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Current small body Gibsons


ray40

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I recently tried a out a used Blues King at a local store and thought how it didn't seem a whole lot better than my epiphone El-00. Sure nicer fit/ finish but for almost ten times the price it ought to be.

Wondering out of the current lineup where do the robert johnson L-1, Keb Mo, and the others compare to the BK? It doesn't appear a deep body like a Nick Lucas is offered right now - that seems strange considering how so many other companies are building that body size - santa cruz for instance uses that 00 deep body on there very successful H-13 I believe.

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When it comes to small body Gibsons I would definitely go vintage. There are so many great L-00 size guitars from the 30s and early 40s available out there that blow away any of the new ones I've heard. The Keb Mo has a longer scale length & wider neck, The Robert Johnson also has a longer SL than what the original L-1 had, so I wouldn't buy a newer small body Gibson. Price can be about the same for a great vintage L-00 vs. what a new one costs so why buy new. That was the subect of the other "You Guys R Nuts" post.

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I have a Blues King L-00 with Bubinga. It's an excellent guitar. I've fallen out of love with short scale a bit lately but it's a terrific guitar nonetheless.

 

A friend of mine has a Legend Series L-00 which is nice, but only maybe 10% nicer than my Blues King.

 

Vintage is a good way to go, although I play a huge amount of gigs every year so I really need a recent guitar that I'm not concerned about the fragility of. My AJ is great, and is a good example of the middleground-it's 10yrs old so has been aged and played in, but is still new enough to be structurally bulletproof.

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I'm glad to see this topic raised again since I've been looking for a L-00 for my next guitar. I missed the chance recently to buy a Ren L-00 (one of 15 made) luthier's choice . The cost would have been just over 3K. The sound was quite wonderful right off the wall. But alas that is water under the bridge. In fact the same 5 Star dealer has a Ren L-1 that sounds wonderful for about the same price. My point is that good NEW small body Gibsons are out there.

 

Having said that, I agree that buying vintage is a great way to go. Many posters here have said that it is a buyers market for vintage. I want very good example of a pre-1945 L-00 and find them to be pricey. At least the asking price is usually about 4K. My budget is around 3K althought it's flexable. 4K sound high ... what do you think. Any suggestons ... I don't do ebay and like to touch, feel, hear and bond with my guitars.

 

I've played a modern Blues King and, although playability was excellent, the tone was pretty average. The price here is around 2K including tax. Not a bad deal but....

 

I've been told that the new Blues Kings are mahogany.

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It seems that decent small body Gibsons are the rare custom shop examples cited here.

 

Wonder why Martin can make a consistently nice small guitar like the 000-18ge? that's readily available...

 

I for one love small body Gibsons but am not really interested in the hassle of a vintage guitar.

 

That black L-00 archetype in an earlier thread looks awesome.

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I looked at a number of vintage small-body Gibsons at the Orlando show yesterday, and came away a bit disappointed. Prices seemed high ($3.5-4K) for the condition, and most has some neck issues (like needing a re-set), or were in generally rough condition. I found only one with what I would call a really interesting voice. The others were just a bit too dull in the low end for my taste, but that might appeal to a lot of people.

 

I have not tried the newer ones, but I generally prefer a more modern, C-style shape rather than the vintage V. However, I may just stick with my 000-28 EC (which has a soft-V neck), which is a really nice guitar for the money. You can buy those in excellent used shape for about $2.2K. It's a good all-around guitar for not a lot of money.

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One niche Gibson seems to keep overlooking is a concert body model in rosewood model. Could use the 30's L2 or the Nick Lucas as template. That L2 would be a alternative to Martin's 0028vs and the like.

 

Re the new vs vintage divide. You are looking at an 80 year old instrument which has been subjected to stresses unknown and repairs unfathomed. More for collectors than players.

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One niche Gibson seems to keep overlooking is a concert body model in rosewood model. Could use the 30's L2 or the Nick Lucas as template. That L2 would be a alternative to Martin's 0028vs and the like.

 

Re the new vs vintage divide. You are looking at an 80 year old instrument which has been subjected to stresses unknown and repairs unfathomed. More for collectors than players.

 

I agree that Gibson could use one of these "intermediate" size guitars like Martin's OM and 000 series, probably both in hog and rosewood. I could go for one of those. The small-body Gibsons seem a little too "small-voiced" as well.

 

It's hard to find fault with your statement about the general condition and relative fragility of many vintage Gibsons. I just wouldn't want to use them as daily players.

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I have a keb mo that I like alot. I've had it about six months. Took it to a Roy Book Binder workshop and after after everybody left I got to visit with Roy and we played each other's guitars. Roy has a stellar L-2...I think its a 1928 or thereabouts.

 

His L-2 sounded so much better than than mine. Roy pointed out that the braces in his were about 1/3 the size of the braces in the Keb Mo and thought that contributed to the voice of the L-2. Of course, I imagine my guitar cost about 1/3 the price of his. There is a guy in town who has a 30's L-1 for sale for $6500...yes, it looks great...but my keb mo suits me fine.

 

Especially if there is no 1928 L-2 in the room!

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With a moniker like mine, BluesKing777, it is time to stand up and be counted!

 

 

I posted this a few weeks ago, but here is a version of Lonnie Johnson's "Justice' that I recorded with my Gibson Blues King L-00.

