Vintage Instruments: Gibson Guitars

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1950 Gibson LG-2

A remarkably good sounding early post-war LG-2, with plenty of wear and mojo to prove its point, and excellent playability. One of the most sure bets in the vintage acoustic guitar universe are the Gibson LG-2s that were built between the end of WWII and about 1952. This period of Gibson production is characterized by light builds, good sounding hard lacquer finish, the most appealing neck carves, and overall excellent tone. The bridges and bridge plates are light and small, the headstock is still tapered, tops are fairly thin and built with scalloped braces, and pickguards are still small. Most LG-2s from this period are great sounding guitars, as long as they’ve not been poorly repaired.

This example likely hasn’t seen the inside of a case for most of its life. The sunburst finish has sun-faded color, and the lacquer is scratched, chipped, flaked-off, and crazed more than most. It’s a great looking thing if, like us, you appreciate a well-worn guitar. Apart from the finish wear, the guitar is actually in very good condition. There are some reglued braces as one would expect, a repaired side crack on the upper treble bout, and the top’s center-seam has been reglued below the bridge. There are no other cracks or structural repairs, the original bridge and bridge plate are in excellent shape, and the finish is original throughout.

Frets and saddle are brand new, set-up is excellent (with a string action of 5-6 64ths) and there remains a little bit of saddle height for more adjustment down the road. Tuners are a set of Klusons from the later 1950’s and, although they look original, they aren’t. The neck has a beefy round carve that fills the hand nicely. Nut width of 1-11/16” and scale of 24.75”.

The guitar has plenty of warmth and a great punchy midrange. This era of LG-2 - and this guitar in particular - sound very transitional between the earlier Banner models and L-00s, and the later more heavily built versions. From the 30’s guitars it borrows the warmth, bass end presence, and character, and like the later 50’s it offers lots of punch though the mids and excellent articulation. It’s a small body guitar that can be flat-picked or played fingerstyle, and has all kinds of versatility in its responsiveness and tone.

Sorry for the wordy description. It’s a great sounding guitar and deserves a few extra minutes of narrative.

With hardshell case

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