9/02/2016

1954 Gibson LG-2 Flattop Guitar





Yep, I love old 50s Gibsons. The LG-style body shape is also one of my favorite Gibson shapes, too, as it's comfortable like any other 00-sized guitar but has a bit more airspace. I think this lends it a bit more of the breadth of its bigger brother, the J-45. Plainly-put -- these are great old flattops -- and the LG-2 (vs. the LG-3) has that classic old sunburst Gibson look.

My ears notice a distinct change in Gibson tone over time, from full-everywhere in the 40s to a bit of a tighter-bottom, more mids, but more projecting and louder thing going on in the early 50s, to a back-seat mid-high and warm/full bottom around 1960s and onwards. This one falls perfectly in that lineup as it has the early-50s definition and punch combined with a more velvet/warm low-end. It makes it a perfect singing companion if that singer also happens to want to pick a bit of fill/lead at the same time.


This guitar is all-original save new tuner buttons and new bridge pins and endpin (both ebony). It has one crack (repaired) on the back but is otherwise in excellent condition except for the usual nicks, scritchy-scratchy, and the like.

My work included a neck reset, bridge reglue, fret level/dress, saddle and nut adjustment, re-repair of that back crack, cleaning, and general setup. She's on-the-dot at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret and rocking regular lights (54w-12). The usual Gibson things apply -- 1 11/16" nut width, medium-sized C-shaped neck, 12" radius to the board, and 24 3/4" scale length (though this one is right around 24 7/8").


The board is Brazilian rosewood and has pearl dots. The frets are the original, smallish, Gibson stuff and have good height.




I love the way the old Gibson finish crackles "just-so" with weather-checking.


The original bridge is Brazilian rosewood, too. Note that it's had to move just slightly from a prior reglue job where it was in the wrong place. I also removed the "bridge bolts" during my reglue -- which would typically be installed under the pearl dots.

The saddle and nut are, apparently, original plastic. I've adjusted the saddle for better compensation, however.




The old Klusons are going strong but they desperately needed buttons -- so I popped some new black ones on to match the new black pins.



Here's that back, upper-bout crack repair. It was really, really, really sloppily-done beforehand with mistmached edges. I've fixed all that but it's not perfect. Oh well! Still, everything matches-up, it's filled and sealed, and it's cleated inside and good to go.





There's a weird finish blemish, here.






The inside back where the crack was previously "fixed" was globbed with glue and crud. I removed enough of it to get a couple new cleats on and then reglued the brace (which was loose) at the same time. It's not  beautiful, but at least I can rest assured that that imperfection is not my doing! All good -- and you don't see it, anyhow.

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