4/25/2015

1929 Gibson TG-0 Tenor Guitar




The all-mahogany TG-0s are pretty cool tenor guitars. They're small, portable, and comfortable to play but certainly dish out some decent volume. Despite a curious half-x bracing pattern (the lower half plus a ladder-braced mid section), these ones tend to sound like later Kalamazoo-brand tenor guitars with ladder bracing: punchy, bright, and midrangey in tone. This makes them super suitable for the tenor voicing because that accentuates the range they're usually tuned to and fits along with normal tenor guitar duty: slamming chop chords or picking lead lines.

This is a customer's guitar and he bought it years ago off of the original owner -- who also fessed-up to having installed a DeArmond pickup in the soundhole (hence the huge yuck there) and generating the cigarette burns in the binding. It only needed some minor work to get playing well again: a new bone saddle (in a new, correctly-located slot), removal of a screw in the middle of the bridge (and capping the hole with a pearl dot), cleating a back crack, and a fret level/dress and setup.



I love the curvy look of these guitars and the cream-on-mahogany trim is eye-catching.


Thankfully, the truss rod works perfectly. The tuners, which were suspect, also work just fine (they're old 4:1 geared pegs). The bone nut is original.


This has a flat-profile rosewood board with pearl dots. The frets are that tiny old Gibson stock and despite a lot of fretwear, I managed to get by with just a fret level/dress. I also brought this up to 30s spec -- hah hah -- with the inclusion of some side dots.


Ouch!

There's a lot that can be done about that, but it was decided to just leave it alone.


The original "pyramid-shaped" bridge is rosewood. Unfortunately, it had a poorly-located replacement saddle (fretwire) which meant I needed to sand off the front edge a bit and relocate the saddle slot to its proper position. I've made a new bone saddle and compensated it for either DGBE (current tuning) or CGDA (standard) tuning. The pins are new ebony ones as I couldn't stomach putting a mix of older plastic pins back in there after swapping the saddle.

This has a 22 7/8" scale length which puts it on the long end of the spectrum.






Be careful where you place your cigarette when near celluloid!




The owner installed a K&K himself. I did my usual mod to the jack -- removing all extraneous washers on the inside and taping up the internal jack cover -- to keep this rattle-free (hopefully) in the future.



Yeah, original hard case, too. It's nice to have!

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