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billroy

small body choice?

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my wife's birthday is coming up, and I was thinking of getting her a job.  My thought process being if I get her a good one, it should come with enough of a signing bonus to get me a guitar.  Not really, but I just feel I'm going to happen upon $3500. 

I've got 2 dreads in my stable, J45 for standard tuning, and Guild D25 for open tunings.  A 'bird is enticing, and all this talk on maple AJs has me interested - but I was thinking of going out of my comfort zone and looking at small body.  Anyone have any recommendations on models / years to look at...  I'd like a 1.75 neck, I think x braced - not sure, older is good, but within $3500 range, and want it to stand up to being a daily player?  Also, If I could get something for less, the rest could go towards a 12 string.

Thanks to all for any input,  I'm off to reverb...  

 

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If you don't want to go all the way down to something as small as the L-00, you  might look at a step between, such as a Martin 000-28 EC.  Smaller than a dread, bigger than a breadbox.

The EC models are short scale (24.9") and have a 1.75" nut width. You can pick up a nice one used for around $2500 or so. Rosewood B&S, ebony board and bridge. Nice versatile guitar.  Pretty strongly built in the Martin fashion, and has typical  Martin tone, if you're ok with that.

Of course, maybe your wife might like something other than a guitar for her birthday.

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I have an Epiphone EL-00 Pro Vintage Sunburst that I am totally happy with as a small bodied guitar, although I also wouldn’t mind one of the new natural Gibson L-00s with a walnut back that are supposed to come out in November.

The Epiphone EL-00 Pro sells for only about $350.  I put a better tusq saddle in mine and use either 12.5s or 13s on it.  It’s an X braced guitar with a solid spruce top and laminated sides/back.   It is acoustic-electric, but I do not use its built in pickup because I like the sound of the Fishman Rate Earth  Humbucker soundhole pickups that I interchange with all of flat top guitars when I am mic’ing them.  I’m not sure I ever even tried the EL-00’s built in pickup, so I can’t comment on it.  The EL-00 Pro’s neck is very 60s Gibson feel-like and its sunburst is right on, although it’s finish is polyurethane rather than nitrocellulose like Gibsons have.   My EL-00 Pro is in the top 4 of the guitars I like playing the best.  The other 3 are Gibsons.  So that gives you a sense.  The thing is small bodied guitars have a small bodied sound and feel, so the spectrum is a bit different for small bodied guitars than jumbos.

If it’s your first foray into small bodied guitars, you might want to try out the Epiphone EL-00 Pro as an inexpensive small bodied guitar purchase.

Just something to consider.

QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

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My current watch:

 

A tad over budget but a very, very needful Gibson L-0:

http://www.folkwaymusic.com/vintage-instruments/gibson-guitars/1932-gibson-l0-0719/

Also over budget but a 44 LG2 banner!:

http://www.folkwaymusic.com/vintage-instruments/gibson-guitars/1944-gibson-lg2-0819/

Under your budget!!!

https://reverb.com/item/20424515-1937-gibson-l-00-black

If you want the old time sound in a newer and less work needed - Waterloo X braced USED way under budget, probably get two!

https://reverb.com/item/26716302-waterloo-wl-14-x-tr-sunburst-small-neck-1-3-4-2018

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

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Big bucks? Waterloo.

For much less, check out the Faridas at Elderly. I bought an OT-22 (their take on an LG-2) this summer and it is an amazing guitar. Sounds great and the build quality is excellent. They've since come out with a single-0 size series of guitars.

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I've always liked small-bodied guitars, including the Gibson LG-2 & B-25 (as well as the B-25's Epi Cortez clone).

But last year, I picked up a 2007 Gibson CJ-165ce, and it's become a new favorite.  As an added bonus, in '07 & '08, this cutaway model came with a Fishman Aura soundhole pickup, which I greatly prefer to electronics mounted in the side.

The current Gibson Parlor models have the same body dimensions as the 165, but some of the specs are different, including the fretboard radius (16" as opposed to 12").

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Thanks all - it is within the Gibson family I'm looking to stay, so probably something LG-ish.  Will check out the '165 - interesting.  BK - I think that tuxedo L0 is calling out your name, I don't have the cache to rock a black guitar :).  QMJJ - Epiphone seems like a smart way to go...  need to check them out as well, a lot less money and I've only heard good things.  I'm not thinking I'll go brand new, if so - the waterloo would have to be in the conversation - but thinking I might want something with a couple years on it.  Fun to look-thank you again for the input.

