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zombywoof

L-1 Is At Long Last In My Arms

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Sweated this one out as the day wore on (and on and on) but all turned out well and the L-1 was finally deposited in my sweaty little hands. Getting to give the guitar a good eyeballing, turns out the confusion came in as I was told it was a 1931 guitar. It ain't. It rolled out of Kalamazoo in 1932. Hard to read but it does have a three digit FON. So the pickguard and "Gibson" logo with no "the" all make perfect sense leaving the only anomaly the soundhole binding which you do not see much on the L series after 1929. All original with the exception of the TRC.

 

My long drawn out search down a road strewn with potholes for a small body Gibson is finally at an end. This one is certainly not going to win any beauty pageants. It has been rode hard and put away wet. But it does play perfectly and the shaded finish is beauteous. Light as a feather with a lower bout a bit over 14.75". A fairly modern feeling C neck carve. This little sucker has some power to it. It has a fundamental sound rather than one rich in overtones and a fairly quick decay. Just gives you one big note out of the starting gate and then quickly gets out of the way. Just the way I like them.

 

L1020136.jpg

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Alright! At long last.

 

Sweet, sweet guitar.

 

Your description of the tone and volume is right on, at least compared to my L-OO Legend.

 

Interesting on the neck carve. I would have expected a more pronounced V-shape.

 

There is nothing like a NOGD!

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Here is a somewhat better photo. While the center is more amber than yellow, the tiger stripe effect around the edges is pretty cool.

 

L1020139.jpg

Edited by zombywoof

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Here is a somewhat better photo. While the center is more amber than yellow, the tiger stripe effect around the edges is pretty cool.

 

L1020139.jpg

 

 

Wow! That stripe effect on the top is really unusual, and very striking. It's amazing how differently these old 'bursts photograph depending on the lighting and angle.

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Wow! That stripe effect on the top is really unusual, and very striking. It's amazing how differently these old 'bursts photograph depending on the lighting and angle.

 

I have never been able to photograph a burst to get it to look right. Always too yellowy. The finishes on these were supposedly hand rubbed rather than sprayed. I think the sprayed "bursts" come in around 1934 or 1935.

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I have never been able to photograph a burst to get it to look right. Always too yellowy. The finishes on these were supposedly hand rubbed rather than sprayed. I think the sprayed "bursts" come in around 1934 or 1935.

 

Was it still a lacquer finish, or was it something else?

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Unbelievable tiger affect on that burst- a bright shiny new one with that same finish would only pale in comparison. Congrats.

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Wow, that’s different. I don’t recall ever seeing a finish that brought out that type of look. Gorgeous and very cool.

 

Great your long search ended so very well.

 

Congrats! B)

 

.

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Was it still a lacquer finish, or was it something else?

 

All I know is these are referred to as stained shaded finish. I have also seen it referred as an amber finish. In the 1910s into the 1920s Gibson used a varnish that was applied like a French Polish. I do not have a clue what they were using in the later 1920s and early 1930s. The term "burst" though does not seem to have yet been commonly used in the early 1930s.

Edited by zombywoof

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Super-looking guitar. Wish I could be comfortable holding one of those, but just makes me slump-forward while playing and kills my back...Maybe if I was 21 and not 71...lol......Love to hear a tune on it [thumbup]

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[quote name='zombywoof'

Light as a feather...

 

It has a fundamental sound rather than one rich in overtones and a fairly quick decay. Just gives you one big note out of the starting gate and then quickly gets out of the way. Just the way I like them.

 

Sounds like it sounds great! I have a 1936 Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith that has that fundamental sound with a fairly quick decay, also light as a feather. Prewar guitars really can have a phenom different sound from their all hand made old world craftsmanship. Sounds/looks like you’ve got a real keeper.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark

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Such a beautiful piece! It has the flatter bottom like my L0 and the bridge seems shifted a little further south of the hole like mine, but with that exquisite thin top it must have a delicate voice. My mahog is a little stiffer and more substantial. You'll have to get comfortable with it's sweet spots, but I'm sure you're all over that.

 

Fine vintage stuff...a testicle to old wood! Enjoy.

 

 

 

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That's a beauty ZW! Even with the new guy at the helm, my bet is they will never build them that light again. The tone that you describe is exactly what I would expect from it.

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Such a beautiful piece! It has the flatter bottom like my L0 and the bridge seems shifted a little further south of the hole like mine, but with that exquisite thin top it must have a delicate voice. My mahog is a little stiffer and more substantial. You'll have to get comfortable with it's sweet spots, but I'm sure you're all over that.

 

Fine vintage stuff...a testicle to old wood! Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

I consider the square bottom 12 fret Ls as transitional guitars. They were not around very long. I believe that Gibson shifted the soundhole, bracing and bridge north when they went to the 14 fret versions. But I am a big fan of 12 fret guitars. I do not know if it is that the bridge is more centered in the lower bout or what. I really like the balance and in particular that characteristic deep bass. As I said, this L-1 also has a slightly larger lower bout. Not a big difference but apparently just enough to make for an uncomfortably tight fit in a 1960s LG-2 case so it ended up making its journey in a dobro case.

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Fine vintage stuff...a testicle to old wood! Enjoy.

?

I'm assuming that's a typo but you are talking about old wood...lol.

Anyway that guitar is beautiful and unique. Nice acquisition!

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?

I'm assuming that's a typo but you are talking about old wood...lol.

Anyway that guitar is beautiful and unique. Nice acquisition!

 

 

Auto-correct run amuck. I hope.

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