9/08/2013

c.1969 Gibson LG-0 Concert Guitar



Here's a nice old Gibson LG-0 with one of those questionable serial numbers, but judging by the wooden (and adjustable) bridge I'd say this one probably dates to 1969. The LG-0s were the plainest Gibson flattop you could buy but are great guitars in the same vein as Martin 00-15s. They're roughly 00 or classical-sized, have ladder rather than x-bracing, are all-solid mahogany in construction, but are otherwise very similar in feel to the contemporaneous B-25s.


I gussied this guitar up a little bit as it came to me with a lot of yellowed, weather-checked surface finish, the standard big-old 60s screw-on pickguard, and a set of gaudy, gold-plated, heavy, Rotomatic-style aftermarket tuners.

I took off and stowed the pickguard, installed this thin 50s-ish Gibson-ish one in its place (using the lower bit of the original pickguard as a pattern), replaced the tuners, gave the instrument a fret level/dress, setup, and a good cleaning. In response the instrument gave me back a great, mid-rangey, "hog top" sound that recalls a tone similar to 30s and 40s Chicago brands with that characteristic Gibson "boxy" sound thrown in.


It took a little ingenuity to figure out how to fix the enlarged tuner-hole issues, but a mix of parts-bin ferrules and washers did the job. The washers also hide the chip-out from the amateur install of the Rotomatic-style tuners that were on this before.


Rosewood, radiused board with medium-large frets and faux-pearl dots. The neck width on this is fairly narrow but the short scale and slightly-thicker-than-average front-to-back (for 60s Gibs!) gives this a good "chord monster" feel.


New ebony pins replace the original yellowed, worn-out plastic pins. I know many folks hate these ceramic, adjustable bridges... but man... I love 'em. Living in Vermont and moving around with my guitars, I've essentially given up on flattops that don't have any adjustment since the tops tend to sink 1/32" or even more in winter (which means most folks will have to "shim up" their saddles and on this guitar that means just adjusting the two screws instead).


The ghost of the old pickguard is in the finish, but who cares? I much prefer a lightweight, smaller, stickied-on guard instead. I know it's also hard to see in the brilliant sun, but the finish is weather-checked everywhere... just everywhere.



No cracks make a happy Jake!


These tuners are actually engraved, slotted-headstock Waverly clones made by StewMac for their "Golden Era" series of repro tuners -- hence the ivoroid buttons as well. I'd ordered them for a customer's guitar which didn't need them and neglected to return them. After drilling out some new holes higher up the shaft, I installed them on this guitar and they look (and feel) grand on it. Unlike the original versions of this type of tuner, these have no play in them and function to modern standards.


Typical added strap button in the heel.



Here you can see the tortoise top binding.




Here's the bagged-up original parts.

I'm probably going to hold onto this guy at least for a little while since it's such a fun guitar to sit down and play. I've had a number of these LG-0s through the shop and they're just plain, respectable, smaller instruments. They also record super-easily, too. No heavy, woofy bass to overdrive the mics!

Update: I'm gonna list this before I get too attached!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh mighty Jake,

Give us a soundclip.

Gr. Frank

Antebellum Instruments said...

Your wish is my command. :D