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  1. #51

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    This is how I got mine sounding (listen of laptop or in landscape iPhone as audio is panned for some reason.)


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    PS this is the Micro-Manouche which is a little more acoustic than the PAF and crucial for me works with both electric and acoustic strings. But I might get the PAF as well. Jason is dead nice and supportive.

    you have more than enough PAF action in your life surely haha?

  4. #53

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    Not that this doesn’t look like a very hip combo:

    1938 Gibson L-50 Archtop Jazz Guitar Sunburst with DeArmond Rhythm Chief Floating Pickup and Case
    1938 Gibson L-50 Archtop Jazz Guitar Sunburst with DeArmond | Reverb

  5. #54

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    Something like that can be done very easily with Blu-Tack and thumbwheel controls. The jack could be problematic, but there are multiple ways of handling that. I like a standard endpin jack, but there are other methods, including a 1/8" endpin jack, jacks attached to the tailpiece, or to the pickguard, or just flopping free.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmorelli
    Yes. I found many of the prior posts interesting. Gibson's production varied quite a bit over the years.

    I just finished restoring a 1935 Gibson L-50 for a client. It had the usual structural damage and came apart. The resulting instrument sounded excellent. Contrary to popular belief, top crack repairs have little effect on the sound. This was a Honduran Mahogany guitar with carved spruce top, 15' radius back. Aside from the typical structural damage, this guitar was original an owned by a professional musician since it was new. These were hot hide glue construction with the exception of the lining, where were installed with casein glue (an off-white glue made with milk protein).

    We see a fair bit of pre-war archtops that come through the shop. Glad to answer any questions if I am able. Photos of this particular 1935 L-50 can be seen here: Repair & Restoration - Morelli GuitarsMorelli Guitars

    Filippo
    I looked through the restoration pictures and had a little déjà vu as I had to do many of the same repairs on my L50 back in 2016.
    1937 Gibson ES-150 Tribute Guitar

  7. #56

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    I have really been wanting an old Gibson acoustic to play at home often but likely never gig. An early L5 is my dream, but the pockets aren't that deep....so these prewar L-50s seemed close. I believe this is the first years they were 16", and this one has the raised fingerboard over the body.

    I purchased this L-50 from a forum member and it just arrived today. One replacement tuner, a repaired back crack and refinish on the back only, but otherwise original. I grabbed these pictures before playing.

    This is my first acoustic archtop, but I am thinking of swapping out these bronze strings out right away for some TI's or Martin Retro's.

    Gibson L-50-61039036166-8faea85f-106f-47da-bad4-b810f8d4cb68-jpg
    Gibson L-50-img-8575-jpg
    Gibson L-50-img-8576-jpg
    Gibson L-50-img-8578-jpg
    Gibson L-50-img-8579-jpg

  8. #57

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    Very cool guitar. Congrats! I'm a huge fan of Martin Retros, for both floating pickups, and acoustic only. I had tried a ton, and the Retros, for me, crossed off all the boxes.

  9. #58

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    Looks good!

    I like L-50's from this era.

    Does this one have a flat back with braces or an arched back?
    Some had the flat back at this time......and whether flat or arched I've played and heard good examples of each.

    I do see the elevated fretboard extension you mentioned..... which can make a difference for those that wish to install a floating pickup and get it a bit closer to the neck position.

    Take a look in through the treble side f-hole with a flashlight and see if you can see a factory order number on the back. If it's readable I can look it up in the shipping ledgers if you want.
    I certainly have lots of time to fuss around with stuff like that lately.

    Hope you enjoy!

  10. #59

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    Thanks! It is a flat back.

    It’s a little hard to make out but appears to be 181 A33

    Gibson L-50-7cb20be2-9f9e-4237-a1bb-3e336331969f-jpeg

  11. #60

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    Looks like 181 A 33 to me too.....

