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I’m buying a L-00, need some advice and input please


BWS
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Hi Everybody. I have always wanted to own a Gibson acoustic and I’m going to buy one this week. I am hoping for a little expertise, and advice from you all. 

I live in the middle of nowhere, so there is really nowhere to try out guitars. There is a guitar center 2 hours away, and today I drove down to sample what they had. I’ll end up having to order online. 

I have  mainly been an electric guitar player, and I have a Fender Ultra Telecaster, I love the way the neck feels on that. 

I am leaning toward buying a Gibson L-00 Standard. I don’t really like huge acoustics, so I think/hope this will be perfect.  Hopefully not too small though. Apparently, the L-00 standard has a “SlimTaper” neck. Does anyone know what that means exactly and how it plays? Is that different than a “SlimTaper D”?  Also, is the action good on the L-00? 

The only Gibson they had at Guitar Center today was a G-45, it has the “advanced response” neck, and I wasn’t very impressed. That neck felt way too chunky and thick for me personally. I’m hoping the SlimTaper neck on the L-00 will be very different. 
 

Thanks for any advice of input.


 

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You'd want to think about nut width as well as neck size, and if I'm not mistaken the 60's J-45 or J-50 has the narrowest nut with at 1,68 as opposed to the L-00 (and most other Gibsons) at 1.72.  Those are bigger bodied guitars, but if your main concern is neck feel it might just be something to consider.

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2 hours ago, BWS said:

Hi Everybody. I have always wanted to own a Gibson acoustic and I’m going to buy one this week. I am hoping for a little expertise, and advice from you all. 

I live in the middle of nowhere, so there is really nowhere to try out guitars. There is a guitar center 2 hours away, and today I drove down to sample what they had. I’ll end up having to order online. 

 


 

What did you try at the GC?

You probably should do it again, and again, and try a whole range of acoustics to get the feel of the necks.

And then I would buy a used 2005-7 Gibson L-00.... I know they usually had the slimmer necks. I have one....

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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Slim taper is my favorite neck on an acoustic guitar.   (I was not impressed with the advance response neck vs the slim taper neck.)

My suggestion is to try or purchase an inexpensive Epiphone EL-00 Pro guitar.  It may be known as the Epiphone EL-00 Studio or Epiphone inspired by the Gibson L-00 Studio.  They’re all the same Epiphone instrument with a different name.  They all have a slim taper neck and are inexpensive.   (Note.  The Epiphone EL-00 from about ten years ago without the Pro or Studio or Inspired designation has a slightly narrower neck that the mentioned, not the slim taper neck).  For $400 or so, you’ll have a solid top L-00 with a slim taper neck to enjoy and test the waters if you want to go all out for the much higher priced Gibson L-00 with a slim taper neck.

In my case, I have a sunburst solid spruce top 2012 Epiphone EL-00 Pro and a 2017 mahogany topped Epiphone EL-00 Pro and rather than take the leap to a Gibson L-00 (because I see no need to), I instead added a natural satin finish solid spruce top Martin 00L X2E to my 00/L collection with a similar neck as the slim taper neck.  But, keep in mind I also have numerous Gibson Jumbos and an LG1 in my collection.   (Note:  in the inexpensive Martin 00 X2E line, the L after the 00 means it’s a rounded shoulder guitar while the 00 without the L indicates it’s a square shoulder guitar.  Martins are generally square shouldered , so the L designates it’s not a square shoulder guitar.)

Hope this helps.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

 

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I just got an L00 12 fret with the slim taper neck. The nut width is 1.75 but I've seen them listed as 1.700-1.733. 

Neck thickness at the 1st fret is .800 and at the 10th fret .880. I think the specs are .765-.800 at the 1st and the thickness increasing about .100" as you get down around the 10th-12th fret so neck will vary from one to another. Wildwood Guitars is an excellent source for specs https://wildwoodguitars.com/product/23361008/l-00-original-9/?cat_id=372

Screenshot 2022-03-02 8.39.09 PM

8529baee6bba4b1e037573f7923a5bd6.jpg 

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That's a great suggestion QuestionMark.  I've got an Epiphone EL-00 and it's a fantastic guitar.  Obviously not the big tone of a Gibson as it's got laminated sides and back but a really playing fun guitar.  And you're right, at about $400 (or less if you don't mind a scratch or something) a great starter acoustic.  Another option for a lower priced but really nice guitar are the all solid Recording Kings.  I got one of their parlor guitars not too long ago (just over $400 when I called Musician's Friend to see if they had a coupon) and it's an absolutely amazing sounding small guitar, and all solid wood.  I actually find the neck a little small for my taste, but really enjoy playing it when the J-45 is in the case.

