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jimmyboy

Question for Gibson LG-1.

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They are solid spruce tops and solid mahogany sides. However, they are ladder (parallel) braced not X braced like the LG2 and most popular guitars. As a result they are a bit less expensive than the X braced LG2 and LG3. But, they definitely sound different than the 2 and 3 or the larger J-45.

 

One of the guitars in my collection is a 1965 LG-1. I obtained it circa 1990 and it was in excellent shape (meaning it was barely played until that point. Realistically, it too about 20 years of me playing it until it finally got broken in and the sound of it suddenly took a giant leap forward with the top fully at last seriously resonating (because of its ladder bracing). It now is quite loud and full sounding and loose as a goose to play, but man it took really long to break in. It's now one of my three favorite guitars in my collection of 39 instruments. (I should add that with a removable Fishman Hum-bucker sound hole pick up it mic's really well now, too). And,I now usually bring it along as my backup guitar to my J-45 during all my gigs in case a string breaks or my battery wears down during a gig. Sometimes making my J-45 be my backup to my LG1 if that one gets into an ornery playing mood.

 

Hope this helps. You might want to consider paying a little more for an X braced, but exactly the same looking LG2...if you don't want to go through what I went through getting mine to, at last, open up and turn into a great guitar. A LG2 will be good to go without any of this because of its X bracing,

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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Speaking of the LG1------there's one at the GC here in Independence. It's a 57 and they're asking 1799. Played it yesterday and while I'm more a fan of big guitars, I must admit it had a very punchy and sweet tone to it. More than I'm likely willing to pay for a nearly fifty-year-old guitar, but it is an old guitar that actually has what I think is called a "vintage" sound. If I wanted an LG1, I just might.

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When they are aged and opened up (I assume from the top being loosened up from age/play) and the wood itself being aged...they can be quite feisty little old guitars. Better, then they were when new for sure. I have learned to really love mine in its (and my) older age. Costwise, though, I paid only $240 for mine in 1990.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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I use my 1952 Gibson LG1 for Open D Tuning slide practice - needs a neck reset among a long list of needs - but my National weighs about 450 pounds and the LG1 about 3 feathers, so it is good to grab and practice, and it is a KILLER sound for slide.

 

If someone bought mine or one like it hoping to play ragtime or heavy strumming or...or ...by getting a cheap guitar - well, they are out of luck with the wrong guitar.

 

 

Do a search on 1960 Gibson LG1 - some look great and some have been tortured by mean cat killer children ...and then there is the neck size as 1960 is about when the real skinnies came in, plus a whole range of issues:

 

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=1960+Gibson+LG1&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=622&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj386ndp4vPAhXFQD4KHeYWBrIQ7AkILQ

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Meant to ask my dad how much he paid for it new in '64, but I had to pay my brother $50 in 1970 or so, for the privilege of keeping it in my room and not having to ask him to use it every time. After that, possession being 9/10ths of the law, neither of us ever looked back.

 

Here it is, on a sleepy old original I recorded maybe 5 years ago (when I was still very timid about singing, having come to this pretty late in life):

https://soundcloud.com/anne-rachel/the-company-i-keep

 

It's a good little guitar, still keeping good company more than 50 years after we met...

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I have a '66 LG-1 that has the narrowest nut of any guitar I own and I love it. The saddle is nearly flush with the bridge but somehow doesn't need a neck re-set (knock, knock). Because of the precarious buzz-to-action ratio, I only use .10s. Which makes this the nearest to an electric guitar. Yet, after all this, it's plenty loud and lots of fun to play. (I've had several very good guitar players tell me how much they like it despite the narrow nut. Fun seems to be the word).

 

As per buying an LG-1, prices have been drifting upwards. I bought mine around 2013-2014 and paid $800 or so. These days they break $1K, but I would suggest not going much higher than $1100. Those folks asking $1700 and up are the Gary's of the world, where every Gibson model is available for purchase and always for anywhere from $700-5K over the price everyone else is asking. I'd have a full line of Gibsons, too, if I set my asking prices at double the top of the scale. Serious sellers will be glad to take $1100.

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I have seen many 60' LG-1 up for sell.Are they all solid or solid top or just plain laminated?

 

I've had my '56 LG1 for a long time now and love the strong mids and 50s neck, its a great finger-picking blues guitar.

