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Need some help on figuring out this Country Western


Chad triplett

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I picked up a sixties something Gibson Country Western. I need help identifying it. the numbers on the back of the head are 102660 and there are no other numbers anywhere, just the oval with rope laced design that reads Gibson Country Western. It has a broke truss rod and some other issues but Im a lefty and i want to bring this baby back to life and convert it to a lefty. It is very worn and aged. I wonder if there are any matching pickguards avaialable in left hand design. The head stock seems to have have the points milled down or did any of these come this way.

 

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I'm assuming it has no "made in USA" stamp on the back of the headstock. If that is the case, it's probably a 1963 or 1967. If it has a "made in USA stamp", it's probably from the early 1970's.

 

If it has a width at the nut of 1 11/16" (1.69", or 43mm) it's more likely a 1963. If the nut width is 1 9/16" (1.56", or about 39.5mm) it's more likely a 1967.

 

A broken truss rod is not a trivial problem. Is it broken at the nut (headstock) end, or elsewhere?

 

In any case, it sounds like a worthwhile candidate for your conversion. As far as the pickguard goes, you may simply have to have a left-handed one made, which is no big deal. You will also need a new bridge, of course, and a new or modified nut.

 

Forgot to mention: someone may have knocked off one corner of the headstock, and modified the other one to make it look symmetrical. It would not be the first time.

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Thank you for the reply! I will see what size the nut is. I was able to trace it between 63 an 67 but I suppose its next to impossible to figure out the exact year. There is no USA stamp either. As for now Im not sure where the truss is broken, I got this from a good pal and client of mine (I work in FM Radio) who has a pawn shop and I traded some radio adds for it and he said for sure its broke and visually the neck is bowed. I have nothing in it and it has several dings an cracks an will need sum repair work as well as a lefty bridge and nut. The cool factor for me is off the charts.

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This is definitely an early C&W – meaning 1962 to '64 maybe '65. My trained eye tells me it's a 11/16 nut width, but check it out. The tuners are replacements and should/could be exchanged to white ovals. You don't need to replace the bridge, but probably would take advantage from a new saddle insert, wood with normal sized bone saddle instead.

 

All in all this should be a superb guitar – the model that the Sheryl Crowe was made from.

Fix a few things and be happy.

 

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This is definitely an early C&W – meaning 1962 to '64 maybe '65. My trained eye tells me it's a 11/16 nut width, but check it out. The tuners are replacements and should/could be exchanged to white ovals. You don't need to replace the bridge, but probably would take advantage from a new saddle insert, wood with normal sized bone saddle instead.

 

All in all this should be a superb guitar – the model that the Sheryl Crowe was made from.

Fix a few things and be happy.

 

 

Yeah I was thinking the tuners where after market. Original ones are pretty expensive huh? Anyone recommend some after market copies?

Thanks for the info!

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you where correct!

So far, so good. 11/16 is splendid.

Doesn't really matter weather it's 1962 or 4. They would be more or less the same. Only in '65 Kalamazoo started to narrow down and in '68 the squares got heavier braces.

That's another tale - You really have something there. And don't forget to experiment with different bridge inserts.

Half a winter spent behind those different materials.

Enjoy -

 

 

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I am planning on taking alot of time to get it where I want it. Im in no hurry. I have several stage guitars so time is all I have....money is another topic lol! Heres a few more pics.

 

 

Get rid of those tuners.

 

The pattern of the originals will almost certainly be embossed into the back of the headstock, so it will be easy to identify what they were. Pull off one of the tuner plates, and take a photo of the back of the headstock, and we'll tell you what they were.

 

There are also plenty of people here who are familar with this guitar, and will confirm what you find.

 

The 1 11/16" nut width is a bonus, and really makes the guitar worth messing with.

 

Em7 suggests removing the bridge insert and modifying the bridge. This can be done, but it is a job for a luthier. Ideally, you would get rid of the heavy adjustable insert mechanism, but that is most easily done with the bridge removed. Any competent luthier can do this conversion. The problem is that the tone will change if you get rid of the ceramic insert, and some people prefer the tone of these. I don't fall into that category, but things will change if you do this.

 

For your info, here are the basic parts of the adjustable bridge installation, although this is a J-45 bridge with a rosewood/bone saddle rather than ceramic, and a belly-down bridge rather than the belly-up on yours. This bridge was removed and converted back to a standard bridge with a non-adjustable saddle.

 

boneadjustable.jpg

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Get rid of those tuners.

 

The pattern of the originals will almost certainly be embossed into the back of the headstock, so it will be easy to identify what they were. Pull off one of the tuner plates, and take a photo of the back of the headstock, and we'll tell you what they were.

 

There are also plenty of people here who are familar with this guitar, and will confirm what you find.

 

The 1 11/16" nut width is a bonus, and really makes the guitar worth messing with.

 

Em7 suggests removing the bridge insert and modifying the bridge. This can be done, but it is a job for a luthier. Ideally, you would get rid of the heavy adjustable insert mechanism, but that is most easily done with the bridge removed. Any competent luthier can do this conversion. The problem is that the tone will change if you get rid of the ceramic insert, and some people prefer the tone of these. I don't fall into that category, but things will change if you do this.

