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Okay, it's on!!!


theflyingturtle

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Let me explain. I spent a couple of hours at Shoenberg Guitars today. Nice place. Real nice. I played everything that was small. I played every Martin in the shop. I just... I just don't like the way Martins sound. Some of them were amazing guitars, full, rich, and vibrant but it's someone else's sound, not mine. I do still like 0-17s with scalloped bracings. I really dig those. After trying some amazing, notable Gibsons I took a turn at their 48' LG-2. This one was very thick and rich, like you could stand a fork up in it. It had fresh strings too. So when all was said and done and there were no more guitars to play my clear favorite was the LG-2 by a wide margin. To me this is confirmation that the LG-s is the way to go for what I need from a guitar. So, anyone know where I can find a nice banner year LG-2? \:D/

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I have a 1946 LG-2 which I picked up years back locally so was able to take it home to give the tires a good kick before buying it. Script logo sans Banner and 1 3/4" nut. Buying an LG-2 without playing it first is a crap shoot. I had played several that were for sale, all built in the 1940s, over the years and would have been really hacked had I bought the 1st or the 2nd instead of the one I did. A few years back I had my '46 and a '47 LG-2 in the house at the same time. Very different voices. More recently I had a chance to play both a 1951 and 1957 CF-100. Again, they sounded different enough to make you wonder if they were actually built by the same company (I preferred the 1957 and am in fact going to look at it again this afternoon with an eye toward snagging it).

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The one you played at Shoenberg's should've come home with you. The luxury of auditioning guitars in a setting such as that is something the long distance internet buyer never has.

 

And don't get hung up on the idea that it has to be a Banner; I went to the big show thinking the same, played a bunch, and found a '49 that made me never look back.

 

If the '48 could be the one, you could also entertain the idea of the stepping stone guitar; get it, get to know it's nature, then in a year or two, use it as a comparator to find the one that's even closer to the sound you are looking for.

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The one you played at Shoenberg's should've come home with you. The luxury of auditioning guitars in a setting such as that is something the long distance internet buyer never has.

 

And don't get hung up on the idea that it has to be a Banner; I went to the big show thinking the same, played a bunch, and found a '49 that made me never look back.

 

If the '48 could be the one, you could also entertain the idea of the stepping stone guitar; get it, get to know it's nature, then in a year or two, use it as a comparator to find the one that's even closer to the sound you are looking for.

 

 

Good advice all the way around.

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The one you played at Shoenberg's should've come home with you. The luxury of auditioning guitars in a setting such as that is something the long distance internet buyer never has.

 

And don't get hung up on the idea that it has to be a Banner; I went to the big show thinking the same, played a bunch, and found a '49 that made me never look back.

 

If the '48 could be the one, you could also entertain the idea of the stepping stone guitar; get it, get to know it's nature, then in a year or two, use it as a comparator to find the one that's even closer to the sound you are looking for.

 

 

You know, I hope that passing on that guitar doesn't come back to bite me. Sure. I understand your point and it is valid and appreciated but in this case, I left some details out. Yes, I did think the guitar sounded lovely and is even the nicest I've ever heard but it's missing an " open or airy" quality that I have recognized in some vintage guitars. I want that quality in a guitar. As goofy as it sounds, that was a hearty stew when I was shopping for a pleasant spring day, dig? It could be a stop along the way but this guitar purchase is probably the most important guitar I will ever buy and it means a lot to me so I'm open to throwing a couple thousand bucks more onto the pile and see what shows up. Also, I didn't mention the neck but I didn't care for the neck shape and It felt like it would be a little tiring to play. In the end, who knows what will happen? I may hate banner year necks and have to get a 1960s era thin-necked version. :lol:

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I know some hard core Gibson freaks who will tell you that their favorite LGs date from the mid-to late-1950s. They swear that the small body guitars responded better to the lower top bracing that Gibson started using in 1955.

 

Thank you for that! Thanks to this forum I was able to infer that the mid to late 1950s models were considered good but didn't know the exact reason why. They are on my radar as is any LG that passes by. I try to remain focused but there are so many guitars the I "need"! This all started when I wanted to buy a J-45 from my birth year. Then I considered a 12 fret slothead or a Jackson Browne, moved on to consider a parlor, OO, bought a Telecaster, found out that I liked 0-17s but not any other small-bodied Martin that jives with me, I found an HD-28 that I have always wanted, I was offered a custom build GA from my luthier that is his own personal gigging guitar, and finally there was a killer Harmony archtop that I tried last Guitar Center... There were dozens more along the way. Ahhh, it's a thin line between love and hate.

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If you are unwashed when it comes to old guitars you are always better off sticking with the big sexy dealers. You will pay more but you will get exactly what you think you are and in a condition accurately described.

 

And do not laugh off a Harmony archtop. While their bread and butter was the low end guitars, they could and did produce some really nice instruments. One of the things which keeps me in guitars on the cheap is the fact that many people out there do not have a clue what they are looking at. They will turn their nose up at something like a late-1930s Kay Television archtop just because it says Kay on the headstock. What they would be missing out on is a beautifully made carved top and back guitar which I would take over a lower end Gibson archtop all day long. I have a late 1930s Kay K-6 which I paid $150 for and like better than any LG-1 I have ever played. Built with good lumber, fully bound body and neck, gorgeous firestripe pickguard, and even rolled fingerboard edges (who knew they did that in the 1930s). If you have never played a long scale ladder braced guitar you will never know what you have been missing.

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If you are unwashed when it comes to old guitars you are always better off sticking with the big sexy dealers. You will pay more but you will get exactly what you think you are and in a condition accurately described.