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Plenty of Gibson small body guitars in your price range  

LG2 Banner RI,  L1 F-hole, L00 RI, NL, LC, CJ165

CxgWwq9.jpg

 

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The best small body Gibsons I have ever played are the 1930-1932  12 fret Advanced L Body guitars and maple body Banner LG-2s.   To come in at or your  under your price point though you would have to go with a guitar that has gone through some modifications.  You might see if you could hunt down an L-00 Legend or a  CF-100 reissue. 

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Does anyone know anything about the Gibson LG2 American Eagles?  Is there anything specific about them...  besides being a natural top LG2?

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4 hours ago, Dave F said:

Plenty of Gibson small body guitars in your price range  

LG2 Banner RI,  L1 F-hole, L00 RI, NL, LC, CJ165

CxgWwq9.jpg

 

Very nice Dave,  I like em all!  On the LG2 Banner 'RI'?  Is RI re-issue?  And having said that, I thought LG2s were burst and LG3s were natural...  but then I just saw some LG2 American Eagles natural.  And what is the 'NL'?  

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3 hours ago, zombywoof said:

You might see if you could hunt down an L-00 Legend or a  CF-100 reissue. 

2 very good options

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1 hour ago, billroy said:

Does anyone know anything about the Gibson LG2 American Eagles?  Is there anything specific about them...  besides being a natural top LG2?

I've owned one since 2013, and it's just a fabulous do-it-all guitar. For strumming, vocal accompaniment, fingerstyle, blues, whatever -- it's probably the most versatile small-body guitar I've ever played.   The neck is not chunky (I kinda wish it was), and the body size is supremely comfortable.  Honestly, if the day ever comes where I only keep one guitar, the Eagle will be the one.

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Yes, a natural finish LG-2 is a misnomer.  Historically, that’s an LG-3.

I own a LG2-AE from the initial year of 2013.  Super comfy neck (for me) & excellent build quality.  Bass is not to be confused with the thump of a J-45, but there’s enough to satisfy & overall it’s a fun fingerpicking alternative.

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29 minutes ago, kwalker201 said:

I'm with Nick on this one. If I was to want another one I would get a Martin 000-28

I really like the 000-28 EC SB I have. One of my favorites. A few years ago I had a custom built and did the 0000 (or M) body. That's very comfortable too.

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5 hours ago, billroy said:

Very nice Dave,  I like em all!  On the LG2 Banner 'RI'?  Is RI re-issue?  And having said that, I thought LG2s were burst and LG3s were natural...  but then I just saw some LG2 American Eagles natural.  And what is the 'NL'?  

It's a reissue of a banner x-braced all mahogany LG1. From what I've read and learned from John Thomas and Willi, in 1942 Gibson built a lot of about 100 each of LG1, LG2 and LG3's. All x-braced with different tone woods and finishes. They did not all ship that year but were spread out over the next few years. Some call them 1942 models because of their build year and others  date them to their ship date as they show in the  ledgers. After 1942 they only built the LG2 until after the war then the LG1 and LG3 was reintroduced but the LG1's were now entry level ladder braced guitars.  John Thomas loaned his LG1 to Gibson so they could make the reissue.

NL is Nick Lucas

 

 

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I really enjoyed the little LG2 American Eagle I owned. Great small bodied guitar. I have a '94 Centenary L-00 Blues King which is very good but I haven't played it long enough to really bond with it, as I bought my Martin D18GE at the same time in a big trade deal and haven't been able to put the Martin down for long enough!

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Elderly Instruments have a couple of interesting items...

 

They have the full mama 1937 Gibson L-00 $1750 that you could buy and fix later....everyone here will help.

https://www.elderly.com/collections/category_acoustic-guitars-used/products/gibson-l00

Of interest also is a 2014 exc con Gibson Nick Lucas Reissue $2350:

https://www.elderly.com/collections/category_acoustic-guitars-used/products/gibson-nick-lucas

 

So the first one is a way of dipping our toe in the 1937 jam without too much initial outlay. I did this and got all the work needed and got a beauty out of the trouble.

The  NL reissue is the same shape but that is about all - all maple back and sides, full gloss, K&K installed, ready to rock.. haven't heard of Nick Lucas - here you go, Mammmieeeeee - Nick with his black Gibson Nick Lucas, which you would be fighting me for if it was the reissue for sale above...:

 

 

Hooked on NL yet? Here is some more guitar playing  and singing:

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777

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8 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

They have the full mama 1937 Gibson L-00 $1750 that you could buy and fix later....everyone here will help.

https://www.elderly.com/collections/category_acoustic-guitars-used/products/gibson-l00

BluesKing777.

Very interesting BK.  I believe the L-00s were ladder braced, I've never consciously played or heard one, so think I have a little homework do before jumping in with both feet.  I do like this direction though...  I have no problems getting something needing work, put it on the slow drip and end up with a good player down the road.

