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Gibson L-1 Tribute or LG-2


Don7777

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Hi... new here. Fresh out of the wrapper. I am looking at two Gibson small bodied guitars; an L-1 Tribute and an LG-2 American Eagle. I can only afford one. I like both because they are parlor sized guitars. Both fit me well. I am leaning towards the L-1, but wonder if it is more of a one dimensional guitar aimed strictly at the blues style finger picking. I play with a pick and not good enough yet to be a finger style player. I have only been playing about 6 months on and off. I am worried I will be limited to bluesy style playing due to the L-1's sound. However, maybe it's my ears, I want both guitars to sound as dynamic and full - well as full as a small body can - but the LG-2 seems to be ahead in this category. If I say boomier would that be right... maybe more articulate and less woody? Again, size wise they don't really differ, so it could just be me...

 

If you've played one or the other or both... an opinion on which would be the better all around if I am going to only have one guitar would be greatly appreciated. Conversely, if they really are both equally good in this and all categories and I'm not hearing them both correctly and you think it should just come down to which one I prefer, I'd like to know that too. I don't care for the pickup in the LG-2 as I am not into that, so that's not something that is part of the decision.

 

I must say I am leaning towards the L-1 for it being a 12-fret, the overall quality and of course the esthetics - it just is more appealing to my eye (and I think the ear-to-ear grin on my face when I am playing a couple little progressions I have sort of mastered lol). But is it the right choice?

 

I can get the L-1 for an exceptional price and the LG-2 for a pretty good price as well. Both are used.

 

Any and all help from you seasoned and knowledgeable pros would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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I don't know what the bracing is in the modern version of these guitars. The original 1926 L-1 was ladder braced, as was the LG-1, while the LG-2 was x braced. The ladder braced guitars have sparse percussive -- great for blues -- while the x brace is fuller.

 

I have a couple comparison videos that might help.

 

Here is a 1931 L-2 (x-braced) compared to a 1926 L-1.

Here is a 1959 LG-1 (ladder braced) and a 1946 LG-2 (x braced).

 

 

Best,

 

-Tom

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Welcome, Don. You're right to ask yourself about how you're hearing the two. I guess what they.re strung with and how long the strings have been on will add an aspect for choosing. I've abandoned large bodied guitars years ago and don't play much fingerstyle, but have figured out how to get different voicings from my small L0 12 fretter and L00, especially how to sort of slap at the 6th string to get a deep enough bass end. Since my guitars are all ancient, I can't speak to modern models, yet the two 50's era LG2's I owned were a bit stunted in that area, but I wouldn't guess as to why. I would say that it's possible you will buy again at some point to supplement the range of your guitar and playing style, like many players do, so choose the one that stokes you to pick it up and don't worry about what it may lack in versatility. You'll figure out how to get full rich strumming aspects as well as percussive qualities from either guitar. They all have their sweet spots and 'top speeds', past which they stop sounding good. I like having my 12 fretter around, which somehow sounds deeper than my bigger guitars, but still has balance in a full strumming test. I don't know any 'one and done' players here, so keep a corner free for the second piece of the puzzle and enjoy your choice between two really nice instruments.

 

Next problem...string choices.

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For what its worth I like the L-1. Main reason though is simply that I am a fan of 12 fretters and the slightly elongated Figure 8 body. I also believe the L-1 has a slightly wider nut. But as you play with a pick this may not be seen as an advantage (I only play with my fingers).

 

So I would think it comes down to liking the sound, neck carve, and whether you can live without the two frets.

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At this stage of things, you're exploration of playing styles (and guitars that complement them) is really in its infancy. I began, long ago, expecting to be a fingerpicker. Still do a bit of that, but found that flatpicking is where my true nature lies. My point is that, in your position, I'd buy the guitar that makes you immediately happy and see where it takes you.

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At this stage of things, you're exploration of playing styles (and guitars that complement them) is really in its infancy. I began, long ago, expecting to be a fingerpicker. Still do a bit of that, but found that flatpicking is where my true nature lies. My point is that, in your position, I'd buy the guitar that makes you immediately happy and see where it takes you.

 

That’s the advice

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At this stage of things, you're exploration of playing styles (and guitars that complement them) is really in its infancy. I began, long ago, expecting to be a fingerpicker. Still do a bit of that, but found that flatpicking is where my true nature lies. My point is that, in your position, I'd buy the guitar that makes you immediately happy and see where it takes you.

 

 

This is the best advice in my opinion.

 

However, based on what I own and the tones, and simply those attributes, I would go with the LG-2. I own a 12 fret neck L-00 and a 1947 LG-2. I love the L-00 but it is definitely a blues tone guitar. It is X braced but there are some additional scalloped braces around the sound hole. It is a blues machine, period. I have owned two LG-2 guitars. One was a 1963 and I sold it to get the 1947. You can get the blues out of it, country, folk, Americana, you name it. For versitality in what you can get tone wise, I prefer the LG-2. You should take the advice of the Cowboy.

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Well thanks to all for the great advice. I purchased the L-1. Not only is it the guitar that just makes me want pick it up and play when I look at it, I only paid a little more than I would have for the LG-2, it was an absolute amazing deal.

 

The LG-2 will definitely be my next purchase. I’ve already started to add to the guitar fund cookie jar. May take a year but in the meantime I am pleased with this little beauty.

 

It has .12 to .53 strings. Going to try something a bit lighter. Although I find it sings pretty good with a light gauge pick and gets a little darker or is it warmer with something a little heavier.

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Well thanks to all for the great advice. I purchased the L-1. Not only is it the guitar that just makes me want pick it up and play when I look at it, I only paid a little more than I would have for the LG-2, it was an absolute amazing deal.

 

The LG-2 will definitely be my next purchase. I’ve already started to add to the guitar fund cookie jar. May take a year but in the meantime I am pleased with this little beauty.

 

It has .12 to .53 strings. Going to try something a bit lighter. Although I find it sings pretty good with a light gauge pick and gets a little darker or is it warmer with something a little heavier.

 

 

You did good! Enjoy the L-1

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Well thanks to all for the great advice. I purchased the L-1. Not only is it the guitar that just makes me want pick it up and play when I look at it, I only paid a little more than I would have for the LG-2, it was an absolute amazing deal.

 

The LG-2 will definitely be my next purchase. I've already started to add to the guitar fund cookie jar. May take a year but in the meantime I am pleased with this little beauty.

 

It has .12 to .53 strings. Going to try something a bit lighter. Although I find it sings pretty good with a light gauge pick and gets a little darker or is it warmer with something a little heavier.

 

Naah...now you need a Martin to round things out, say a chimey sounding 000 something. One reason I had to dump my LG2 was that the longer I owned it the more it sounded like the L0. You might find that to be true, especially side by side in the same acoustic setting. If you're new to playing try and fill up every spare bit of time to pick up and play...anything, chord progressions, scales, just to get your hand strength developed. When your hands start to hurt, slap a capo on and enjoy the easier action. When that gets tiring tune it to open A, lay it on your lap and get out the coricidin pill bottle and work on your slide.

 

Have a ball!

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