 

And do not laugh off a Harmony archtop. While their bread and butter was the low end guitars, they could and did produce some really nice instruments. One of the things which keeps me in guitars on the cheap is the fact that many people out there do not have a clue what they are looking at. They will turn their nose up at something like a late-1930s Kay Television archtop just because it says Kay on the headstock. What they would be missing out on is a beautifully made carved top and back guitar which I would take over a lower end Gibson archtop all day long. I have a late 1930s Kay K-6 which I paid $150 for and like better than any LG-1 I have ever played. Built with good lumber, fully bound body and neck, gorgeous firestripe pickguard, and even rolled fingerboard edges (who knew they did that in the 1930s). If you have never played a long scale ladder braced guitar you will never know what you have been missing.

 

 

That's good advice ZW, thanks. I have no disdain for Harmonys, that archtop was killer AND it was a good price too but I am trying to demonstrate a modicum of restraint. My wife does not henpeck me about guitars. She knows they make me happy and that is enough for her. However, if I showed up with a banner year in one hand and a Harmony archtop in the other she'd probably stab me in the forehead with a fork while I slept and I wouldn't blame her. The bottom line is: There are way too many forks in my house to hide them all.

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Back in the mid '70s, when I could pick up F-hole archtops for $25 or less at flea markets, a beautiful 1930s Harmony Cremona (quite different from the one in Dave's photo) came my way. Very art-decoishly ornate, with a solid carved top & fine workmanship throughout. Only problem was the rather thick neck. It got traded off somewhere along the line, but I kept a few Polaroid shots of that one.

 

At any rate, since this discussion has veered in multiple directions, just thought I'd throw out a new one: Have you considered the J-185? Had mine out last night, and they are sooooo comfortable to play, with a waist that is actually a bit narrower than an LG, and a 24.75" scale. Some folks on the board have never come across one they connected with, while I've found two over the years that made me seriously weak at the knees (thankfully, I brought the second one home!). Imho, the maple body & overall size create a near ideal platform for punchy fingerpicking.

 

A tough call, but if I could keep only one acoustic out of my current group, it would be the J-185.

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Carved top. Even the braces are carved in

1C81FA45-E36C-43B5-BE2E-BE0A4F4E7CE2_zpsnafgsbsj.jpg

 

 

Absolutely gorgeous guitar. Harmony made something like seven or eight Cremona models from the mid-1930s into the early 1950s. Every one had carved tops and such. I believe it was replaced by the Brilliant which is more typical of what people think of when they think Harmony with its pressed top.

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Back in the mid '70s, when I could pick up F-hole archtops for $25 or less at flea markets, a beautiful 1930s Harmony Cremona (quite different from the one in Dave's photo) came my way. Very art-decoishly ornate, with a solid carved top & fine workmanship throughout. Only problem was the rather thick neck. It got traded off somewhere along the line, but I kept a few Polaroid shots of that one.

 

At any rate, since this discussion has veered in multiple directions, just thought I'd throw out a new one: Have you considered the J-185? Had mine out last night, and they are sooooo comfortable to play, with a waist that is actually a bit narrower than an LG, and a 24.75" scale. Some folks on the board have never come across one they connected with, while I've found two over the years that made me seriously weak at the knees (thankfully, I brought the second one home!). Imho, the maple body & overall size create a near ideal platform for punchy fingerpicking.

 

A tough call, but if I could keep only one acoustic out of my current group, it would be the J-185.

Happy to second the J-185 endorsement. Any way you choose to play one, it's right there and up to the job

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I know some hard core Gibson freaks who will tell you that their favorite LGs date from the mid-to late-1950s. They swear that the small body guitars responded better to the lower top bracing that Gibson started using in 1955.

 

Aha!

 

My 1959 LG3 to the left:

 

7d6NhcZ.jpg

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Back in the mid '70s, when I could pick up F-hole archtops for $25 or less at flea markets, a beautiful 1930s Harmony Cremona (quite different from the one in Dave's photo) came my way. Very art-decoishly ornate, with a solid carved top & fine workmanship throughout. Only problem was the rather thick neck. It got traded off somewhere along the line, but I kept a few Polaroid shots of that one.

 

At any rate, since this discussion has veered in multiple directions, just thought I'd throw out a new one: Have you considered the J-185? Had mine out last night, and they are sooooo comfortable to play, with a waist that is actually a bit narrower than an LG, and a 24.75" scale. Some folks on the board have never come across one they connected with, while I've found two over the years that made me seriously weak at the knees (thankfully, I brought the second one home!). Imho, the maple body & overall size create a near ideal platform for punchy fingerpicking.

 

A tough call, but if I could keep only one acoustic out of my current group, it would be the J-185.

 

Yes I would be open to a J-185. I've read that the J-165 is very comfortable as well. I already own a guitar with that body size and similar specs but with a long scale so I know it can be a great package.

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BK, your 59' has a different bracing than the 1940s models I have been trying out in the stores. Have you listened to the pre/post 1955(I think that's the year) bracing change and can you offer your opinions on the differences?

 

 

 

I could tell you that the 2 guitars in the photo above, Gibson and Lowden, are not one thing alike in any respect even though they both fit in the same Hiscox travel case, except they have 6 strings.

 

I treat them like the individual beauties they are....in other words, I have never played a banner LG2 and can't help with a comparison, sorry, but I too may have taken the one in the hand at the shop.... I bought the LG3 online from Elderly.

 

I have no idea from your thread how you play or what, pick or fingers or blues or rock or jazz, but generally I look at smaller Gibsons as fingerpicking only and I most definitely wouldn't play my LG3 with a pick.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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