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30 minutes ago, billroy said:

Very interesting BK.  I believe the L-00s were ladder braced, I've never consciously played or heard one, so think I have a little homework do before jumping in with both feet.  I do like this direction though...  I have no problems getting something needing work, put it on the slow drip and end up with a good player down the road.

 

While there will be naysayers, I have to say Elderly stand by their mini condition reports so you could buy knowing what exactly is needed. An Ebay buy could be cheaper but, you know... But the one in the link above needs ‘wear’ work and looks quite nice while others look beyond your means! Back when we allowed to import stuff from the USA and our exchange rate was better before politics got in the way, I bought 7 or 8 used guitars and a couple of new resos from Elderly. My 1944 Martin 0-17 had so many problems after they did a final inspection, that they didn’t want to send it. I OK’d it and got my luthier to look at it. So Elderly had done a neck set on a neck so bent that they had to put a large wedge under the body end of the neck, and all is great to play now but it must have been a 2” action before!

Scared you off?  Don’t be. My old L-0 is just fab, even if I parked it n the wall and just took photos. But it is such a learning experience. In that respect, the Nick Lucas at Elderly is a nice but safe buy, but what then? Just play it?  No frayed nerves? Too easy!

 

BluesKing777.

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7 hours ago, billroy said:

Very interesting BK.  I believe the L-00s were ladder braced, I've never consciously played or heard one, so think I have a little homework do before jumping in with both feet.  I do like this direction though...  I have no problems getting something needing work, put it on the slow drip and end up with a good player down the road.

 

L-00 is x-braced.

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5 hours ago, j45nick said:

 

L-00 is x-braced.

 

Nick's back!

Which reminds me, there is a used Gibson L-00 LEGEND for sale close to BR's budget.

The seller just keep s crying all the time - "This is the kind of guitar that makes you cry when you buy it and again if you ever have to sell it." Make of that what you will. It has a Fishman REB pickup installed, you may or not like it but it removes the decision to operate on a mint guitar - it has already been done. Soon swap in a K&K or such....................

https://reverb.com/item/13888918-gibson-1937-l-00-legend-model-sunburst-w-fishman-rare-earth-pickup

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

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21 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

Nick's back!

Which reminds me, there is a used Gibson L-00 LEGEND for sale close to BR's budget.

The seller just keep s crying all the time - "This is the kind of guitar that makes you cry when you buy it and again if you ever have to sell it." Make of that what you will. It has a Fishman REB pickup installed, you may or not like it but it removes the decision to operate on a mint guitar - it has already been done. Soon swap in a K&K or such....................

https://reverb.com/item/13888918-gibson-1937-l-00-legend-model-sunburst-w-fishman-rare-earth-pickup

 

BluesKing777.

 

I had seen that one.  It sure is sweet, but makes me ask myself if I want super sweet new, or vintage (might take me awhile to get to the finish line but meant to be a player).  My J45 is super sweet new.  Maybe I need need to sample vintage...  (really I want em all! 🙂

 

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5 hours ago, billroy said:

 

I had seen that one.  It sure is sweet, but makes me ask myself if I want super sweet new, or vintage (might take me awhile to get to the finish line but meant to be a player).  My J45 is super sweet new.  Maybe I need need to sample vintage...  (really I want em all! 🙂

 

 

 

OK, Billroy...

Their summation of ‘things needed to repair’ lists among other things on the 37 L-00:

  • Softshell case
  • FC except could use work (neck reset, refret, some loose braces, restring and setup, etc. - sold AS-IS)

Now then, the killer smack to the nose.......

Step One: Soft case, forget it - you are way under budget so buy the guitar with a new Hiscox Pro II, I think the Classical Medium is the right size, need to check that. I hope your wife will be pleased with the gift!

Step Two: Get the braces fixed/reglued by a decent Gibson repairer, maybe get it checked over.

Step Three: Add some strings with a way fatter first string.

Step Four: Tune to open G or open D and you may just have THE bottleneck slide guitar. Play it hard for a year and dcide if you want to get that neck set after all. Maybe it will be too good for slide and you go buy the sweet new thing that caches your eye!

 

 

 

OR: forget all that mucking about and get a WaterlooWL-14 X braced or ladder braced or BOTH. Authentic on authentic 30s.

Here is a little ditty in C capoed up I was doing for another freak. Before I did it and pressed record, I was thinking about taking my pay packet to the shop and blowing it on something bluesy sounding but then I went to the rack and selected the X braced WL-14. So cool! Old but IN TUNE easy.

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777

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