 

As a rule of thumb, the 1950s models have straight rectangular (not belly) wooden bridges:

 

Gibson%201952%20LG-1%20SS%20002.JPG

 

The 1960s LG1 models have belly bridges, many of which are made of plastic:

 

160173429834-6.jpg

 

& also there are adjustable bridge saddles on many of the 60's models:

 

P1010137.jpg

 

Not a problem to replace if you figure it into the price you're paying.

 

Also, a typical flaw on these venerable old guitars is a stress crack under the first string visible on this one:

 

p1_umtsugvfv_ss.jpg?maxheight=500&maxwidth=500

 

The bridge plate inside the 50s LG1 models is made of soft spruce and string ball ends can chew their way through over time, its sometimes worth replacing with hardwood like maple or rosewood.

Mine has a very thick bone saddle which made it easy to shape some string compensation into - improved the intonation.

 

LG-1s tend to be priced attractively, and are a real bargain as vintage guitars go IMHO.

I love mine, and play it all the time [thumbup].

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LG-1s are usually one of the cheapest ways to get a vintage Gibson. They're prettier than the LG-0, which usually run somewhere between $450-$800, and are also ladder-braced. The cheapest entry point I've seen into an X-braced vintage Gibson has been the B25, though keep in mind many of them are 12-string. I like my 6 string model as much as I do my LG3. In fact, maybe more since it's prettier.

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Meant to ask my dad how much he paid for it new in '64, but I had to pay my brother $50 in 1970 or so, for the privilege of keeping it in my room and not having to ask him to use it every time. After that, possession being 9/10ths of the law, neither of us ever looked back.

 

Here it is, on a sleepy old original I recorded maybe 5 years ago (when I was still very timid about singing, having come to this pretty late in life):

https://soundcloud.c...-company-i-keep

 

It's a good little guitar, still keeping good company more than 50 years after we met...

 

 

 

 

Bought mine new in '64. It was $125. If I remember right - the minimum wage was $1.25 back then.

They have been maligned by a few folks as 'student' guitars - but, let's face it, since $125 in '64 equates to over $1,000 in today's dollars - they were not.

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Re-opening an old thread here...

I believe that I've just purchased a completely unplayed 1964 LG-1!

My only question, as I'm a Martin guy and don't know much, is this:  did all LG-1's have bookmatched backs?

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My '64  had a 1 piece back. I can't say I've ever seen any with 2 piece backs. Does yours have the model #   stamped in ink on the inside visible through the sound hole - in the middle of the back? 

You would either have that "LG1"  stamped there in  1/3 "   print   - or an unfinished strip of bracing wood holding together a 2 piece back, running on the inside from the neck joint to the tailpiece.  Or both. Or, I suppose, neither....?

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26 minutes ago, fortyearspickn said:

My '64  had a 1 piece back. I can't say I've ever seen any with 2 piece backs. Does yours have the model #   stamped in ink on the inside visible through the sound hole - in the middle of the back? 

You would either have that "LG1"  stamped there in  1/3 "   print   - or an unfinished strip of bracing wood holding together a 2 piece back, running on the inside from the neck joint to the tailpiece.  Or both. Or, I suppose, neither....?

Correct sir, mine has the ink stamp with LG1 which slightly crosses both halves of the back. There isn't a center spruce strip I would have expected to see on most other 2-piece backs.  

The guitar came from an estate in Livonia Michigan and was probably bought as a Christmas present. The guitar is in new condition with a minimum of super light finish checks that I can barely see and can't feel.  The person that this guitar was intended for obviously never took up playing as there is no fingerboard wear at all, the frets are lightly corroded to green, the pickguard lost adhesion and popped off and the guitar must have been under tension as the plastic bridge is cracked in 2 or 3 spots and it's pulling up on the backside away from the top. The top is in perfect shape and still has a lovely radius to the top.  There are some marks on the back that can likely be buffed out as it sat on top of a mel bay book for many years.  The brown alligator chipboard "case" is in excellent condition and includes a period correct strap and a few picks in the pocket. 

Crazy to think that this guitar lived about 120 miles from where it was built for its whole life.  I just stumbled upon a time capsule. 

I would like to know the best place or person who can carefully remove the warped plastic bridge and install a new ebony one. 

I need someone to carefully remove the glue residue on the pickguard and top and install a new layer of 3m double sided tape (I think I can get Taylor Mullins to help me there) to the original guard. 

After that a complete fret polish and set-up will make this guitar truly NOS.

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Nice find!

