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Should I get a Gibson L-00?


JTordo
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Hi everyone,

I currently own a Gibson J-15 and a J-45

I would like to know anyone's opinion on whether to get an L-00 for a "different" sound (given that both my guitars have similar specs but different woods), or would it be waste of money?

 

thank you!

 

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You’ve come to the right place. We will always tell you to get another guitar. 
J45 hog is one of the standards and sets the bar for all other builders trying to get that sound. Some get it, some don’t and some excel at it but the Gibson is the standard mark.  I have an L 00 hog and the small body with the longer scale produces a sound and comfort that I like. 
Next on my list would be a square shouldered rosewood.  Martin set the standard there with the D28. Personally I like the 40 series.  Gibson also makes some nice Rosewoods. I have a Nick Lucas, and SJ I like plus a custom L00 on order. I love the Martin sound but prefer the look and feel of a Gibson. 
Next on the list would be a Maple J200 or J185. 
Good Luck

 

Edited by Dave F
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5 hours ago, JTordo said:

Hi everyone,

I currently own a Gibson J-15 and a J-45

I would like to know anyone's opinion on whether to get an L-00 for a "different" sound (given that both my guitars have similar specs but different woods), or would it be waste of money?

 

thank you!

 

I’m thinking about an L-00 too. But which one? Are you leaning towards an Original, Standard or Studio?

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1 minute ago, JTordo said:

tricky question. Studio is walnut, just like the J-15, which I thought was unbeatable until I got the J-45...

but Studio is affordable

By the time you spend all that money on the studio models you've could have had whatever you wanted

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7 hours ago, Dave F said:

You’ve come to the right place. We will always tell you to get another guitar. 
J45 hog is one of the standards and sets the bar for all other builders trying to get that sound. Some get it, some don’t and some excel at it but the Gibson is the standard mark.  I have an L 00 hog and the small body with the longer scale produces a sound and comfort that I like. 
Next on my list would be a square shouldered rosewood.  Martin set the standard there with the D28. Personally I like the 40 series.  Gibson also makes some nice Rosewoods. I have a Nick Lucas, and SJ I like plus a custom L00 on order. I love the Martin sound but prefer the look and feel of a Gibson. 
Next on the list would be a Maple J200 or J185. 
Good Luck

 

Dave thanks 🙂  yeah I'm leaning towards the L00 mahogany but it is expensive...can't find one here in Lisbon at the moment so would have to order. Anyway my J-15 was mail order and it sounds incredible. 

would love to tell myself I would settle for the L00 Studio, but then I know I'll regret not getting the hog...

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Different sound, yes, but also the L-00 is also about maybe a different style of playing.    I mostly fingerpick my L-00 with bare fingers, though of late I have been incorporating some hybrid picking.   Mine is hog back and sides and it resonates forever.    Guitar feels alive.   You might become addicted to the smaller body size.   It's my only guitar and has been since 2011 so its really all I know now, but when I pick up a dred or a jumbo in a music shop these days, the just feel MASSIVE.

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I recently picked up an L-00 studio, and it's just the most comfortable guitar I own.  Sounds good too.  Sound wise, the walnut b&s make this guitar live in the low mids with nice round trebles.  

Good luck in your decision.

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7 hours ago, jt said:

The answer to the question, "Should I get a Gibson L-00?" is always yes.

New L-00 prices approach the price of vintage L-00s. Get an old one.

hey jt, thanks for feedback 🙂

i've had problems before with old guitars before - they do sound amazing, but i've had luthiers trying to fix unfixable problems with fret buzzing, trust rods & such...I think i'd rather get a new one that minimizes previous usage damage 

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6 hours ago, northcntryblues said:

Different sound, yes, but also the L-00 is also about maybe a different style of playing.    I mostly fingerpick my L-00 with bare fingers, though of late I have been incorporating some hybrid picking.   Mine is hog back and sides and it resonates forever.    Guitar feels alive.   You might become addicted to the smaller body size.   It's my only guitar and has been since 2011 so its really all I know now, but when I pick up a dred or a jumbo in a music shop these days, the just feel MASSIVE.

hey northcntryblues, thanks! that's what i've been thinking as i'm mostly a fingerstyle player and never use picks. I think I might become addicted to the L-00 size too 🙂

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2 hours ago, JTordo said:

hey jt, thanks for feedback 🙂

i've had problems before with old guitars before - they do sound amazing, but i've had luthiers trying to fix unfixable problems with fret buzzing, trust rods & such...I think i'd rather get a new one that minimizes previous usage damage 

Makes sense! Keep us posted on the quest.

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23 hours ago, Dave F said:

You’ve come to the right place. We will always tell you to get another guitar. 

Like asking the fox if he likes how the chickens taste? 🤣

JMHO, but if you have to come to an internet forum to ask whether you need another guitar.... you don't. Save your money until you can come to the decision on your own.

