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Happy (Early) Birthday (and Merry Early Christmas) to Me, Too!


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I accidentally bought a guitar yesterday. You'd think I would learn to stay out of Eric Schoenberg's shop when I'm not in the market! I saw it on the wall and thought "I've never seen one of those before". I tried to avoid trying it, but Eric knows me too well, forced it on me, and it was love at first listen (although it took Anne awhile to talk me into buying it). The guitar is a 1930 (give or take) converted HG-22 -- "Gibson at it's quirkiest", as Eric wrote in the description. Who else would build a guitar with a round soundhole plus, not just two, but four f-holes is the top?




These have a reputation for not sounding all that great, but whoever started that rumor wasn't listening to this one. It's very responsive, loud and strong, and bright (but not too bright). The best description of the tone I can give is that is sounds like a resonator with a wooden cone, if you can imagine such a thing. For those of you not familiar with the first-generation Gibson Hawaiian guitars, the HG-24 (Gibson's first Jumbo/J-35/J-45/...-shaped guitar in Adi and rosewood), HG-22 (same size and shape as an L-00 in Adi and maple), and HG-20 (el-cheapo version of the HG-22) -- which is probably most of you, since they're pretty rare -- the distinctive tone is due to internal baffles.








(You probably can't make it out in the photos, but there's some birdseye figure on the baffles.) Purportedly, the baffles were intended to keep the bass under control. Why it turns out they increase the volume, I have no idea, but they clearly do. (Their resonator-like effect is less mysterious.) Bottom line is this is a very cool guitar for '30s country blues-type tunes, the same sort of stuff you'd use a National on.


In answer to Hoss's question, I guess this would have to qualify as my current favorite: I've been playing the heck out of it for the last 24 hours.


-- Bob R

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Definitely a cool find. Looks to be in decent shape. I have been getting GAS attacks lately again. Its some thing about this time of year. Hmmmm, could it be Bday Dec 11....or Christmas?? I am meeting with a dealer who just happens to be having some down-time at a time-share and brought guitars with him because he is heading to a Guitar Show this upcoming weekend. Hmmmm...could be trouble....RRod

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Very nice. I have always been intrigued by this model. Like most people I have never been close to one. Early 14 fret neck, J sized body. It would be nice to know the FON for my records. I keep a data base of early 30s numbers. If you are a member of UMGF you may want to post this in the Vintage Corner. I don't recall one being discussed there.


Thanks, Terry

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