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LG-2 shootout? Gibson LG-2 American Eagle, vs. Americana vs. LG-2 50's.....What's the difference?


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Looking at the Gibson LG-2 models for the last 15 years - I know of 3:  American Eagle, Americana and the current 50's.  There's a pretty wide price range on these - I cannot find a good discussion of their differences and similarities.  Can someone point me to an article or video that compares just the LG-2's????

Anyone out there try these different LG-2's side by side?  Any impressions?  I can get an AE much cheaper that the other two, but are they built different?

 

Thanks.

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More than likely  the same guitar, except, the neck might be different and/or the pick guard shape.  (Teardrop or batwing).  Maybe the headstock lettering could differ.  Although I have no idea if any of the three mentioned versions have any of the differences are based on historic models that differed.

QM aka “Jazznan” Jeff

 

Edited by QuestionMark
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Back in the heyday. It was a LG2.  From the  early to mid 40s they were special.   From about 1947 into the 50s they were pretty much the same.   And very much a Nice guitar.   And none of those had a name behind the model.    
 The LG2 was a burst in the beginning   For some reason it was done in Natural
 

When these guitars started being made again. They as in Gibson took every approach to market these like all there models over and over.    

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17 hours ago, slimt said:

Back in the heyday. It was a LG2.  From the  early to mid 40s they were special.   From about 1947 into the 50s they were pretty much the same.   And very much a Nice guitar.   And none of those had a name behind the model.    
 

When these guitars started being made again. They as in Gibson took every approach to market these like all there models over and over.    

Sort of like they have done with the endless variations of the J-45.

That list, begun by the late One Wily Fool as I recall, was somewhere around 50 different named variations on the model.  And to think that my two 1950 J-45s were just called..... a J-45.

Edited by j45nick
correction
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If you widen the net to go back to c.2000, you get a couple more LG-2 variants, and I'll get to them as I go along ...

Between my schedule and my location I haven't been able to go out and try any of them, but I have read everything I can find online about them and have pored over many, many YouTube videos, Soundcloud recordings, etc.  The Americana and the new 1942 Banner both feature Adirondack red spruce - and I am a heretic and still wonder if Gibson really used Adirondack red back then, or if they used the readily available Michigan white spruce that was right at their doorstep.  I'm still waiting for someone who really, really knows for sure what they used to answer that one.  The 1942 Banner goes the further step of thermal aging of the top.  

Second heretical observation - the OVERWHELMING majority of the Gibsons we have grown up listening to that have shaped our ears were built with Sitka.  To my ears, Sitka is a less cutting topwood, a little warmer, and in the very projecting grand concert LG body that can be an advantage.  And Sitka came in when, exactly - was it already in use during the war years?

The LG-2 American Eagle always bothered me in terms of historical accuracy - it has a straight-sided headstock shape, there's just a wee bit too much space between the end of the fingerboard and the soundhole, it has the top-belly bridge that NEVER appeared on any vintage LG-2, etc., etc.  And it's natural finish, so it oughta be an LG-3, right?  No matter.  They sound really nice to my ear, the expected Gibson sound but with the emphasis a little higher in the midrange than the J-45 and its brethren.   I really want a 2013-15, as every one of those I have seen has had STUNNING spruce for the tops and I just prefer the simpler look with Klusons, but honestly, I think the later ones with the mini-Grovers, the pickguard and the extra soundhole rosette ring sound just as good as the 2013-2015 variety.

From the little I have been able to find online, the current 50s version is essentially an LG-2 American Eagle with all the cosmetic issues brought into line - the correct headstock shape and logo, Klusons, choice of burst or natural (though they really ought to call the natural an LG-3, but Gibson never listens to me!), and I would suspect it is an awesome guitar.

There were also some limited runs done for sale in Japan, some of which were marked LG-1, and it seems to me there were some made as specials for Guitar Center.  For that matter, I firmly remember they offered a 60s B-25 variant as a Guitar Center exclusive, and who knows which other retailers got something similar?  Fuller's, maybe?

I do know this - if I ever buy a second Gibson acoustic to go with my J-45, it will be an LG-2.  The only guitar I still miss from the hundreds that passed through my hands was a 1960 LG-2 with a batwing 'guard and the later tapered, non-scalloped, wider and lower braces.  There is just something about that size that makes it an ideal songwriting instrument.

