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Gibson Banner question..


slimt

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I haven't been able to find anything definitive on this. In general, the war years saw a lot of improvisation in terms of materials, such as multi-piece and maple necks, mahogany tops, no truss rods, etc.

 

I would suspect that the LGs and J's shared a common neck profile, as I believe they were the same scale, etc., and there would be no obvious reason to introduce another variable into the equation. In fact, it appears that Gibson's intention was that J's and LG's share the same "new" neck profile and details, which would only make sense.

 

There is a pretty good chapter on all the war-time LG's in ""...Fabulous Flat-Top(s)....". The implication is that the LG-3 was not a real "war-time" guitar, and may have only entered production in 1945 or 1946.

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We've got a member JT - John Thomas working on the Gibson banner guitars. Here's the website - http://www.bannergibsons.com/ - They're working on a book about the Banner Gibson guitars, should be awesome as he's shared some info on this forum - very cool.

 

The "Contact" page says - If you have any problems with the website, submissions for the gallery, or questions regarding Banner Gibsons please contact Travis at travismacrae@gmail.com

 

I suggest you email your questions to Travis at travismacrae@gmail.com

 

 

JT's Gibson forum profile - http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/user/258-jt/

 

JT's personal website - http://www.johnthomasguitar.com/

 

JT's YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/johnthomasguitar

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Almost all the banner Js & LGs had the same neck specs. 24 3/4" scale length, 20 frets, 1 3/4" nut. Most had the V profile neck, but there are variables as with any Gibsons

Not exactly correct. According to Eldon Whitford, the J-45 had the "new" rounded neck profile from the time of that model's introduction in 1942, not the earlier soft-v neck that characterized pre-war jumbos and J-35's. The J-35 neck apparently gradually evolved from the soft-v to the hefty round profile by the time it was discontinued, generally accepted as 1942,when it was replaced by the J-45.

 

And certainly both the J-45 and the LG banner guitars had the 19-fret board. 20-fret boards did not come in until about 1955. My 1948 J-45 originally had the 19-fret board and a moderately fat, rounded neck profile that characterized the last (1946) banner models.

 

There is no doubt a lot of variation in materials and details during the war years due to shortages of prime woods and steel for truss rods, as Whitford points out in the definitive book on Gibson flat tops.

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Not exactly correct. According to Eldon Whitford, the J-45 had the "new" rounded neck profile from the time of that model's introduction in 1942, not the earlier soft-v neck that characterized pre-war jumbos and J-35's. The J-35 neck apparently gradually evolved from the soft-v to the hefty round profile by the time it was discontinued, generally accepted as 1942,when it was replaced by the J-45.

 

And certainly both the J-45 and the LG banner guitars had the 19-fret board. 20-fret boards did not come in until about 1955. My 1948 J-45 originally had the 19-fret board and a moderately fat, rounded neck profile that characterized the last (1946) banner models.

 

There is no doubt a lot of variation in materials and details during the war years due to shortages of prime woods and steel for truss rods, as Whitford points out in the definitive book on Gibson flat tops.

 

I guess that right now, we have six guitars that fit this category:'42 LG-1 (Mahogany Top); '42 J-45; '43 SJ (first documented mahogany batch); '43 J-45; '44 J-45; and '45 LG-2. The scale on all these is the same, as is the nut width. All the necks are pretty much rounded -- no Vs. However, the neck sizes vary a lot. The early LG-1 has a truss rod, but the neck is still large. The '42 J-45 has no truss rod and a very large neck, as does the SJ. The rest of the guitars ('43, '44, '45) all have smaller necks (although still pretty large by modern standards) and truss rods. The truss rod progression is well known, and was caused by the WWII metal conservation effort. All our necks are one-piece mahogany, but this was certainly not universal -- laminated multi-part necks are pretty common.

 

That's what we can say from what we have. For some things, when you've seen one you've seen them all. For 30s and 40s Gibsons, when you've seen one, then you have seen one.

 

Let's pick,

 

-Tom

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The '42 J-45 has no truss rod and a very large neck, as does the SJ. The rest of the guitars ('43, '44, '45) all have smaller necks (although still pretty large by modern standards) and truss rods. The truss rod progression is well known, and was caused by the WWII metal conservation effort. All our necks are one-piece mahogany, but this was certainly not universal -- laminated multi-part necks are pretty common.

 

That's what we can say from what we have. For some things, when you've seen one you've seen them all. For 30s and 40s Gibsons, when you've seen one, then you have seen one.

 

Let's pick,

 

-Tom

That's consistent with what Whitford says with regard to neck sizes in this period. It sounds like they were trying to compensate for the lack of truss rods by increasing the neck mass early in the war, then figured out they could reduce it somewhat for a more player-friendly size once truss rods returned. Some of those big necks really are massive.

 

It's fair to say that Gibson has probably "experimented" more with neck profiles than any major manufacturer. I have Gibsons from three different epochs, and the necks are as different as chalk and cheese. Still haven't decided which one I like best, although the late 60's profile is my least favorite. At least today.

 

You don't mention the nut width and pin spacing at the bridge on your guitars. That would be useful information for us.

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Hi.. the one I have coming in has a truss rod... Im not sure of the wood on the neck , whether its Maple or Mohagany.. The reason why Im asking...

 

if the sides are to far gone... I may part it out.

