Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1944 Gibson LG-2

Banner-era Gibsons come in all sorts of variations – from maple to mahogany, red and Sitka spruce, different neck specs, and bridge and fingerboard woods. These differences all impact a guitar’s tone, which makes every Banner Gibson we encounter an interesting study in guitar making.

This example, most likely dating from early 1944, features a 4-piece red spruce top, mahogany back and sides, two-piece maple neck with rosewood center strip and no truss-rod, rosewood fingerboard, and gumwood bridge. It has a deep and round feel to the neck, but the slightly narrower nut than the real ‘baseball bat’ necked Banners at 1-23/32”. Still a large-feeling neck with a round barrel, it’s comfortable and manageable to get around.

It’s a wonderful sounding guitar with plenty of mid-range punch, strong low-mids and lots of treble power, fullness through the bass and excellent balance. It’s open and lively, and has excellent note separation and clarity without being too bright. It’s great played with a pick or fingerstyle and, unlike many smaller guitars, this one is a great rhythm instrument thanks to its low-mid presence.

Crack-free and 100% original but for new frets and an aged replacement saddle installed here after the neck reset we’ve just completed. Original finish throughout, and original tuners, nut, bridge, and pins. Reglued braces under the hood, and the bridge was long ago reglued as well. There’s a repaired crack in the bass bridge wing that we opted to leave as found. Original bridgeplate is in good shape, and the guitar’s top-arch is perfect.

Setup with regular light gauge strings and an action of 4.5 to 6 64ths at the 12th fret.

With newer hardshell case

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