Edited by Boyd
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7 hours ago, JTordo said:

hey jt, thanks for feedback 🙂

i've had problems before with old guitars before - they do sound amazing, but i've had luthiers trying to fix unfixable problems with fret buzzing, trust rods & such... I think i'd rather get a new one that minimizes previous usage damage

My first thought was you need to find another luthier as there is very little that is "unfixable" on a guitar.  Wanting to lay out the scratch to have it done is a whole other issue.  That said with the pre-33-34 L00s you do always have to remain mindful of string gauge.  The scary light build combined with Gibson's not feathering the braces so they tuck under the lining makes for guitars which can be a bit finicky when it comes to top stability.  But the  payoff is the sound as well as the roomier string spacing at the bridge which as a fingerpicker I do appreciate.

For me the best of both worlds would be to go with a L00 Legend.  As they have been discontinued you would need to exercise some patience to find one.  But these were copies of, if I recall, a 1937 guitar.  So while built beefier than the early guitars it is still a featherweight when compared to the current stock Bozeman takes on the model. 

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1 hour ago, Boyd said:

Like asking the fox if he likes how the chickens taste? 🤣

JMHO, but if you have to come to an internet forum to ask whether you need another guitar.... you don't. Save your money until you can come to the decision on your own.

Finally, a voice of reason.

Asking this group you will never get an answer other than to make the purchase, regardless your objectives or circumstances.

RBSinTo

 

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I have the ‘32 L00 Reissue. From what I can tell, it appears to be identical to the Legend less the VOS finish. Very light, very responsive, very comfortable, big sound. I highly recommend it if you can find one. I recently ordered a special from Gibson via Bailey Brothers. With their current expansion and moving things around, I was limited to my choices. One of the options I could chose from was an L00 Legend with the aged top. It was tempting but too close to what I already have. 

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I’ve owned a few. Had an ‘07 Legend on long term loan which was just exquisite…I was sad to give it back! I had an ‘08 Blues King and a ‘94 Blues King also, the ‘08 was the better guitar but both acquitted themselves well.

Mahogany Vs Walnut, Standard Vs Studio…I wouldn’t consider Walnut a lesser tonewood than Mahogany at all. I’ve owned a few Walnut guitars and have been very impressed with them. It’s just a different sound, not better or worse…I would try a Studio and a Standard and see which one rings your bell louder than the other. You will definitely have a preference one way or the other.

The outlier option is to seek out a Nick Lucas, my favourite iteration of the L-00 style guitars. A little more ornate but not too much. The Nicks were made in Maple and Rosewood, either of which would complement your existing stable of Walnut and Mahogany nicely and give you an extra voice in the armoury.

Personally, the Maple Nick Lucas is, for me, the ultimate Gibson small body. But Maple is my favourite tonewood, so I may be a bit biased!

Good luck on the search, enjoy it and take your time…jewels await.

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Ditto on the NL. I have a 12 fret RW model. Maple and Rosewood are my favorite tone woods. I also had a couple walnut guitars and they were monsters. A custom AJ and the Jackson Browne.  Neither were studio models. 

Edited by Dave F
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Hey everyone,

thanks for the advice. I ended up getting a Gibson L-00 Original (Ebony), which was the best sounding when I tried Standard, Studio and Original...or maybe I just loved the vintage tuners 🙂

anyway i'm sure I'll love this little guitar!

 

 

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16 hours ago, JTordo said:

Hey everyone,

thanks for the advice. I ended up getting a Gibson L-00 Original (Ebony), which was the best sounding when I tried Standard, Studio and Original...or maybe I just loved the vintage tuners 🙂

anyway i'm sure I'll love this little guitar!

 

 

Congrats on the new guitar! I’m currently in the market for a 00 guitar too. I played a current L-00 Standard this morning at a big box retail store. It sounded quite nice and the fit and finish looked right to me. The slim taper neck is a bit thin for my long fingers but still reasonably comfortable. I’m really interested in the Original model you have. I think I just like aesthetics a little more than the Standard. 
 

So far, what are your feelings on the new guitar? How many did you try before settling on the one you got?

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22 hours ago, JTordo said:

Hey everyone,

thanks for the advice. I ended up getting a Gibson L-00 Original (Ebony), which was the best sounding when I tried Standard, Studio and Original...or maybe I just loved the vintage tuners 🙂

anyway i'm sure I'll love this little guitar!

 

 

Congratulations! Please share some photos and, more importantly, videos with us when the guitar arrives.

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On 9/4/2021 at 4:37 PM, dallasblues said:

Congrats on the new guitar! I’m currently in the market for a 00 guitar too. I played a current L-00 Standard this morning at a big box retail store. It sounded quite nice and the fit and finish looked right to me. The slim taper neck is a bit thin for my long fingers but still reasonably comfortable. I’m really interested in the Original model you have. I think I just like aesthetics a little more than the Standard. 
 

So far, what are your feelings on the new guitar? How many did you try before settling on the one you got?

hey dallasblues,

actually it was the first Original one I tried. I found the sound very similar to the L-00 Standard (the Studio is completely different, much 'woodier' and closer to J-15), but for some reason the headstock, tuners and bone nut and saddle give it a vintage vibe I was looking for. ..

overall I think these guitars are extremely well made and I don't think you'd have a problem even ordering one. I mail-ordered my J-45 three years ago and it is a beautiful guitar.

as usual Gibsons do need a bit of a setup, but the right luthier will do it. as for the sound and woods, top notch for the money...

 

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