TagFlattop

1933 Gibson L-00 Flattop Guitar

Going camping? Bring your L-00! These guitars are iconic, coveted, and supremely cool. They make exceedingly-nice fingerpickers but also truly belt it out beneath a flatpick, which tends to make them an enjoyable “all-about” instrument. Apart from — aesthetically? — that tight-waisted, curvy appear is the business. Tone is punctuated, balanced, and snappy with just adequate bottom/reduce-mids warmth to float a voice more than. It’s also fairly loud.
This guitar was brought in by the son (a regional in town) of the original owner and it was in a bit of a state. Although the only crack on the guitar is a tiny little hairline at the bass edge of the rosette, this came in with a sharp belly about the bridge, a definite need to have for a neck reset, and a replacement, oversize bridge. My perform rectified all that — I gave it a neck reset, new bridge, some belly-correction efforts, a fret level/dress, new bridge pins, a new saddle, and a excellent setup. It is now playing completely (three/32″ EA and 1/16″ DGBE at the 12th fret) and great to go.

Please excuse the reflections on the reduce bout. These are clouds and trees.
The “small sunburst” finish on these early-30s Gibsons is usually a classy look and sets the firestripe pickguard off “just-so.” The finish itself shows a lot of weather-check, a very good quantity of pickwear on the upper bout, and very minor dings/scuffs right here and there, but is for the most element in superb shape contemplating the way most 30s Gibs appear.
This L-00 is of the most usual type, with strong mahogany back, sides, and neck and a spruce top with x-bracing. It really is a lightweight guitar but not as featherweight as a Kel Kroydon.

The nut is ebony and 1 three/four” in width. The board has a 12″ radius, the original smallish frets, and a medium V-shaped profile (even though softer/smaller than the Kalamazoo-branded Gibson products). It’s pure 30s Gibson in really feel and easily playable.
A single tuner ferrule is a replacement (even though period).

The board (with pearl dots) is Brazilian rosewood.
I’ve strung this with a set of straight-up 12s at 54w, 42w, 32w, 24w, 16, 12.

The only crack on the guitar is a tiny hairline (glued-up) that you can see to the upper-bass side of the soundhole rosette.

My replacement bridge seems to be a NOS late-50s Gibson bridge (possibly Brazilian — appears just like other ones I’ve had by means of from 57/58) and differs from the original types mainly in the two pearl dots and a drop-in saddle slot. The latter is good for a player as action can be adjusted very easily on-the-fly.

As you can see, it really is a very good, tall bone saddle. The pins are new, as well, and ebony.
When I removed the old (oversize, truly crappy) replacement bridge, the top surface around this bridge was certainly a small mucked-up. To make matters worse, it seems like epoxy was employed as the adhesive. I was fortunate adequate to get rid of the stuff throughout repairs and also fortunate sufficient to have some of the original finish remaining beneath the wings of the sloppy old replacement unit.
So, to clean up around the prime on this new bridge I just color-corrected and then sealed the area to give it the appear of an old repair. It really is turned-out a lot far better than I’d hoped-for. I didn’t want to more than-do it and refinish the area and this was a excellent answer.
In addition to the replacement bridge, I also added a (cedar, soundboard-material) bridge plate cap as element of my efforts to lessen a pretty unsightly bulge/belly about the middle of the bridge location. I like utilizing soundboard material (spruce or cedar) to do this job as it really is lightweight but strong/flexible and so doesn’t rob tone the very same way extra rosewood or maple would. Now that the bridge and prime function is carried out, the best has a “standard Gibson belly” that’s much more domed than deformed — and it’s good and steady.

Yes, we can admit it — it is a attractive guitar.

The mahogany on the back is that usual “Gibson wine” color. No, that’s not blush in the finish, right here — it really is a cloud in the sky.

The original tuners function but they are far from perfect. I have StewMac repro tuners on order that will belong to the instrument if the next owner desires to swap them out.

There is a ding/bump correct on the back close to the heel and the pressure lining in the finish at the heel would seem to suggest cracks but there are none. When I took the neck off I did not see something, either. It’s peculiar.
I did find, nonetheless, that the neck had previously been “reset” — though not particularly nicely.

The FON stamped inside seems to indicate 1933.

The original chip case comes with the guitar as nicely as an instruction book and a box for…

…Gibson Mona-Steel strings! Nice. They’re labeled for mandolin, even so.

1947 Martin -17 Flattop Guitar

I worked on this guitar for a consignor, and like other old Martin mahogany-topped guitars, it has that mids-oriented, creamy sound that definitely suits fingerpicking and absorbs heavy flatpicking without having becoming too aggressive or distorted when driven. They make great “folk guitars,” as it have been — and everybody knows a bit of chocolate is very good for you.
The serial dates this to ’47 and it has the bigger, C-shaped neck profile you may possibly expect of a postwar/early ’50s Martin. It’s — shall we say — substantial… and would be a quite familiar “grab” to players of mid-late ’40s Gibsons, too. After function it plays spot-on at three/32″ EA and 1/16″ DGBE at the 12th fret, strung with normal-issue “12s.” The neck gains a tiny, almost negligible backbow in frets 1-2 with less tension so these or slightly heavier would be perfect. The neck can simply take it.

Whilst the finish, tuners, and endpin are original, the bridge is a replacement (Brazilian rosewood, by the appears of it) and there is a swapped bridge plate in the manner of ’70s, thin-rosewood-plate Martins. The neck had been reset when it came in and I knocked the angle back a bit far more and re-centered the string path at the identical time.

Original ebony nut with 1 11/16″ width… and a good rosewood headstock veneer. The original Kluson tuners are also holding-up nicely, though the original buttons are always a gamble more than the years (they have a tendency to break down over time).

The board is Brazilian rosewood with a 14″ radius and ivoroid dots. I’m not completely confident if the frets are original but I believe they are. They got a level/dress, anyhow, and the neck is nice and straight.

Note the tiny hairline/tension crack subsequent to the bass side of the fretboard extension — practically nothing to worry about, but I like to be precise.

The original pickguard is nonetheless lookin’ fine.

This replacement bridge was a tiny crude, just before. There are filled holes where pearl dots have been on the wings and I filled/relocated/redrilled the pin-holes as the neck was set off-center beforehand. I then lightly-sanded and polished-up the bridge and created a new bone saddle (obnoxiously, the preceding replacement saddle was truly glued into that large slot — grr).
Note that behind the bridge there’s a 1/two” (repaired) hairline crack and in front of it close to the low E there’s a repaired chip-out of the top wood. To my thinking, the replaced bridge plate and wider, bigger, belly bridge recommend that the old bridge pulled up and probably damaged the prime a little beneath it. The repairs are sound and it holds-up, however, perfectly. As for “belly,” there is just a tiny bit — as regular for an older flattop.

As you can see, it really is got a nice tall saddle on it.

Style 17 of these years, with its simple unbound edges, looks great to me.

The original Kluson tuners perform nicely.

It looks like the neck got a bump at some point simply because there’s finish disturbance checking/finish cracks (no genuine cracks, even so) on the back displaying about the outline of the neck block. After taking pics, I blended this inĀ  much better, but wanted to show it for completeness’ sake.

Whilst the original bridge pins were pretty shot, the original endpin is quite functional.

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