member of the forum,

Best,

Mike

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I think plastic pins were the standard fare. Good news is that there are plenty of 50's era period correct Klusons available in the vintage market. My '56 had tapered headstock and closed back 3 on a strip.

Seeing your photos makes me miss my LG2...again.

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Gday Mike,

I've got an LG-2 and the good folks here helped me date it to 1951.I'm sure you'll get some good assistance too.Yea klusons on mine.

Really enjoyed mine for the last couple of years that I've had it.Action is getting a bit high now and not much saddle left...but will hold out from any major surgery for a while. I've got a few clips on my youtube page "jp888then" if you want to hear how it sounds.Yours should sound similar maybe.It's a good strummer as well as picker.

Cheers

'

'.

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1950 LG 2, pretty unambiguously.

 

I would not re-fret unless the frets are worn and the board needs planing. The action sounds very high, and a neck re-set may be called for. Tall frets can be tough on the fingers in any case.

 

Others here who have owned LG's from this period can advise on tuners, but typically you see closed-back three-on-a-strip Klusons with white oval buttons in this period on guitars like the J-45. Repro tuners are readily available, and are generally of quality equal to or better than the originals. I wouldn't worry about finding vintage tuners, which may well be pretty worn.

 

Congrats. Should be a nice guitar, with a little work.

 

Whatever you do, don't go planing the bridge to lower the action.

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Congrats!

 

The original tuners would have been Kluson, three on a plate, single line ("Kluson Deluxe"), enclosed/sealed tuners. These were standard from 1948 into the early 1950s. They were used on a ton of guitars and so if you want an original set you should be able to find them with little trouble.

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Thanks for the feedback all. I've got my answer on the tuners, so unless I find a really nice pair of vintage ones I'll just order these reproductions from StewMac:

http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Guitar_and_Solid_Peghead/Vintage-style_3-on-Plate_Tuners.html

 

I strung it up and the guitar really does sound great, especially with strumming it has a lot of power and a great rock sound. I'm mostly a fingerpicker and it suits that really well too. I'm curious how it'll sound once it's properly setup!

I would've loved the 1-3/4" nut width of the banner LG-2's, but those are pricey and I got a pretty good deal on this one that I couldn't refuse. Before I sink a lot more money into it, it seems the market rate for these really varies, somewhere between $2,000 - $4,000, from the examples I'm seeing on reverb and gbase. I'm guessing mine after all repairs would be worth between 2,000 and 2,500? Is that about right?

 

Cheers,

Mike

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Depends. Was the guitar purchased with strings on? Just curious, and ... did the previous owner mention anything about repairs that had been done, like a headstock repair, for example? Most would agree that a repair such as that, if done professionally, doesn't affect the structural integrity of the guitar, but would only affect valuation.

 

Don't feel bad about not getting an LG-2 with the Banner logo on it; that's no guarantee that one from that era would sound any better than yours. The 1 11/16" neck shouldn't slow you down any, and shouldn't stop you from enjoying the guitar, either.

 

Enjoy-

and welcome.

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The guitar did have strings on it when I bought it, and the previous owner told me he bought it new back in the 50's and hadn't had any repairs done. There aren't any cracks, just some finish wear around the soundhole and a bit of wear on the top corner of the headstock. The luthier I took it to last week liked the guitar bacause in his words, no one has done anything stupid to it, even though there's some deferred maintenance.

The 1-11/16" width feels good, so I'm not missing the 1-3/4" - I think because the neck shape is so nice and round, not too fat nor too slim, I got over the narrower nut quickly. My other guitar is a Martin 00-18g nylon string, so a very wide nut at 1-7/8". Once I play each for a couple minutes my fingers make the adjustment and know where to go.

Thanks!

Mike

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Those new tuners usually come with the ferrules (bushings) that fit into the peghead. The ones that you already have in the headstock appear to be original, so don't use the ones that come with the new tuners. Keep the originals in place.

 

These ferrules are nickel or nickel-plated steel, and they can get some surface corrosion on them where the stringposts go through the peghead. That is easily cleaned out (with the old tuners removed) by a little bit of metal polish on a Q-tip (cotton swab).

 

From my perspective, the neck profile on the Gibson slope-J's and LG-series guitars in 1947-1951 was as close to perfect as you get, and the 1 11/16" nut width should present no problem to anyone.

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The origianl tuners might have been either closed back or open back, judging from ones I've seen over the years. The tuners on Tom's guitar would be typical of the 1940's, up to about 1950, I believe. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the three-on-a-plate closed-back Klusons will not be out of place.

 

Edit: I just looked more closely at the tuners on Tom's CF-100. they appear to be replacements, as you can see the imprint of the original tuner baseplates extending slightly beyond the current tuners on the guitar.

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Here are replacement Klusons on my 57. They were stark white and shiny chrome. A luthier in Bouler Colorado gave t5hem a bath in his acid and stain mix, and they came out looking like 60 year old well worn tuners. I was amazed and happy. I only like shiny chorome on muscle cars and Harleys.

P5221041_zpsdwq8rzel.jpg

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Edit: I just looked more closely at the tuners on Tom's CF-100. they appear to be replacements, as you can see the imprint of the original tuner baseplates extending slightly beyond the current tuners on the guitar.

 

 

I noticed that as well. You can see what looks to be a footprint from some other tuners.

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