 

For your info, here are the basic parts of the adjustable bridge installation, although this is a J-45 bridge with a rosewood/bone saddle rather than ceramic, and a belly-down bridge rather than the belly-up on yours. This bridge was removed and converted back to a standard bridge with a non-adjustable saddle.

 

boneadjustable.jpg

 

 

I had already planned on ditching them. There pretty ugly! Thanks for the info it will be useful!

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! The reason I need 2 posts is that I for the first time ever couldn't get text and pic in the same frame ?

 

But apropos – My 1963 Southern Jumbo seen above had the plastic bridge removed by the previous owner. He made a good luthier install an exact replica of the wooden bridge with adjustable ceramic saddle version plus a new maple bridge plate. I have since removed the ceramic and had this one made (posted many times I know, but pretty interesting). Only managed to remove one bolt so far and to be honest, I'm not sure how much those metal pieces inhibits the sound. In theory yes, but when it comes down to it. . .

 

Notice the uneven string spacing – I never felt it while playing, but have to adjust.

Recently I have been wandering if a bridge plate needs to be 'played in'. Rather nerdy perhaps, but maybe a luthier around here (if there are any) would know.

 

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My 1963 Southern Jumbo seen above had the plastic bridge removed by the previous owner. He made a good luthier install an exact replica of the wooden bridge with adjustable ceramic saddle version plus a new maple bridge plate. I have since removed the ceramic and had this one made (posted many times I know, but pretty interesting). Only managed to remove one bolt so far and to be honest, I'm not sure how much those metal pieces inhibits the sound. In theory yes, but when it comes down to it. . .

 

Recently I have been wandering if a bridge plate needs to be 'played in'. Rather nerdy perhaps, but maybe a luthier around here (if there are any) would know.

 

 

 

You can only remove the complete adjusting mechanism by removing the bridge, at which point it comes out easily by removing the large nuts and washers on the underside of the bridgeplate on each adjuster. After removing the nut and large lock washer, you just push each adjustment mechanism up from inside the guitar, and it pops out through the top.

 

I suspect that bridgeplate coupling is critical. I know that replacing my adjustble bridge, and removing the late-60's plywood bridgeplate and replacing it with solid maple, made a significant improvement in my J-45. Of course, that was coupled with a heavy sanding of the thick 1968 top, so it isn't possible to isolate the effect of each individual change.

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Thanks Nick – I know about everything there is to know about these maneuvers. My plan is to avoid the 2 brass component integrated in the top – not an unusual choice.

 

The reason I ask about the bridge plate is that the 1963 SJ sounded a bit hollow in the beginning of my ownership, , , or maybe kind of hard – still to some degree does. Actually that was the reason I ordered the mixed saddle - the trebs were too tinny. It helped and now about 2 years later, the guitar besides has somewhat softened up. I tend to imagine the new dense maple b-plate needs to get into the groove of the other components, but have no scientific evidence whatsoever. Of course this old lady (the ragged knight) might have been resting in deep sleep for many years before the recent operation and before getting here, so there is a chance the whole organism is waking up. It spent its former life in Ohio and I don't know a hair about humidity there - could it have been over-dry too ?

In the ideal world more than a handful of these ol squares should be tried to get the real insight, but they don't hang on trees.

 

What I basically theorize about is that there must be a certain compliance between new and old – things gotta swing.

 

Thanks again – this time on behalf of the Board.

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EA white pins

DG black pins and

BE on different bridge

Ouuh, I see. Yes, the wooden ones are supposed to dampen the tinny highs – the bone should empathize the bass – the 'doubled' GD get the gearless glide.

That would be the logic. Of course there is an aesthetic side as well hehe. . .

 

In fact it works bbg - and was thought out after trying a solid rosewood and a rosewood/bone insert. Only prob. was that I long-distance ordered the thing and the luthier received it wrongly. I would have wanted the G wooden also. He thought more traditionally and perceived it as based on wound/unwound. The issue is still standing and might be changed. Then again the guitar is in process as written in an ealier post. Hope you follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ouuh, I see. Yes, the wooden ones are supposed to dampen the tinny highs – the bone should empathize the bass – the 'doubled' GD get the gearless glide.

That would be the logic. Of course there is an aesthetic side as well hehe. . .

 

In fact it works bbg - and was thought out after trying a solid rosewood and a rosewood/bone insert. Only prob. was that I long-distance ordered the thing and the luthier received it wrongly. I would have wanted the G wooden also. He thought more traditionally and perceived it as based on wound/unwound. The issue is still standing and might be changed. Then again the guitar is in process as written in an ealier post. Hope you follow.

 

 

i admire your attention to detail . theres obviously a lot of experience in those ears of yours , to both hear and understand what is needed for a fix .

are u a full time musician ?

 

your posts are always a favourite

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i admire your attention to detail .

Thanks a lot bbg - I been playing or trying to a looong time. Here in this phase as Acoustic Monk it is necessary to dig a little deeper – especially with some of these vintage Gibsons, which I rate so high, but don't want to fall in an Emperor New Clothes trap about.

The Board is a huge mentor and inspiration.

SeeYou -

 

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