Built nearly a decade soon after the final L-00 I worked on, this 1942 L-00 has some modernized characteristics but retains the wholesome, robust, mids-centered punchy tone that these are recognized for. Purists will catch the over-massive replacement bridge proper away (far more on that down the post) and the replaced tuner buttons, saddle, and pins — but otherwise the guitar is quite original and quite darn clean for its age.
This one was constructed in wartime (an H-suffix factory order number tells the tale) and, therefore, is a “final of its breed” guitar as style components changed a bit after the war. It has a solid spruce prime, one particular-piece strong mahogany back, solid mahogany sides and neck, and a Brazilian rosewood fretboard. The only cracks I’ve found on it are a small, repaired, hairline on the back upper bout, a tiny center-seam separation (not really, even though) at the finish of the fretboard on the prime, and an virtually-crack (not open as it really is straight over bracing) to the side of the pickguard. The finish is in very good shape and gleams beautifully with just a minor quantity of use-wear and pickwear about the soundhole.
Work incorporated replacing a funky old bridge, a new saddle, fret level/dress, new pins, new tuner buttons, and common setup. It plays excellent with 1/16″ DGBE and three/32″ EA action at the 12th fret and is strung with 12s.
…correct? It is beautiful.
The leading has a typical, minor amount of “belly” straight under the bridge. I like to contact it “doming” on Gibsons as they appear to get about 1/32″ to 1/16″ of general deflection more than time in a domed shape below the bridge rather than a “wave” or “curl” behind the bridge like on some other tends to make. No worries.
The original, ebony nut survives — amazingly.
The neck has a quite comfortable medium, C-shaped profile that is just a hair bigger than 1950s Gibson profiles and the truss functions perfectly. The Brazilian board has a 12″ radius.
Never you enjoy the multi-ply binding? It’s bound on the best and back.
The firestripe pickguard is lovely!
Here’s my replacement, rosewood, bridge. I know it’s not appropriate at all, but I did not have many choices. The best had been mucked-up finish-wise from the installation of…
…this same-size, 4-bolted, warped-out monster. My operate integrated removing that, repairing minor top damage, filling the old/second set of pin-holes, and then gluing, installing, and color-matching as ideal as I could, the new bridge.
The end outcome is at least vintage-ish and has a drop-in, compensated saddle for easy adjustment. The pins are ebony. The new bridge is a small taller by 1/16″or so than a comparable original Gibson bridge, so its slightly-more than 1/16″ height on the saddle belies the reality that there is lots of airspace under the strings and more than the body.
The back is very pretty, a single-piece, solid mahogany.
The original tuners got new tuner buttons as all of the originals have been missing. Right after a lube, they are operating just fine.
The complete aesthetic is painfully classy.
Here’s that stable, repaired hairline on the back. It runs from below the neckblock and terminates at the 1st back brace.
The endpin is black plastic.
A rigid, foam, “hardshell” flight-style case comes with it.Antebellum Instruments