    Sometimes my eyes want to see 131 A 33 but I'll go with the 181 number and see what shows up.
    It might take awhile.....the shipping ledgers are just hand written entries of everything that shipped out the door on a given day.
    Also salesman's samples coming and going, returns and repairs inbound and outbound....lots to get tangled up with.

    Hope you like how it plays and sounds...

  12. #61

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    Looks great! If that guitar could talk...

    Oh I guess it can with the right player...

    You might think of D'A PB Flattops for strings--mellower tone than regular PB roundwounds.

    Love those tuners! I'm not necessarily advocating this, but if a fellow were handy he could grind the corners of the replacement tuner with a Dremel tool with a small grinding stone so that the shape is the same as the other tuners. Or not. It took me a few looks to figure out which was the new one.

    Play it in good health!

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie2
    I have really been wanting an old Gibson acoustic to play at home often but likely never gig.
    You're certainly starting at a high point.

    Play it long and well, and let it show you a lot!

  14. #63

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    Paulie2,
    Congratulations on the vintage Gibson. It's hard to describe how awesome it is to own an archtop built at the beginning of the species. All modern archtops trace their heritage to these primogenitures. What a nice guitar. Enjoy every minute you spend with her!
    S

  15. #64

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    Paulie2....

    Its been so long since I did a ledger search I completely forgot I've only got back to March 1936.

    So no 1935 listings or anything before that date.

    Sorry!

  16. #65

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    Lovely guitar! Very nice condition. The top on my L50, in addition to having multiple cracks, was pretty beat up...

    Gibson L-50-l50-top-scratches-jpg

  17. #66

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    there is an estate sale in my area on 7/13. This is the picture of the guitar available. Would anyone know from this poor picture what type of gibson this is/vintage? thanks!
    It would be a hassle for me to get to the sale so I am trying to see if going is worth it.

    Gibson L-50-gibson-jpg

  18. #67

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    it looks like a prewar L-50 w/an offgassing guard

  19. #68

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    Best guess at a distance is a mid to late 30's L-50.
    I'd be leaning towards mid '30's.

    Oops....I'm just a minute later than wintermoon!

  20. #69

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    thank you, are those worth pursuing - any idea of going value for these?

    thanks

  21. #70

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    maybe about $1500-2000 depending on condition

  22. #71

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    I've had one for nearly 50 years. Nice guitars.

  23. #72

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    A friend of mine has loaned me his L-50 (late 40's, I think) until my L-12 arrives. It is in really really fine condition and both of us are relatively inexperienced with archtops so I don't want to screw anything up. Right now, it has 0.11's on it with quite low action and it sounds a little "plinky." What guage of string is good for a guitar like this?

  24. #73

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    Check for top sink of the top in the bridge area. It should handle 12's and 13's
    Older Gibson's were typically built to handle heavy gauge

  25. #74

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    strings in the 40's were much heavier than these days...probably came with 13 or 14's!!...but on an 80 year old guitar better to be safe...try a set of martin retro monel 12's

    monel i.e. mona-steel is what gibson used in the 40's



    cheers

  26. #75

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    I like 12’s on acoustic archtop. I have D’Addario 12-53 phosphor bronze (EJ16) on my 1947 L7 right now. That set seems to feel about right on that guitar, having enough volume without feeling too heavy. I think 11’s are too light for an acoustic archtop and a regular set of 13’s feels pretty heavy to me. The only time I go with 13’s is on my electric L5’s, which are always strung with THOMASTIK JS113 13-53. Those strings don’t seem to feel heavy at all.
    Keith

  27. #76

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    Can anyone please tell me what I have here? Any help much appreciated!
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson L-50-20200930_092014-jpg Gibson L-50-20200930_091905-jpg Gibson L-50-20200930_091840-jpg Gibson L-50-20200930_091857-jpg 

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjrev10
    Can anyone please tell me what I have here? Any help much appreciated!
    Looks like a laminated top, yes? If so:
    Mid-50s Gibson ES-130 / ES-135, based on neck binding and trapezoids
    Stripped & refinished
    All hardware replaced
    Routed for humbucker

    Here's an example in the Archtop.com archive.