The plastic bridge is usually held on with three (or four, I can't remember) small lag screws with hex heads. Unscrew those from inside the guitar, and the bridge should pop off.  Someone here from  the upper Midwest should be able to point you to someone to work on it. Make sure they know what they are doing. Despite the unplayed condition, the guitar should get a close inspection for loose braces, neck angle, etc.

Does the plastic bridge have a fixed saddle, or an adjustable one?

To keep it authentic, you should consider a rosewood replacement bridge, rather than ebony. Most repair specialists keep a variety of small bits of Brazilian around for just this purpose, and can generally match the bridge to the fretboard quite nicely.

Pictures when you get a chance.

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On 9/15/2019 at 11:29 AM, j45nick said:

Nice find!

The plastic bridge is usually held on with three (or four, I can't remember) small lag screws with hex heads. Unscrew those from inside the guitar, and the bridge should pop off.  Someone here from  the upper Midwest should be able to point you to someone to work on it. Make sure they know what they are doing. Despite the unplayed condition, the guitar should get a close inspection for loose braces, neck angle, etc.

Does the plastic bridge have a fixed saddle, or an adjustable one?

To keep it authentic, you should consider a rosewood replacement bridge, rather than ebony. Most repair specialists keep a variety of small bits of Brazilian around for just this purpose, and can generally match the bridge to the fretboard quite nicely.

Pictures when you get a chance.

 

IMG-20190914-WA0002.jpg

IMG-20190914-WA0003.jpg

IMG-20190914-WA0004.jpg

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I have more pix, but am limited by the forum to upload anymore. ☹

The pickguard has slightly shrunken and warped, but I think that it could he salvaged for sure. 

Edited by guitar-pete

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10 hours ago, guitar-pete said:

I have more pix, but am limited by the forum to upload anymore. ☹

The pickguard has slightly shrunken and warped, but I think that it could he salvaged for sure. 

Great-looking guitar!

Generally, you can us naphtha to remove the old glue residue from both the back of the pickguard and the top of the guitar.  Do not use more powerful solvents on either one.

Just like the thin cellulose pickguards, the thicker ones like yours curl at the edges as they age and shrink. That one looks pretty good in the pictures.

You're lucky it's off, as it saves you one step.

Those edges may straighten out on installation, if you make a caul from a piece of wood, and clamp that to the pickguard and top of the guitar, with clamps focused on the warped edges, when you re-install. Stewmac may have a video on this process on their website, since it's a common issue.

The original pickguard on the 1950 J-45 I purchased recently is starting to curl at the edges, but I'll leave it alone until the edges come loose.

Removing the old bridge is a 15-minute job with a 7/16" wrench, with most of that time spent in removing the old strings.

The frets and fretboard should clean up nicely with either bronze wool or a Scotchbrite pad. Don't even think of using steel wool.

Save the old bridge, and try not to break it when removing it. That footprint looks pretty much the same as the normal wood bridge footprint. Whoever does the bridge replacement may actually re-install the plastic one and scribe the footprint with an x-acto knife to make it easier to remove the top lacquer under this bridge before gluing on the new one.

All in all, looks like you've found a great little vintage Gibson in a condition not often seen.

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11 hours ago, j45nick said:

Great-looking guitar!

Generally, you can us naphtha to remove the old glue residue from both the back of the pickguard and the top of the guitar.  Do not use more powerful solvents on either one.

Just like the thin cellulose pickguards, the thicker ones like yours curl at the edges as they age and shrink. That one looks pretty good in the pictures.

You're lucky it's off, as it saves you one step.

Those edges may straighten out on installation, if you make a caul from a piece of wood, and clamp that to the pickguard and top of the guitar, with clamps focused on the warped edges, when you re-install. Stewmac may have a video on this process on their website, since it's a common issue.

The original pickguard on the 1950 J-45 I purchased recently is starting to curl at the edges, but I'll leave it alone until the edges come loose.

Removing the old bridge is a 15-minute job with a 7/16" wrench, with most of that time spent in removing the old strings.

The frets and fretboard should clean up nicely with either bronze wool or a Scotchbrite pad. Don't even think of using steel wool.

Save the old bridge, and try not to break it when removing it. That footprint looks pretty much the same as the normal wood bridge footprint. Whoever does the bridge replacement may actually re-install the plastic one and scribe the footprint with an x-acto knife to make it easier to remove the top lacquer under this bridge before gluing on the new one.

All in all, looks like you've found a great little vintage Gibson in a condition not often seen.

Thx for the suggestion!  I think I can get naphtha from stewmac?

Edited by guitar-pete

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