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  1. #1

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    Hello everybody,

    I find this 1946 Levin Solist with a Wingtone Super Special floating pickup. The guitar was stored in its case in an attic for over 40 years and its strings are rusty and old. The neck is straight and the action is quite good. The frets are good. I need clean the guitar fretboard and install new strings.


    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-13-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-10-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-08-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-06-jpg

    I use in all my Acoustic archtops .012-.013 Bronze strings.

    What kind of strings recommend for this guitar?.

    For the moment I have Thomastic Infeld Jazz Swing JS112 flatwound and a John Pearse .012 Phosphor Bronze set.

    I think use acoustic and electric. I play more swing, blues music (T-Bone Walker style-sound is good for me).

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Jorge_70; 08-10-2019 at 04:54 AM.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge_70 View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I find this 1946 Levin Solist with a Wingtone Super Special floating pickup.

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-13-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-10-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-08-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-06-jpg

    I use in all my Acoustic archtops .012-.013 Bronze strings.

    What kind of strings recommend for this guitar?.

    For the moment I have Thomastic Infeld Jazz Swing JS112 flatwound and a John Pearse .012 Phosphor Bronze set.

    I think use acoustic and electric. I play more swing, blues music.

    Thans!
    I would’ve picked the string gauge that suits me best. With other words, use whatever type of strings you want. The result will probably be fine in any way!

    Good choice of guitar! It reminds me of my grandfather’s acoustic Levin he had for nearly 60 years before it were sold. His guitar was not an archtop though. Unfortunately I don’t remember what model it was. One of the best acoustic guitars I’ve played so far!
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  4. #3

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    Well holy shit! What a beautiful guitar!

    Go for some round wounds maybe? Maybe a grittier blues swing feel...
    Whatever works though.

  5. #4
    My 40s Gibson L-7 is fitted with a floating DeArmond without adjustable polar pieces and I use with Bronze strings. I had no problems and sounded pretty balanced. The same did not happen with another acoustic archtop with a floating pickup and bronze strings that I have.


    I don't know what to expect with the floating pickup of the Levin in combination with a bronze string. I think I need to try various strings possibilities.

    Thanks for your replies!

  6. #5

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    You might want to try Monel strings - that's the type of steel alloy they used in the old days. Various brands supply them. The pickup should pick them up better than bronze strings. The Tony Rice Signature Strings from Martin are very good:



    They sound good on archtop guitars.

  7. #6

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  8. #7

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    That's a beautiful Levin archtop! The fretboard appears to be of Brazilian Rosewood.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 08-10-2019 at 03:49 PM.

  9. #8

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    Even the fret nibs are still there
    I thought nibs it were just a Gibson thing !
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  10. #9

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    Congratulations! Levins, particularly from the 40s and 50s, can be very good guitars. I play my ‘51 Solist mainlt acoustically, with TI Spectrum 12s. For electric play, you might try TI Bebops, either 12s or 13s. Levins from this time have a non-adjustable truss rod, so the action is often still very low.

  11. #10
    Than you cmayor 9 ! ... Nice yar 1951.

    Regards.

  12. #11
    I like to know the name of this type of cable (connector). Where can I find-buy it?

    The original cable works, but not so good. It's very short too.

    Any help?

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-conector-jpg

  13. #12

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    If it were me, I would just unsolder the connector and use a length of modern cable with it. You can put the old cable aside to save if you want, but I doubt it has much value or utility. Finding a new connector of the right size, and with the correct threads, could be difficult. I wouldn't even look. The other option would be to convert the jack to a modern style, but it's much more work.

  14. #13
    Finally I clean the entire guitar carefully. Make a new nut of buffalo bone, adjusting, calibration and now has a much better string action.


    I put Tomastik-Infeld flatwound .012 strings. The guitar is very comfortable to play and has a beautiful, elegant-sweet sound.



    Thaks you all for the comments!.


    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-01-jpg


    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-02-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-03-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-04-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-05-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-06-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-07-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-08-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-09-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-10-jpg

  15. #14

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  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Looks gorgeous.
    Thank you Rob!

  17. #16
    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-11-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-12-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-13-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-14-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-15-jpg

    The case is new because have a exterior cover for protection!.

  18. #17
    From the 1946 Levin Catalog!

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-16-jpg

    First: (top of the line) the Deluxe. Second: The Solist model.
    Price List from 1946:

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-17-jpg

    The 1946 advertising for the swedish "Wingtone" floating pickup.

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-18-jpg

  19. #18

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    That's nice!

    Congratulations, I say, with a little envy.

  20. #19

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    Congrats for your new guitar, it is a real treasure :-)

    I've recently acquired a similar one, not as top end but decent.
    Here is my experience, and also what my luthier said (besides he repaired the seven cracks)

    - He said the bracing is very sophisticated but the same time delicate, he does not recommend heavier strings like 12s
    - So I put my favourite, see below. After a few month I know that was an excellent choice (at least for my instrument). No way flatwound or an other extremum like flattop acoustic strings will do it: It is soo ballanced, and singing, I can not describe. (I plan a youtube demo "sometime" :-)


    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-rsp6hmtvqofvj530s8lh-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-daj1252-pink-jpg

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    Congrats for your new guitar, it is a real treasure :-)

    I've recently acquired a similar one, not as top end but decent.
    Here is my experience, and also what my luthier said (besides he repaired the seven cracks)

    - He said the bracing is very sophisticated but the same time delicate, he does not recommend heavier strings like 12s
    - So I put my favourite, see below. After a few month I know that was an excellent choice (at least for my instrument). No way flatwound or an other extremum like flattop acoustic strings will do it: It is soo ballanced, and singing, I can not describe. (I plan a youtube demo "sometime" :-)


    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-rsp6hmtvqofvj530s8lh-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-daj1252-pink-jpg
    Nice guitar Gabor! Thanks for the recommendation!

  22. #21
    Finally I put a .012 Pyramid Gold flatwound strings and the guitar sound fantastic!

    I left a string action of 2.3 mm. on the bass side and 1.8 mm on the treble side (12th freet).

    I replace the old screw-on mic type connector and I put a switchkraft jack for can plug with a standard guitar cable.

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-01a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-02a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-03a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-05a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-06a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-07a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-08a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-09a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-10a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-11a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-14a-jpg

    1946 Levin Solist Archtop Strings question-15a-jpg

  23. #22

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    Wow

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmajor9 View Post
    ....... Levins from this time have a non-adjustable truss rod, so the action is often still very low.
    Some older Levin guitars had a peculiar truss rod adjusment, likely to circumvent the Gibson patent which may still have been in force at that time. The adjustable nut was located inside the box at the neck block. To access it one had to remove the end pin and use a very long tool which could reach all the way throug the length of the body. Whether that's the case with this guitar, I don't know.

    BTW, with the Stromberg guitars one had to remove the (non glued) string nut to access the truss rod nut.

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