Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1948 Gibson / National LG-3

Serial # V9147. The National 1160 is essentially a Gibson LG-3 with a different headstock, pickguard, and bridge. The model was offered between 1947 and 1951, but it is unknown how many of these were built. Gibson shipping totals do not specify how many instruments were supplied to National. What is known is that the LG-2 out-produced the natural-finish LG-3 by a 3-to-1 ratio, and not very many of them were sent westward to Chicago for National branding; so there are likely not too many of these guitars out there.

The guitar pictured here is in remarkably fine condition minus a cleanly repaired minor endpin-crack (mostly invisible from the outside of the guitar). Its LG-3 body is built from Sitka Spruce and mahogany, with scalloped X bracing, a small rectangular Brazilian rosewood bridge, and 3-ply faux-mahogany grained pickguard that was really quite avant-garde for 1948. Its neck is very obviously a Gibson build, with a large round carve, and no truss-rod. It has a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with pearl dots, and a bone nut measuring 1-3/4" wide. The bridge is a replacement built in our shop - the original's saddle was located improperly for accurate intonation, but we'll include it.

The guitar has had a professional neck reset, and we've just refretted it and installed a bone nut. It plays perfectly and very comfortably with action of 5 to 7 64ths.

A very fine sounding post-war LG3, this one has a snappy and articulate bass end, and that typically round and powerful midrange and treble response of post-war Gibson LG-2's and 3's.

With period brown alligator case

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