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L-00 Variations


bobster
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A number of years ago I made the difficult decision to sell my 1938 L-OO. Long story. Fast forward to my recent quest to replace it. I played a variety of prewar Gibsons and some variants like Bourgeois and some local small luthier offerings. I pored over descriptions of various online sales and auctions looking for The One. When the dust settled I wound up with a 2017 L-OO Vintage and could not be happier. It has what I've found missing in Gibson's modern L-OO's. It's wonderfully light and has the distinctive warm bark of my prewar guitar, but with a perfect PLEK setup, smooth tuners, a perfect neck and a warranty:) I may still wind up with another prewar Gibson but for the forseeable future that void has been filled.

l-oo%201938.jpg

 

L-OO%201.jpg

 

Howlin' wolf your guitar looks beautiful and i love the description 'warm bark' as i know exactly what you mean. Sounds like it holds up to the 1938 you had which is a great endorsement.

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I spent several years looking for a good vintage Gibson small-body, preferably an L-OO. Most I looked at had been rode hard and put away wet, and many needed a fair amount of work to be comfortably playable. And they were always asking a lot of money for them.

 

Eventually, I found a 2010 L-OO Legend at a boutique dealer in the mid-south. He must have taken it on trade or consignment, as it was completely different from most of the guitars he had listed. What the dealer thought were polishing scratches all over the guitar turned out to be nothing more than a fairly typical VOS finish, which I have partly buffed back out by hand. The guitar showed absolutely no sign of ever having been played.

 

It lacks the 80 years of aging of the 1937 original, but is otherwise pretty much identical, down to the all hide glue construction, fabric side stays, and Adi top. Bridge and board are Madagascar rather than Brazilian, but that's a fair trade.

 

It's a sweet, sweet little guitar.

 

I paid less than they were typically asking for badly-worn originals which might have had more mojo, but were not anywhere near as playable. I'd call that a decent trade, too.

 

The only downside is the modern Gibson firestripe guard, which is a caricature of the 1930's original.

 

(I am now back home in Florida, cleaning up the big mess Irma left behind. We are safe, and the house is totally intact thanks to reinforced concrete construction and a steel roof, but the Garden of Good and Evil took quite a hit. The Flower Girl will whip it all back into shape in short order, with you-know-who doing the grunt work.)

 

Would post a picture, but now that photobucket has held us all hostage, I'm not sure what photo hosting service people are using.

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I spent several years looking for a good vintage Gibson small-body, preferably an L-OO. Most I looked at had been rode hard and put away wet, and many needed a fair amount of work to be comfortably playable. And they were always asking a lot of money for them.

 

Eventually, I found a 2010 L-OO Legend at a boutique dealer in the mid-south. He must have taken it on trade or consignment, as it was completely different from most of the guitars he had listed. What the dealer thought were polishing scratches all over the guitar turned out to be nothing more than a fairly typical VOS finish, which I have partly buffed back out by hand. The guitar showed absolutely no sign of ever having been played.

 

It lacks the 80 years of aging of the 1937 original, but is otherwise pretty much identical, down to the all hide glue construction, fabric side stays, and Adi top. Bridge and board are Madagascar rather than Brazilian, but that's a fair trade.

 

It's a sweet, sweet little guitar.

 

I paid less than they were typically asking for badly-worn originals which might have had more mojo, but were not anywhere near as playable. I'd call that a decent trade, too.

 

The only downside is the modern Gibson firestripe guard, which is a caricature of the 1930's original.

 

(I am now back home in Florida, cleaning up the big mess Irma left behind. We are safe, and the house is totally intact thanks to reinforced concrete construction and a steel roof, but the Garden of Good and Evil took quite a hit. The Flower Girl will whip it all back into shape in short order, with you-know-who doing the grunt work.)

 

Would post a picture, but now that photobucket has held us all hostage, I'm not sure what photo hosting service people are using.

Good to hear your home is intact! Nice to have you back on the forum, too. Had visions of you living on your boat for a year or so😬

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Absolutely stunning guitars Mr Thomas!!! How do they compare tonally? Is the Kim Walker a modern sounding instrument or is it voiced like an older L-00? Would love to hear a sound clip of the walker.

Thanks! It is a lovely thing. I was hanging in Kim's shop one day - he's built three guitars for me (though, when a couple of years ago, his wait list reached 9 years, he stopped taking orders) - and I asked what he did with wood sets that his clients deemed too ugly to use. Like all luthiers, he simply left them in the wood stash. So, I asked that he use great sounding, but cosmetically challenged wood to build me a black guitar. The finish, by the way, is, like all of Kim's guitars, varnish. He tinted it black for me. Back, sides, and neck are Honduran mahogany. Top is European spruce cut down more than a century before Kim built the guitar.

 

As the project progressed, I began to treat it as a chance to produce an homage to my favorite periods of art. So, Elizabethan script logo, Romantic era floral inlay, original, 1930s art-Deco Italian "perloid," the last bit of original 1950s Rickenbacker "checkboard" binding on the planet (just barely enough), gold sparkle not to Gibson's 1931 L-2, and, most brilliantly, Kim's addition of the post-modern spiral fingerboard inlay.

 

Oh, you asked about sound. Think Nick Lucas on steroids. Some clips:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fwqu1nOTxA

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV4T1Sie8NU

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Thanks! It is a lovely thing. I was hanging in Kim's shop one day - he's built three guitars for me (though, when a couple of years ago, his wait list reached 9 years, he stopped taking orders) - and I asked what he did with wood sets that his clients deemed too ugly to use. Like all luthiers, he simply left them in the wood stash. So, I asked that he use great sounding, but cosmetically challenged wood to build me a black guitar. The finish, by the way, is, like all of Kim's guitars, varnish. He tinted it black for me. Back, sides, and neck are Honduran mahogany. Top is European spruce cut down more than a century before Kim built the guitar.

 

As the project progressed, I began to treat it as a chance to produce an homage to my favorite periods of art. So, Elizabethan script logo, Romantic era floral inlay, original, 1930s art-Deco Italian "perloid," the last bit of original 1950s Rickenbacker "checkboard" binding on the planet (just barely enough), gold sparkle not to Gibson's 1931 L-2, and, most brilliantly, Kim's addition of the post-modern spiral fingerboard inlay.

 

Oh, you asked about sound. Think Nick Lucas on steroids. Some clips:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fwqu1nOTxA

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV4T1Sie8NU

 

Magnificent sound and great playing Jt!!! From those clips it seems to have a lovely deep bass and already sounds very open. It has that classic vintage tone and hollow bark of a vintage Gibson but with arguably greater clarity in the trebles. Stunning looking instrument as well, very tasteful appointments.

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Magnificent sound and great playing Jt!!! From those clips it seems to have a lovely deep bass and already sounds very open. It has that classic vintage tone and hollow bark of a vintage Gibson but with arguably greater clarity in the trebles. Stunning looking instrument as well, very tasteful appointments.

Well, there is a reason why Kim's wait list extended to 9 years!

 

I feel so fortunate to have this one-of-a-kind Kim Walker guitar. Others have requested replicas, but Kim is resolute that there will only ever be one "One Third Century of Progress." :)

 

As for this, "very tasteful appointments," I agree. For those who disagree, I quote the one and only Chet Atkins: that's my opinion, and I think that it should be yours, too,

 

Thanks, again. If you're ever in Connecticut, stop in to play this guitar (and many more).

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