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The "allure" of the small body guitar......


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My '64 LG-O is, I believe, considered a 3/4 size body. Great for sitting around working on stuff by yourself. Doesn't project that well for jamming with others with full-sized acoustics, but definitely has its place.

 

Great guitar for fingerpicking blues..

 

 

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LG-O_IMG_0858pb.jpg

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I'm very attracted by small guitars, and that's one of the reasons I joined this forum a few time ago, to ask some infos about them.

Looking at your pictures is gasoline on my burning GAS.

 

I play mainly blues and of course I have all those images from the old times in mind... [rolleyes]

I bought a Washburn parlor reissue last year, and I kept it for some months. It wasn't a bad guitar, the sound was good, but the nut was a bit too wide for me, and I never got to really accept the fake aged look.

Now I'm trying to decide my next move. I'd love a vintage L1 or L0, but it's not so easy to find a good one at a sensible price here in Italy. Moreover I am worried about maintenance. A luthier with experience in vintage is not cheap and I don't think you can put your loved old box in unexperienced hands.

The simple alternative is to buy a reissue, but I have heard mixed reviews about them.

Lately I started considering a third way. I met a luthier that could build a small blues box for me. Not a copy of a small Gibson, but a guitar inspired to them and aimed to have a similar sound. I'm giving a serious thought about this. My only worry is that, even after obtaining a nice looking, nice sounding box, I could find myself still looking at that Robert Johnson's old picture and GASsing for a L1... [unsure]

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I love small bodied guitars, dreds, round shoulder, square shoulder guitars. I love them all. I have some of each, because I like variety, and the different feel and sounds/tones. The one I use depends on the song Im writing or playing, and what sound/tone I am trying to get within the song. So, I love them all, but there is nothing like a small body guitar, grabbing it and doing some fingerstyle stuff on it. Love it.

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My '64 LG-O is, I believe, considered a 3/4 size body. Great for sitting around working on stuff by yourself. Doesn't project that well for jamming with others with full-sized acoustics, but definitely has its place.

 

Great guitar for fingerpicking blues..

 

 

LG-O_IMG_0847pb.jpg

 

LG-O_IMG_0854pb.jpg

 

LG-O_IMG_0852pb.jpg

 

LG-O_IMG_0858pb.jpg

DIG a hog top.

 

SPANK'EM AND DIG IN! MAKE IT GROWL!!!

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Looking at your pictures is gasoline on my burning GAS. I play mainly blues and of course I have all those images from the old times in mind...Lately I started considering [having] a luthier build a small blues box for m [but] I could find myself still looking at that Robert Johnson's old picture and GASsing for a L1...
Two thoughts on this. If you want to cop the sound of the old records, a ladder braced box, parlor size(12-13") or concert 14") is the way to go. Either a 12 fret like a Stella or 14 fret like a Kalamzoo. As for the L1 poor Robert is holding in that pic--it may not have been his. Johnny Shines remembers RJ playing an Ka'zoo f-hole archtop. And the one in the other photo is said to be a Ka'zoo KG14 (can still find these at reasonable prices). Hope that helps.

 

Meanwhile, at the risk of further inflaming desires, I thought you might enjoy is Neil Harpe's Stella site (Neil is something of an expert on ladder-braced guitars) http://www.stellaguitars.com/ And here is a Todd Cambrio's Stella knock-offs (says Paul Geremia, "sounds more like a Stella than a Stella". http://fraulini.com/index.php

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Two thoughts on this. If you want to cop the sound of the old records, a ladder braced box, parlor size(12-13") or concert 14") is the way to go. Either a 12 fret like a Stella or 14 fret like a Kalamzoo. As for the L1 poor Robert is holding in that pic--it may not have been his. Johnny Shines remembers RJ playing an Ka'zoo f-hole archtop. And the one in the other photo is said to be a Ka'zoo KG14 (can still find these at reasonable prices). Hope that helps.

 

Meanwhile, at the risk of further inflaming desires, I thought you might enjoy is Neil Harpe's Stella site (Neil is something of an expert on ladder-braced guitars) http://www.stellaguitars.com/ And here is a Todd Cambrio's Stella knock-offs (says Paul Geremia, "sounds more like a Stella than a Stella". http://fraulini.com/index.php

 

Thanks for the links Rambler, I'll check them!

I knew about RJ's guitars, but you know, legends are stronger than reality, and GAS feeds on them [rolleyes]

 

I'd love a Kalamazoo, but they are not so easy to find on my side of the Atlantic.

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As for the L1 poor Robert is holding in that pic--it may not have been his. Johnny Shines remembers RJ playing an Ka'zoo f-hole archtop. And the one in the other photo is said to be a Ka'zoo KG14 (can still find these at reasonable prices). Hope that helps.

 

It appears to have been common for record companies to toss a guitar in the hands of one their performers for a photograph. Johnny Shines also recalled Johnson playing a Stella and even a brown Triolian as well as a Kalamazoo but no Gibson. It is the same thing with the Kay Kraft Curley Weaver is seen holding in a record company photo. Photos taken around the the same time of Buddy Moss and Big Bill Broonzy show them holding the same guitar.

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I don[t know if it fits into the "small body" category, it's a small body to me, my CJ165EC is my #1. Holds it's own against the big boys volume-wise and, since it's opened up in the last year the tone is mighty fine!

 

That said I long for an L-00....

 

Phone1155.jpg

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It appears to have been common for record companies to toss a guitar in the hands of one their performers for a photograph. Johnny Shines also recalled Johnson playing a Stella and even a brown Triolian as well as a Kalamazoo but no Gibson. It is the same thing with the Kay Kraft Curley Weaver is seen holding in a record company photo. Photos taken around the the same time of Buddy Moss and Big Bill Broonzy show them holding the same guitar.

 

 

Can you imagine?

 

 

You spend two to three n-n-n-nervous days in hot and dirty Peabody's Hotel or similar dump recording your very, very best tunes on the absolute worst sounding and playing guitar on the planet that Grandpa found near the river and fixed for you and made some guitar strings out of the wire from some old broom and playing one song on your beast of a guitar is as much fun as emptying a beehive bare-handed then the recording guys tell you to play something a bit more commercialised like a bit of that raggedy rag stuff and don't play any more of those blues play it a bit quicker will you then they won't give you any liquor because your reputation has preceded you they say and you've never ever played that stuff without a drink or two and you're feeling mighty thirsty and shaky and then after all is finished they hand you the most beautiful Gibson acoustic guitar in the world covered in abalone and made of beautiful smelling rosewood and an ebony fingerboard that plays like honey on cornbread and 'phoof' there's you photograph and swoosh - give me that guitar back he says - goodbye and boom you're out on the street thinking: "Huh?".

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Larger tops require more energy to get moving. Smaller tops require less and thus are more responsive to relatively low-energy attack, like fingerpicking. So for me smaller bodies have ergonomic advantages which help with old shoulder joints but also a responsiveness that I like.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Talking about Kalamazoo, I saw Gruhn has a 1968 KG-10 at 600$. Is that a small guitar ? The price is interesting, but I have never seen one of those and I have no idea how it compares to a small Gibson.

 

I just bought that KG-10 from Gruhn's today. It is supposed to be the same as a Gibson B-15. Can't wait for UPS in a week or two!

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