Gibson LG-O

macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,494
arizona
A friend is sending me his LG0, looks like a '61. I don't have any acoustics presently and I'm excited to try this one out. Of course the exterior finish looks a bit rough but neck and frets look good on pics.
Awhile back I pursued owning another acoustic but everything I tried to like didn't cut it. I had memories of my HD-28 and Yammie FG180. Of course memories can be deceiving, especially with guitar tones. I'm anxious to try out the narrow LG neck which might be a real plus for me. I see a lot of the acoustics coming out now have 1 3/4" nut width which I don't think I would like.
I feel like once I can play the LG I will be able to tell if I want to go back to a smaller body Martin and if I would be OK with a 00-15M with a 1 11/16 nut width. I also think about a small body like the 00-28, from what I've read, for the RW on the B/S. That is pretty much a dream, I've never played one and can't imagine paying what it takes to own one.
I'll post some pics here when the LG comes over.
 

Stratoskater

Fuzz Meister General
Feb 8, 2011
11,654
Naked in NC
Martin 00 and 000 are awesome. The short scale is cool too for fingerstyle. The 1 3/4 is nice on an acoustic to move around. I sold all my 1 11/16 acoustics a few years back. It was odd to me because I thought I would hate the wider nut but I like it. Also it allows for slightly wider string spacing at the bridge which helps finger picking too.
 

oatsoda

Puck of Paradox
Gold Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2011
9,304
The Shack, Nova Scotia
Very cool. I’ve played a few, but never as old as a ‘61. I’m with you on not getting along with wide fretboards too. I’ve got an 00-15M, and really love it. Different tone than a spruce and rosewood guitar like my 000-28, but that’s a great thing, like having different brushes to paint sound with.

Hope it all works out
 

Gedster

Strat-Talker
May 11, 2021
147
NSW Australia
You’ll love the LG-O. I spent about 10 years with a 58 LG-1, which I only sold last year. My LG-1 had a beautiful tobacco sunburst spruce top which gave it a much warmer voice than the mahogany topped LG-0, but it was just a cracking guitar! Loud, rich, warm and really rang like a bell. I also previously had a 62 Epiphone Caballero which is the same body with a mahogany top, like the LG-0. Again, fantastic little guitar! The Caballero has a really skinny nut on it, which made it a bit cramped to play and I eventually moved that on after a few years, but I hung onto the LG-1 for so long because it was just so special.

All of those models are ladder braced, as opposed to the spruce topped LG-2 which was the only X braced version.

I only moved the LG-1 on last year in order to get into a Martin D35, and when I sold it I got about 3 times what I had paid 10 years before. I believe Gibson are now doing reissues of some of the LG series which seems to have prompted a bit of a resurgence in interest and value of the old ones. My experience with Montana Gibsons hasn’t been fantastic and if I had to choose between a Kalamazoo Gibson and a reissue?, it’s a no brainer….

You’ll love the LG-0.
 

macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,494
arizona
You’ll love the LG-O. I spent about 10 years with a 58 LG-1, which I only sold last year. My LG-1 had a beautiful tobacco sunburst spruce top which gave it a much warmer voice than the mahogany topped LG-0, but it was just a cracking guitar! Loud, rich, warm and really rang like a bell. I also previously had a 62 Epiphone Caballero which is the same body with a mahogany top, like the LG-0. Again, fantastic little guitar! The Caballero has a really skinny nut on it, which made it a bit cramped to play and I eventually moved that on after a few years, but I hung onto the LG-1 for so long because it was just so special.

All of those models are ladder braced, as opposed to the spruce topped LG-2 which was the only X braced version.

I only moved the LG-1 on last year in order to get into a Martin D35, and when I sold it I got about 3 times what I had paid 10 years before. I believe Gibson are now doing reissues of some of the LG series which seems to have prompted a bit of a resurgence in interest and value of the old ones. My experience with Montana Gibsons hasn’t been fantastic and if I had to choose between a Kalamazoo Gibson and a reissue?, it’s a no brainer….