    No collector value remains. Play it!

  29. #78

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    I know it can't be worth much. I paid peanuts for it several years ago, honestly I use it as a wall hanger in my practice room, I think it looks kinda funky/cool.

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Looks like a laminated top, yes? If so:
    Mid-50s Gibson ES-130 / ES-135, based on neck binding and trapezoids
    Stripped & refinished
    All hardware replaced
    Routed for humbucker

    Here's an example in the Archtop.com archive.

    No collector value remains. Play it!
    Thanks for the info!

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjrev10
    Can anyone please tell me what I have here? Any help much appreciated!

  32. #81

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    Hello, I'm hoping to revive this old thread because I would like some input on this guitar. I've attached pictures. It's listed as a 1940's Gibson L-50 for $1400 Canadian dollars. I've been looking to get an acoustic archtop. And a vintage unit is specifically alluring to me. However, I have some suspicions and perhaps someone can help confirm them. Judging by these 3 photos, I think the fingerboard, nut, and tailpiece do not look original. The seller also admits the tuners and bridge are not original. Where the headstock meets the neck it looks messed up, something weird about it. The back has a seam as if the two sides were bookmatched (if that's the right term). I have not seen it in person yet.

    I'm wondering, might it really be an L-48? I say this because of the seam on the back, I have seen photos of L-48s like that but not L-50s. I'm also wondering what a fair price is for this guitar, assuming it's playable, but considering how little is original or in good shape. Where I live you don't see old archtops that often, and I am alternatively looking at a Godin 5th Avenue for a third of the price.

    Gibson L-50-141735351_10158983397680996_2344510781217654685_o-jpgGibson L-50-142280303_10158983386695996_4857946417451284636_o-jpgGibson L-50-142915375_10158983386725996_5171460501092031087_o-jpg

  33. #82

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    Never seen those position markers on either an L-48 or an L-50...... or on any Gibson for that matter. Replaced fretboard? Custom order?

    Also the wood of the back seems too nice for an L-48 and I think also for an L-50.

    Don’t know what it is, but I do know the bridge is in the wrong place: like this the guitar must be unplayable....

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldHaus
    Hello, I'm hoping to revive this old thread because I would like some input on this guitar. I've attached pictures. It's listed as a 1940's Gibson L-50 for $1400 Canadian dollars. I've been looking to get an acoustic archtop. And a vintage unit is specifically alluring to me. However, I have some suspicions and perhaps someone can help confirm them. Judging by these 3 photos, I think the fingerboard, nut, and tailpiece do not look original. The seller also admits the tuners and bridge are not original. Where the headstock meets the neck it looks messed up, something weird about it. The back has a seam as if the two sides were bookmatched (if that's the right term). I have not seen it in person yet.

    I'm wondering, might it really be an L-48? I say this because of the seam on the back, I have seen photos of L-48s like that but not L-50s. I'm also wondering what a fair price is for this guitar, assuming it's playable, but considering how little is original or in good shape. Where I live you don't see old archtops that often, and I am alternatively looking at a Godin 5th Avenue for a third of the price.

    Gibson L-50-141735351_10158983397680996_2344510781217654685_o-jpgGibson L-50-142280303_10158983386695996_4857946417451284636_o-jpgGibson L-50-142915375_10158983386725996_5171460501092031087_o-jpg
    I have an L-48. That is not it. I've never seen those position markers on any guitar.

  35. #84

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    The fretboard end, where it meets the body, also doesn’t look like Gibson work. It looks like an L-50 with either a replaced fretboard or an entirely replaced neck to me. Doesn’t happen to have a factory order number on the back, inside the treble side f-hole?

  36. #85

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    what's going on w/the headstock above the nut? looks like reptile dentistry.
    and the back of the neck looks wonky, not to mention the bridge placement.
    I'm guessing it's a Gibson headstock mounted on a new neck, or likely a neck from another guitar.