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37 minutes ago, Dave F said:

I just got an L00 12 fret with the slim taper neck. The nut width is 1.75 but I've seen them listed as 1.700-1.733. 

Neck thickness at the 1st fret is .800 and at the 10th fret .880. I think the specs are .765-.800 at the 1st and the thickness increasing about .100" as you get down around the 10th-12th fret so neck will vary from one to another. Wildwood Guitars is an excellent source for specs https://wildwoodguitars.com/product/23361008/l-00-original-9/?cat_id=372

Screenshot 2022-03-02 8.39.09 PM

8529baee6bba4b1e037573f7923a5bd6.jpg 

Hey Dave, thanks. How do you like it so far, as far as the SlimTaper neck, and action? I didn’t know that there was a 12 fret L-00. 

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7 minutes ago, BWS said:

Hey Dave, thanks. How do you like it so far, as far as the SlimTaper neck, and action? I didn’t know that there was a 12 fret L-00. 

So far I like it. I've been having hand issues and was wanting a smaller neck. This one was a special order but they did do a run of them in 2018 but those has the V neck.

http://legacy.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/2018/L-00-12-Fret-Rosewood.aspx

LSL012N8_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg
Here's mine on the right

Custom L00

 

 

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My take on it that Bozeman's interpretation of a slim taper neck will have their standard nut width and clock in at between roughly .820" and .840" at the first fret and .900" and .920" at the 9th fret.  So based on my frame of reference pretty skimpy.

While it is only anecdotal evidence, the Gibson acoustics built between 1960 and 1963 I have owned had neck carves which were more like the oval C shape that is pictured in the chart provided.  Just for info purposes, here is what I think is a better diagram of showing the difference between a 1950s round shoulder C and 1960s slim taper Gibson electric guitar neck.   Note that while the depth is only slightly shallower, the cave is very different.   Again though, this is based on necks on Gibson electric guitars.

50_60_gibson_neck_profile.jpg

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11 hours ago, zombywoof said:

My take on it that Bozeman's interpretation of a slim taper neck will have their standard nut width and clock in at between roughly .820" and .840" at the first fret and .900" and .920" at the 9th fret.  So based on my frame of reference pretty skimpy.

While it is only anecdotal evidence, the Gibson acoustics built between 1960 and 1963 I have owned had neck carves which were more like the oval C shape that is pictured in the chart provided.  Just for info purposes, here is what I think is a better diagram of showing the difference between a 1950s round shoulder C and 1960s slim taper Gibson electric guitar neck.   Note that while the depth is only slightly shallower, the cave is very different.   Again though, this is based on necks on Gibson electric guitars.

50_60_gibson_neck_profile.jpg

 

Will the 50s or 60s neck profiles have any thing to do with the Modern Gibson acoustic slim Jim?

The modern ones are still Ren's own invention, are they not?

I like the 50s styles I have played....

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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On 3/2/2022 at 6:58 PM, QuestionMark said:

 

My suggestion is to try or purchase an inexpensive Epiphone EL-00 Pro guitar.  It may be known as the Epiphone EL-00 Studio or Epiphone inspired by the Gibson L-00 Studio.  They’re all the same Epiphone instrument with a different name. 

 

 

 

 

 

Brilliant idea, even in Hooterville you should be able to find an Epiphone to try out for the price of a day trip.

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8 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

Will the 50s or 60s neck profiles have any thing to do with the Modern Gibson acoustic slim Jim?

The modern ones are still Ren's own invention, are they not?

I like the 50s styles I have played....

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

That is what I meant by Bozeman's "interpretation" of this or that type of neck whether it be the slim taper, round shoulder V, mid-century modern C or whatever.  They are in the business of selling guitars and have their own ideas as to what feels and sounds best.