You’ll love the LG-0.
Thanks, should be here Friday. On my local Craigslist there is a '50s LG-2 reissue that looks nice. Yes. I've read about the ladder bracing but have never played an acoustic with it.
I thought this one was going to be a 61 but the bridge and pickguard show more like '69-70s
 

Gedster

Strat-Talker
May 11, 2021
147
NSW Australia
Thanks, should be here Friday. On my local Craigslist there is a '50s LG-2 reissue that looks nice. Yes. I've read about the ladder bracing but have never played an acoustic with it.
I thought this one was going to be a 61 but the bridge and pickguard show more like '69-70s

A late 60’s will have the serial number stamped into the back of the headstock so they’re pretty easy to date. Late 60’s will place it in the Norlin era which is technically, less desirable (from a collectors point of view) but in reality, probably not much of a difference. One of the best Gibson flattops I’ve owned was a Norlin era 71 J50!, but like CBS Fenders of the era, there were quite a lot of significant construction details that were being changed.

One of the benefits of the late 60’s acoustics was that they had abandoned the woeful plastic bridges of some of the early 60’s acoustics…. My 62 Caballero had a (warped and lifting) plastic bridge which I replaced with a rosewood bridge. My 62 Southern Jumbo has always had a (Brazilian) Rosewood bridge on it though…. Gibson always got a lot of stuff wrong way before Norlin came along!
 

macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,494
arizona
My LG came Friday. I took off the strings and taking it over to my set-up guy on Monday. Serial number has it at '73 with RW bridge and bone saddle. I had to go lemon oil on those and it really brought out the color. The original nitro is really cracked on the back and I would like to sand it all off and put on some cutting board oil/ paraffin but won't, to keep it original for now. Non original tuners but these are nickel/ brass Kluson Deluxe, 3 on a strip. lg neck.jpeg lg body.jpg Yes, has the Brazilian fretboard and bridge. So far so good.
 

fishermike

Strat-Talker
Dec 4, 2019
228
Santa Barbara
Congrats on the new Gibson! Since you mentioned it specifically, I’ll mention that I bought a 00-28 just about two years ago, and it completely cured my acoustic GAS. Hope your new axe does the same for you!
 

Gedster

Strat-Talker
May 11, 2021
147
NSW Australia
Wow! That fretboard has come up beautifully. Big fat frets too. Nice.

You obviously already know that refinishing it will devalue it significantly, but it’s your guitar now. It’d be worth getting a quote to have it redone professionally in nitro if you’re not up for that sort of job yourself. The value of nice, original, player guitars will continue to increase exponentially in coming years no doubt, so it’d be worth considering that element.

I always consider myself as a ‘custodian’ of vintage guitars, rather than an owner. They’ll outlive us.

Happy New Guitar Day! Enjoy it.
 

macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,494
arizona
Wow! That fretboard has come up beautifully. Big fat frets too. Nice.

You obviously already know that refinishing it will devalue it significantly, but it’s your guitar now. It’d be worth getting a quote to have it redone professionally in nitro if you’re not up for that sort of job yourself. The value of nice, original, player guitars will continue to increase exponentially in coming years no doubt, so it’d be worth considering that element.

I always consider myself as a ‘custodian’ of vintage guitars, rather than an owner. They’ll outlive us.

Happy New Guitar Day! Enjoy it.
Thanks, Yes I won't do anything to the finish for awhile and will see about a refinish. Also not sure about the year made. My serial number is 6 digits #0513** which would place it at '67. Mine has the reverse belly bridge with no adjustment to saddle. All the LG-0s I see in pics of have the adjustable saddle for '67. I like the Kluson tuners and think there from a Gibson B-25
 

Gedster

Strat-Talker
May 11, 2021
147
NSW Australia
Thanks, Yes I won't do anything to the finish for awhile and will see about a refinish. Also not sure about the year made. My serial number is 6 digits #0513** which would place it at '67. Mine has the reverse belly bridge with no adjustment to saddle. All the LG-0s I see in pics of have the adjustable saddle for '67. I like the Kluson tuners and think there from a Gibson B-25

Gibson serial numbers can be a joke. They chopped and changed and repeated numbers and all sorts of stuff.

Quick search shows that to be a 67 serial and the features generally look right I guess, but I’m no real expert. I think your going to have to use the checklist of features to verify your conclusion.