 

 

<A class=bbc_url title="External link" href="http://www.soundclic...0&q=hi&newref=1" rel="nofollow external">http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11325050

 

My Gibson Blues King is one of my favourite guitars. I agree with Jinder above who finds he doesn't want to drag anything fragile around. I own a few 'fragile' guitars, and while they seem to hang by a thread sometimes, the Blues King seems as tough as nails! The theory is that I could buy/hire a Gibson Blues King pretty well anywhere in the world if needed. It sounds great, with simple surgery it is great to play, and is replaceable (to a degree - mine has been to the luthier a couple of times and has upgraded wheels, tyres and air-conditioning), but I could easily play a standard issue. I am not saying I don't want any vintage L-00s - I do!

 

As far as the Epi EL-00 goes, it is ok but relegated to lap slide duties and in truth was the first 00 size guitar I tried, but really not a 20th of the real thing!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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One niche Gibson seems to keep overlooking is a concert body model in rosewood model. Could use the 30's L2 or the Nick Lucas as template. That L2 would be a alternative to Martin's 0028vs and the like.

 

I totally agree with this. Gibson did a very short run of 6 L-1s back in 2008 with vintage "H" bracing like a c1926 L-1. Beautiful guitars. They should do the same with an early 30s L-2 or Nick Lucas Special as a regular production guitar. Or at the very least a 12-fret L-00 would be a good place to start. Those early 30s 12-fret small body guitars were the bomb.

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With a moniker like mine, BluesKing777, it is time to stand up and be counted!

 

 

I posted this a few weeks ago, but here is a version of Lonnie Johnson's "Justice' that I recorded with my Gibson Blues King L-00.

 

 

<A class=bbc_url title="External link" href="http://www.soundclic...0&q=hi&newref=1" rel="nofollow external">http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11325050

 

My Gibson Blues King is one of my favourite guitars. I agree with Jinder above who finds he doesn't want to drag anything fragile around. I own a few 'fragile' guitars, and while they seem to hang by a thread sometimes, the Blues King seems as tough as nails! The theory is that I could buy/hire a Gibson Blues King pretty well anywhere in the world if needed. It sounds great, with simple surgery it is great to play, and is replaceable (to a degree - mine has been to the luthier a couple of times and has upgraded wheels, tyres and air-conditioning), but I could easily play a standard issue. I am not saying I don't want any vintage L-00s - I do!

 

As far as the Epi EL-00 goes, it is ok but relegated to lap slide duties and in truth was the first 00 size guitar I tried, but really not a 20th of the real thing!

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

BluesKing 777, I think your prior post of this song was before I was coming around, but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this. Your singing and you playing style are a great pair, and seem like you were born to play the blues! Congrats, and thanks for sharing.

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I just noticed on the Musicians friend site that there is a L-00 12 fret AND a L-00 14 fret "Pro" offered through Guitar Center only? - I have never seen these at any GC I have been into -- anyone?

Yeah, I played the 14 fret L-00 Pro at GC. A very handsome box in natural color, vintage tuners (like on an AJ) ... a pix is on Gibson.com small body page. It was very playable to me but that is subjective .... some will not like the slim neck ... I do. Alas, the tone was very average .... not a lot of projection. Ya never know it may open up.

I wonder if, in making a special order for GC or any big box, does Gibson cut any corners or is it just the next guitar off the line with GC specs but with the same quality of wood and manufacturing care as any Gibson.

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I have always thought this was a gap in the TV range. I'd be keen for an LG-2, L-00, or a something like that. Why did they stop making the Nick Lucas as a regular model? Also, I dont think I've ever heard of a vintage NL with Maple back and sides, so why did they do it with most of the newer ones?

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Musician's Friend says the 14-fret L-00 is $5189.00 with discount - are they freaking kidding? The 12-fret L-00 while not as nice looking is half the price.

 

It's the 1937 L-00 Legend that they are selling for $5189.00 - totally different guitar - if you want a basic 14 fret 00 then it would the Blues King that they are selling for $2299...

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Musician's Friend says the 14-fret L-00 is $5189.00 with discount - are they freaking kidding?

Sounds like you're looking at the L-00 Legend. This is a close-as-possible copy of Lee Roy Parnell's legendary 1937 L-00 -- so, like a 000-18A, but more so -- and you pay a lot extra for that. Some think they're well worth the price difference over a "regular" L-00. In fact, I know a fair number of people who think my wife's L-00 Legend is better than my '37 L-0, and my '37 L-0 is good enough that Ren Ferguson borrowed it to get the specs. (Admittedly, hers is way above average.)

 

Also, that's the MAP you're quoting. The actual street price, for those wise enough to buy guitars from dealers other than Bain Capital, is more like $4K.

 

-- Bob R

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Hi,

I've been thinking about buying a small body Gibson for a while. I never tried a vintage, but I saw the prices and they are over my budget. I even fear that if some maintenance on such a guitar should be needed in the future, it would not be easy to find a luthier with experience in vintage guitars in my area

I tried some of the new reissues , 2 Keb'Mo', some Blues King and 2 RJ. I had the impression that quality is not very consistent.

One of the Keb'Mo' I tried was really impressive (unfortunately it was 1 year ago, and I did not have the money at that time), the other, tried recently, was a completely different guitar, I did not like it.

I think maybe the solution could be to have a luthier to build a guitar inspired to an L1 for me. Did anybody try this way ?

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