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9 hours ago, rustystrings said:

If you widen the net to go back to c.2000, you get a couple more LG-2 variants, and I'll get to them as I go along ...

Between my schedule and my location I haven't been able to go out and try any of them, but I have read everything I can find online about them and have pored over many, many YouTube videos, Soundcloud recordings, etc.  The Americana and the new 1942 Banner both feature Adirondack red spruce - and I am a heretic and still wonder if Gibson really used Adirondack red back then, or if they used the readily available Michigan white spruce that was right at their doorstep.  I'm still waiting for someone who really, really knows for sure what they used to answer that one.  The 1942 Banner goes the further step of thermal aging of the top.  

Second heretical observation - the OVERWHELMING majority of the Gibsons we have grown up listening to that have shaped our ears were built with Sitka.  To my ears, Sitka is a less cutting topwood, a little warmer, and in the very projecting grand concert LG body that can be an advantage.  And Sitka came in when, exactly - was it already in use during the war years?

The LG-2 American Eagle always bothered me in terms of historical accuracy - it has a straight-sided headstock shape, there's just a wee bit too much space between the end of the fingerboard and the soundhole, it has the top-belly bridge that NEVER appeared on any vintage LG-2, etc., etc.  And it's natural finish, so it oughta be an LG-3, right?  No matter.  They sound really nice to my ear, the expected Gibson sound but with the emphasis a little higher in the midrange than the J-45 and its brethren.   I really want a 2013-15, as every one of those I have seen has had STUNNING spruce for the tops and I just prefer the simpler look with Klusons, but honestly, I think the later ones with the mini-Grovers, the pickguard and the extra soundhole rosette ring sound just as good as the 2013-2015 variety.

From the little I have been able to find online, the current 50s version is essentially an LG-2 American Eagle with all the cosmetic issues brought into line - the correct headstock shape and logo, Klusons, choice of burst or natural (though they really ought to call the natural an LG-3, but Gibson never listens to me!), and I would suspect it is an awesome guitar.

There were also some limited runs done for sale in Japan, some of which were marked LG-1, and it seems to me there were some made as specials for Guitar Center.  For that matter, I firmly remember they offered a 60s B-25 variant as a Guitar Center exclusive, and who knows which other retailers got something similar?  Fuller's, maybe?

I do know this - if I ever buy a second Gibson acoustic to go with my J-45, it will be an LG-2.  The only guitar I still miss from the hundreds that passed through my hands was a 1960 LG-2 with a batwing 'guard and the later tapered, non-scalloped, wider and lower braces.  There is just something about that size that makes it an ideal songwriting instrument.

Really good informational post!

 

QM aka "Jazzman" Jeff

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I’ve owned both. I’ve actually owned perhaps 3 LG-2 American Eagles, and one recent 50s LG-2 Reissue model. The neck in the 50s is chunkier, and the tuners and aesthetics are right from the get go. It does cost more though...

the best sounding LG-2 I had was an American Eagle though. One of my kids owns it now. But to be sure they all sound pretty close and good. Both guitars strum pretty nice for small guitars. I actually think the best variant of recent LG-2s is one Dave owned... an all mahogany version.

here is a video recording of the recent 50s version...and a recording of the LG-2 American Eagle.

 

 

 

Edited by Salfromchatham
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The only LG’s I’ve had are the All Mahogany RI, a ‘51 LG1 and a ‘42LG1. I’d like to get my hands on a LG2 to try out. There’s an AE locally on CL that looks to be in good shape for $1300 I’m thinking about checking out. 

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I had an AE for a while, really lovely little guitar. I bought it used from a guy who told me “I really wanted to like this guitar, but I actively dislike everything about it, I don’t know why anyone would want anything other than a Martin, Gibsons are soooo overrated” etc etc.

Quite a sales pitch! It made me both chip him in price outrageously, and fall in love with the guitar before I even played it. What a tool. 
 

I really did enjoy the guitar. Lovely compact thing for couch noodling and writing, recorded well and was a nice lightweight guitar to sling onstage. In a moment of GAS I traded it away for a J180, which I subsequently traded for my Dove, which is possibly my favourite of all the guitars I’ve ever owned, so all’s well that ends well, but I’d love another LG2 one day.

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