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First, none of the Banner year guitars had a V profile neck. They are all big, fat "C" shapes. How big and fat depends on the year. The circa 1943s, when Gibson used a maple "V" insert instead of a metal truss rod, are the biggest and fattest.

 

As for neck shapes, for a given year, the LGs, J-45s, and SJ-s seem the same to me. The catalog literature of the time, though, claims that the LGs have a special neck profile with a more rounded contour by the fretboard. As best I can tell, this was advertising hype.

 

In any event, my hands love the big, rounded Banner necks.

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Hi.. the one I have coming in has a truss rod... Im not sure of the wood on the neck , whether its Maple or Mohagany.. The reason why Im asking...

 

if the sides are to far gone... I may part it out.

 

What do you mean, "if the sides are too far gone"? That's what good guitar repair guys are for. Are we talking an LG 3, or a J-45? Almost any banner J-45 is worth repairing. Don't "part it out". There's not that much in the way of "parts" on these, compared to their value as a complete instrument. Not quite so sure about the LG, but it isn't clear to me that there should be such a thing as a banner LG-3. If so, you may have a rare bird indeed. It almost sounds like you are buying an LG, and hoping you can sell the neck to some guy trying to restore a J-45.

 

I can tell you about spectacular rebuilds done after both Gibson and Martin returned broken instrument to me in the old days, saying, "this instrument is beyond repair".

 

Sure, any guitar that has undergone major repairs won't be as valuable as a pristine, all-original one, but it may make a really fine musical instrument. That doesn't mean you want to spend a fortune repairing some LGO, but most 40s-era Gibson are at least worth a careful diagnosis before dismemberment

 

Uncle Nick's Home for Unloved Orphan Gibsons considers adopting forlorn creatures of many descriptions and afflictions. He can't help himself. He also likes to keep good luthiers employed.

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what Im asking... if this Guitar is Not salvagable.. If the Neck of a LG3 is the same as a J45 of the era..

 

Ill post pictures when it arrives... I seen the sides.. they are bad... the Top in natural..and in decent shape.. the Bridge is shot.. which is minor,, then youll see why Ive asked.. I may have bought before thinking.. which is easily done..

 

 

Im only going by a couple very faint pictures.. it was a fast sale... maybe to fast...

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what Im asking... if this Guitar is Not salvagable.. If the Neck of a LG3 is the same as a J45 of the era..

 

Ill post pictures when it arrives... I seen the sides.. they are bad... the Top in natural..and in decent shape.. the Bridge is shot.. which is minor,, then youll see why Ive asked.. I may have bought before thinking.. which is easily done..

 

 

Im only going by a couple very faint pictures.. it was a fast sale... maybe to fast...

 

I won't try to second-guess you without seeing the guitar.

 

Necks are not always easily transferable between guitars, even when they are nominally the same. The dovetail joint is(was in those days) still hand fitted between the neck and guitar. That's probably not an issue now with CNC cut parts, but I wouldn't count on it for guitars of this vintage. Of course, a good luthier can always re-build the dovetail pin on the neck and re-fit to a body, but you'll need someone who knows what they are doing. It would need to be a really good neck, with an intact board and good frets to justify the labor involved, and it isn't clear to me what the real value of that neck would be.

 

Unlike cars, an intact guitar is usually worth more than the sum of its parts, unless it's something like a crushed 1959 ES 335 with a pair of perfect PAF pickups, in which case the parts may be worth more.

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The pix are really too small to make any judgment. Looks like she's had a hard life, however. It isn't clear if there is any wood missing. If all the wood is there, it may not be that hard to fix--assuming you've got a really good guy who knows what he's doing. Missing wood makes it more difficult, but certainly doable. Detail pictures all around would be handy. I've certainly had guitars repaired that were this bad, but that was back before luthiers were charging $90 per hour.

 

Based on the photos, it looks like a 1945 or 1946 LG-3, which is a pretty rare instrument, and worth saving.

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Ya.. those pictures are small.. that what I had gone by when i said I would buy it .. he said it was a 42.. I think you are more right than the seller is.. it should arrive next week..

 

Thanks for your comments..

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The top is Not bad.. I have no idea what the back is like.. I know for sure it needs a bridge.. it looks like a steel saddle was screwed into place where the Bone saddle is suppose to be..

 

I know of a Young luthier in town here that from what Ive seen , , does excellent work.. and is really dedicated to his work.. this could be his next possible project..

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The top is Not bad.. I have no idea what the back is like.. I know for sure it needs a bridge.. it looks like a steel saddle was screwed into place where the Bone saddle is suppose to be..

 

I know of a Young luthier in town here that from what Ive seen , , does excellent work.. and is really dedicated to his work.. this could be his next possible project..

 

Until you have the guitar in hand, it's hard to know, but I would only give this to someone with a lot of repair experience. This type of work is more picky than building a guitar, and it's really easy to compromise the tone by over-cleating, particularly with top cracks. The top will be the most important for maintaining the tone character. I suspect these aren't particularly loud guitars to begin with, but it could make a good finger-picker.

 

Bridges, saddles, and bridgeplates are no-brainers to replace, and do not compromise the guitar in any way if done properly, replicating the originals. Fortunately, most experienced repair guys have enough small pieces of Brazilian around to do bridges of this type. If the top finish is in decent condition, he might make the bridge a tiny bit oversized to cover the finish/bridge joint, but a good repair guy will make that call.

 

Your re-posted picture weren't any clearer. It's going to be the original file size that determines the quality of the pictures.

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