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Identifying Vintage Acoustic Gibson


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This was my father’s guitar and it means a lot to me. My mother says that she bought it before July of 1947 (when I was born). She thinks it may have been used at the time. My husband, John (guitar player) and I have been performing together for years using electric guitar, keys and midi-backing tracks my husband produces. We’ve done primarily dance club dates and cabaret/jazz shows. We now want to develop an “Americana”/Roots music show using electric guitar and some acoustic. I really would like my husband to use my Dad’s guitar and I’d like to know more about it.

So, first question we have is if anyone can help us figure out the series and possible date of manufacture. John thought it might be L-50 or L-48. We cannot find serial number any where either outside or inside body of guitar.

Other questions: Where can we get correct replacement button tuners at a reasonable price? Don’t have to be historically accurate but correct fit.  Where can we find a workable side pick guard mounting bracket?  We want to use this guitar for different musical styles...some old jazz tunes but also for country folk finger style. Any advice on a non-invasive pick up which will give the best acoustic sound (without drilling holes, etc.)? Would a small clip-on be a good option for the BEST sound?        Thank you so much!!!

Dad's Gibson.jpg

Dad's Gibson Bridge.jpg

Dad's Gibson Logo.jpg

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Welcome to the forum!

Looks to be in really nice shape & nice to know the history.

Stewmac.com has some nice repos that should fit.


Look at this site to help determine if it's a L48 (made '46-'71) or L50 ('32-'71)


There's some members here that can tell the difference.

Normally the FON can be seen through the treble f-hole

This site may help if you find the FON


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1946 or 1947 L-48. 

The most accurate reproduction tuner buttons--I assume the tuners are three-on-a-plate Klusons--are from Antique Acoustics (Germany), sold in the US by Elderly Instruments:

tuner buttons

These are easy to fit: they just glue on. They just cost about $3 each.

Pickups will be more tricky. When people electrified these back when they ere new, they used a D'Armond "monkey on a stick" surface-mount pickup. Those are still around in various forms. They do not have a particularly acoustic tone, but they are period-authentic. There are folks here who know a lot more about the right pickup to use than I do.

If you want to see what you can do in terms of roots music with a small archtop, check out David Rawlings, with Gillian Welch. This is more downbeat that you might want to do, but you get the idea what you can do with a small archtop:

David and Gillian

Welcome to the forum. I was born in January of 1947.

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