Like the 1948 LG-2 I worked on a couple years ago, this guitar has fabulous tone -- it's open, airy, loud, clear, and has tons of mids. It's also been played pretty hard and has seen plenty of use, as evidenced by the "washboard" below the pickguard and around the soundhole. From my point of view that's an excellent thing -- it means it's been woken-up and is ready to go.
This came in via a consignor and needed some brace reglues (a couple were reglued in the past and one "finger brace" to the side of the main X is a replacement), a fret level/dress, new nut, new tuner buttons, and a good setup. It's playing spot-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret and has little over 1/16" saddle height left to play with -- about average.
From my experience, these are rugged and practical guitars and sound tremendous on record as the sound isn't mushy on the bass or too zingy on the treble. They're balanced but have that typical Gibson lower-mids growl that makes them fun to flatpick the heck out of.
There's no factory order number or serial number inside this guitar and so dating has to be done by its features -- the "pinned" openback Kluson tuners, the through-saddle bridge, and the overall build. It's more than likely a '47 but could be an early '48, too.
The top is solid spruce and, thankfully, crack-free. The sides have one, short, 1.5" hairline crack on the treble upper bout that's been repaired and the back has a couple of hairline cracks on the lower bout that are good to go (more on these, later).
This came to me with tuner buttons that were replacements, missing, or on their way out. I snipped the remains off and put these new, black buttons on instead. The nut that came with it was, apparently, original -- but it was split. I made a new, bone one to replace it with.
The truss rod works perfectly and the neck is nice and straight. The nut width is 1 11/16" and it has the usual 12" Gibson radius on the Brazilian rosewood fretboard. This has the normal 24 3/4" scale length.
The frets are the original, smallish old Gibson type. They have plenty of height left and feel good, though. The dots are pearl.
It's strung with a set of 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 strings.
You've got to love that simplified Gibson aesthetic -- those plain rosettes look great.
The original bridge is in good shape, though I did have to remove a bit of gunk/buildup from it and buff it up again. I compensated and adjusted the original saddle's height during setup. The pins are old black plastic ones (that came with it) that probably aren't original but look about right.
Note also how the treble-side pearl dot (which hides the bolts Gibson used on their bridges) has a tiny chip-out.
The top has a very small amount of "doming" under the bridge -- as opposed the curled/wave-style belly seen behind the bridge on other makes. This is quite normal and nothing to worry about. I've never seen an old Gibson that doesn't have it.
In these pictures you can really see the old weather-check/crackle effect that Gibson finishes tend to acquire. The solid mahogany back looks great, by the way.
Where the glare stops you can see an old, longer (4-5") hairline crack and then one on the other side of center from it. I could not for the life of me find these on the inside to cleat them (sometimes the wood is only so open) but they're glued and sealed.
The endpin is a matching black plastic one I had in my parts-bins.
It comes with a hard, molded, TKL case.