  37. #86

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    The L48 did not have binding on the edge of the fingerboard. Looks like this one does. So,in that way, it's more like an L50. But,I've never seen those fingerboard inlays on any Gibson I can recall.

    Price looks very high for a guitar with inauthentic features. In fact, it's high for the genuine article.

  38. #87

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    What does the back of the neck around the nut look like? That appears to be serious damage under the e and b strings. I think I would run far away, as fast as my feet could carry me.

  39. #88

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    That would be about $1100 US which would be a bit below the current market value for an all original post-war L-50, but definitely seems high for what we see here. The top looks like spruce rather than mahogany which for the era this appears to be pushes me toward L-50 over L-48. I’ve seen backs like that on the L-50, but I don’t think I have in the L-48.

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    What does the back of the neck around the nut look like? That appears to be serious damage under the e and b strings. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    ...The top looks like spruce rather than mahogany which for the era this appears to be pushes me toward L-50 over L-48. I’ve seen backs like that on the L-50, but I don’t think I have in the L-48.
    Agree. Perhaps a photo of the back of the neck where it merges with the headstock would help explain the rather odd-looking area around the nut?

  41. #90

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    I'm maybe looking at this wrong and making some silly assumptions, but I'll take a chance at embarrassing myself and go ahead and say it......

    Besides the inlays and other things that people have noted.....

    The neck heel is not Gibson and its appears to have a 21 fretboard/neck if it meets the body at the 14th fret.
    A stock Gibson L-50 has a 19 fret board and the neck joins the body at the 14th fret.

    ....unless with this thing the neck join is at the 12th fret! Then its might be a 19 fret board.
    This way its possible to have an understanding why the bridge is set so far back, with the intentionally shortened trapeze tailpiece to accommodate it.

    So as someone mentioned above....the Gibson headstock would have been been grafted onto another neck and there you have it.

    Full photos of the neck and body front and back would help to confirm this "wild" idea.

    oldHaus.......let it go! There will surely be many better examples to choose from.
    Last edited by zizala; 01-26-2021 at 08:11 AM.

  42. #91

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    So I finally got to see the L-50, pictures of which I posted above. The body is in nice condition, and in fact I loved it. But the neck is just sadly so f****d. The action is crazy high, just barely playable. It actually does play and sounds pretty good. But the entire neck has had a very rough repair. There's a strip of the original neck that runs all the way down the middle and connects to the headstock. On either side are strips of rough wood, bumpy and not smoothly finished whatsoever. The fretboard is a new replacement on this frankenstein neck. I don't think there is a truss rod. The neck has a huge bow to it, so there's no way the action is getting any lower. Perhaps someone could use it for slide, particularly lap steel, but I don't do that stuff.

    Further, I don't think any parts are original. Definitely not the tuners, bridge, or tailpiece. I'm not sure about the pickguard.

    It's sad to me that this gorgeous body, no cracks, flamey back, very light, and great singing quality, is stuck with this unplayable and worthless neck. Plus the guy is now asking $1900.

    My fantasy now is to convince him to take a tenth of that asking price, then find a luthier who will pair this body to a totally new replacement neck. However, I'm not sure if that is even remotely possible in the real world. Anyone have any insight to putting a brand new neck on a '50s archtop?

    Gibson L-50-145613752_10159016522055996_8744288575803336009_o-jpgGibson L-50-145375544_10159016522060996_3104372381606267526_o-jpgGibson L-50-145925027_10159016522080996_2320854185746893678_o-jpg

  43. #92

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    couple more photos
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson L-50-145646385_10159016533970996_1357609796051853023_o-jpg Gibson L-50-145893314_10159016519535996_6162643812470181899_o-jpg 

  44. #93

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    What that guitar needs is a replacement neck, preferably an old Gibson neck with an inlaid script logo. If only there was a member here who had an extra neck like that and would be willing to sell it....hmmm, gotta think, gotta think...