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18 minutes ago, Murph said:

 

Brilliant idea, even in Hooterville you should be able to find an Epiphone to try out for the price of a day trip.

I have never laid my hands on an EL-00 Pro of whatever they call the more recent versions.  I have had a chance to play the older plain old EL-00 and thought they were Gawd Awful when it came to both sound and feel.

My favorite Epi take on the L-00 remains the Bluesmaster.  This was a limited run in the mid-1990s.  Neat herringbone binding and such.  Admittedly though, one of the things which I found most attractive about this guitar is something which sounds like it would be a major turn off for the OP.   It was built with a 1 7/8" nut.   While I have never been a Keb Mo fan, this is the model he played before being enticed into the Gibson fold. 

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10 hours ago, zombywoof said:

I have never laid my hands on an EL-00 Pro of whatever they call the more recent versions.  I have had a chance to play the older plain old EL-00 and thought they were Gawd Awful when it came to both sound and feel.

My favorite Epi take on the L-00 remains the Bluesmaster.  This was a limited run in the mid-1990s.  Neat herringbone binding and such.  Admittedly though, one of the things which I found most attractive about this guitar is something which sounds like it would be a major turn off for the OP.   It was built with a 1 7/8" nut.   While I have never been a Keb Mo fan, this is the model he played before being enticed into the Gibson fold. 

 

I had an Epiphone EL-00 before I bought my 2007 Gibson Blues King L-00....ha, forgot I had that one! Long gone, but it was cheap and  the lam sides and the skinny neck with 1 5/8” nut didn’t offer much for my fingerpicking style! I gave it to friend’s kid, a small kid and that is what they are.....a small person guitar, not a lug like me.

In my music room currently are 3 Gibson acoustics from the 2000s with Ren at the helm.....2007 Blues King, 2005 Dove and 2002 J50. .......not one of the necks is in any way similar. I can only put this down to Dove made on Tuesday morning, J50 Wednesday afternoon and Blues King 5pm Friday afternoon! To me, the J50 neck is best, a fairly chunky 50s style perhaps but with wider nut, a great fingerpicker really. Dove neck  is flatter, thinner, more a strummer but I persist because of the tone. Blues King neck also is its own thing Ren came up with...slim but before the slim taper was invented. 1.725 nut....all in all no relation to my 1937 Gibson L-0 in any way except the general idea of it!😬

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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13 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

I had an Epiphone EL-00 before I bought my 2007 Gibson Blues King L-00....ha, forgot I had that one! Long gone, but it was cheap and  the lam sides and the skinny neck with 1 5/8” nut didn’t offer much for my fingerpicking style! I gave it to friend’s kid, a small kid and that is what they are.....a small person guitar, not a lug like me.

In my music room currently are 3 Gibson acoustics from the 2000s with Ren at the helm.....2007 Blues King, 2005 Dove and 2002 J50. .......not one of the necks is in any way similar. I can only put this down to Dove made on Tuesday morning, J50 Wednesday afternoon and Blues King 5pm Friday afternoon! To me, the J50 neck is best, a fairly chunky 50s style perhaps but with wider nut, a great fingerpicker really. Dove neck  is flatter, thinner, more a strummer but I persist because of the tone. Blues King neck also is its own thing Ren came up with...slim but before the slim taper was invented. 1.725 nut....all in all no relation to my 1937 Gibson L-0 in any way except the general idea of it!😬

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

I do not have a clue when the various descriptive names attached to necks popped up.  Seems to be a fairly modern development though.  Then again, I have never been able to figure out when the official name Southerner Jumbo was shortened to Southern Jumbo.  

With Bozeman-made necks the carve of the neck with any given model, particularly the thickness, varies.  I always assumed this was due to the hand finishing.  But it varies enough to be a factor in which guitar I would choose.

I have four Gibsons in the house.  My favorite neck is that on my 1920 L3.  It has a round shoulder V carve with a 1 7/8" nut and a thickness at the 1st fret of just over 1.0".  What I do think hurts post-1930s Gibsons as fingerpickers though is the somewhat skimpier string spacing at the bridge.  It is not that I cannot play them but the older I get the longer it seems to take for muscle memory to kick in when moving between something like my 1932 L1 and 1942 J50.  In terms of specs my 2013 Fairbanks Roy Smeck occupies a nice niche having a 1 3/4" nut, neck depth of .93" at the 1st and 1.25" at the 10th, and a string spacing at the bridge of 2 3/8".  The bracing is a heavier version of that in my '32 L1.  I do seem to have a thing for non-scalloped tone bars.

Edited by zombywoof
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The Waterloo WL-K is a strange recommendation for someone that wants a skinny ‘electric type’ neck.......I have not played a WL-K but I have 2 Waterloo WL-14s, X and ladder......and they are exactly the large V neck and 2 3/8” bridge space I love for fingerpickng!

 

BluesKing777.

 

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31 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

The Waterloo WL-K is a strange recommendation for someone that wants a skinny ‘electric type’ neck.......I have not played a WL-K but I have 2 Waterloo WL-14s, X and ladder......and they are exactly the large V neck and 2 3/8” bridge space I love for fingerpickng!

 

BluesKing777.

 

They make two ne k profiles. One is pretty standard, the other a super chunky V.  Both have 1 3/4” nut widths. 

Edited by sbpark
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1 hour ago, sbpark said:

They make two ne k profiles. One is pretty standard, the other a super chunky V.  Both have 1 3/4” nut widths. 

 

Is that the Waterloo model they recommend only using light 11s?

Wouldn’t last long with my medium 13s! I prefer fat string tuned down, but would be willing to give the K a chance, my Waterloos are superb and get better daily!

 

BluesKing777.

 

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2 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

Is that the Waterloo model they recommend only using light 11s?

Wouldn’t last long with my medium 13s! I prefer fat string tuned down, but would be willing to give the K a chance, my Waterloos are superb and get better daily!

 

Yeah. My mistake. The WL-K. (Which I have owned 2 of us the one that only uses 11s. 
 

I originally meant the WL-14XTR. That’s the one they make in two neck profiles. The WL-K is more of a medium neck profile. 

Edited by sbpark
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On 3/4/2022 at 4:12 PM, BluesKing777 said:

 

I had an Epiphone EL-00 before I bought my 2007 Gibson Blues King L-00....ha, forgot I had that one! Long gone, but it was cheap and  the lam sides and the skinny neck with 1 5/8” nut didn’t offer much for my fingerpicking style! I gave it to friend’s kid, a small kid and that is what they are.....a small person guitar, not a lug like me.

 

 

 

The EL-00 had a thinner neck and smaller nut spacing than the Epiphone EL-00 Pro or Epiphone Studio version has.  Also, if it was one of the original EL-00s it had a different body shape in its first year or two than the EL-00s or EL-00 Pros or Studios that came afterward.

Plus, the suggestion was that the poster first purchase and play for awhile a less expensive EL-00  Pro or identical EL-00 Studio if he likes the slim taper neck shape before deciding to spend big bucks on a Gibson L-00 with a slim taper neck if he’s hesitant or unsure at this point.


QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

Edited by QuestionMark
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1 hour ago, QuestionMark said:

The EL-00 had a thinner neck and smaller nut spacing than the Epiphone EL-00 Pro or Epiphone Studio version has.  Also, if it was one of the original EL-00s it had a different body shape in its first year or two than the EL-00s or EL-00 Pros or Studios that came afterward.

Plus, the suggestion was that the poster first purchase and play for awhile a less expensive EL-00  Pro or identical EL-00 Studio if he likes the slim taper neck shape before deciding to spend big bucks on a Gibson L-00 with a slim taper neck if he’s hesitant or unsure at this point.


QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

Aha...

What size nut does the EL-00 Pro run?

I really don’t know who thought my EL-00 with 1 5/8” nut was a good idea, but they made lots of them.

It is coming back to me through the veil of time that after I gave it to friend’s kid, it not long after went to a pawnshop! I was a little miffed - I could have taken it to the pawn shop, but I thought I was spreading goodwill. Most stuff I have given to anyone over the years has ended at a pawnshop.  I  also offered some gear to a music school, but they didn’t want it either - they had deals going with a famous shop...... I give up on fellow man, I will just sell stuff.

 

BluesKing777.

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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