This might help, but I’m not sure if it doesn’t add to the confusion! For instance, it mentions the Epiphone FT30 Caballero that I mention earlier and it says it’s “Identical to the LG-0, other than…..” but it’s not! The nut width is substantially different and of course it has the crazy long Epi headstock that means it won’t fit any normal guitar case.

It does mention that they substituted maple bridge plates with mahogany bridge plates at some point mid sixties. That might help narrow it down for you.
 

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macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,494
arizona
Gibson serial numbers can be a joke. They chopped and changed and repeated numbers and all sorts of stuff.
YES
Quick search shows that to be a 67 serial and the features generally look right I guess, but I’m no real expert. I think your going to have to use the checklist of features to verify your conclusion
This might help, but I’m not sure if it doesn’t add to the confusion! For instance, it mentions the Epiphone FT30 Caballero that I mention earlier and it says it’s “Identical to the LG-0, other than…..” but it’s not! The nut width is substantially different and of course it has the crazy long Epi headstock that means it won’t fit any normal guitar case.

It does mention that they substituted maple bridge plates with mahogany bridge plates at some point mid sixties. That might help narrow it down for you.
My repair guy noticed a Rosewood insert had been routed in for the existing saddle and the bridge plate appeared to be maple. It was the bridge that confused me when the serial number came up as a '67, which I know it is. Thanks for your input and the reference material. If you could send again so it's not sideways that would be good but if not I can deal with it. Have to look around for that book.
I was surprised that the fretboard plane came in at the bridge about a 1/16 of an inch from the top. Which as I understand it is perfect. All this is good news to me but the bottom line is how it sounds. I should have it back this week all good to play with original nut, the saddle I'm hoping is bone, and plastic bridge pins. My repairman said Martin guitars have used plastic pins for a long time so not going to replace them for now.
Another thing is the different serial numbers used in '67. That year was all over the place as you mentioned. Reading online I see player mentioning negative tone from the LG) and I believe there were dogs and also exceptional ones. I'm a believer in a best possible setup and the difference it can provide in good tone. the LGs with plastic bridges certainly were tone sponges. Even though these were considered student model guitars at the time, there solid wood and solid built
 

macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,494
arizona
Congrats on the new Gibson! Since you mentioned it specifically, I’ll mention that I bought a 00-28 just about two years ago, and it completely cured my acoustic GAS. Hope your new axe does the same for you!
Thanks for mentioning the 00-15. Even if I love the LG0 I'm looking around for a used 00-15. I see they don't come with Rosewood any more so will have to see when they changed it out.
 

Gedster

Strat-Talker
May 11, 2021
147
NSW Australia
My repair guy noticed a Rosewood insert had been routed in for the existing saddle and the bridge plate appeared to be maple. It was the bridge that confused me when the serial number came up as a '67, which I know it is. Thanks for your input and the reference material. If you could send again so it's not sideways that would be good but if not I can deal with it. Have to look around for that book.
I was surprised that the fretboard plane came in at the bridge about a 1/16 of an inch from the top. Which as I understand it is perfect. All this is good news to me but the bottom line is how it sounds. I should have it back this week all good to play with original nut, the saddle I'm hoping is bone, and plastic bridge pins. My repairman said Martin guitars have used plastic pins for a long time so not going to replace them for now.
Another thing is the different serial numbers used in '67. That year was all over the place as you mentioned. Reading online I see player mentioning negative tone from the LG) and I believe there were dogs and also exceptional ones. I'm a believer in a best possible setup and the difference it can provide in good tone. the LGs with plastic bridges certainly were tone sponges. Even though these were considered student model guitars at the time, there solid wood and solid built

Hmm, who knows what has gone on with the insert in the bridge. Hard to see from the photo, but it looks like a reverse belly bridge and that would be correct for 67 I think.

You’re definitely on the right track having it set up and sorted before you get to know it. If it’s not set up to your specification, it doesn’t matter how it sounds!, you’ll never be entirely be happy with it. But, I’m thinking it will be very similar to my 62 FT33 Caballero and that was a stellar little guitar. It was only overwhelmed in my collection because of the company it was in at that time.

Enjoy it!

Hopefully, these excerpts come through the right way up.
 

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macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,494
arizona
Hmm, who knows what has gone on with the insert in the bridge. Hard to see from the photo, but it looks like a reverse belly bridge and that would be correct for 67 I think.

You’re definitely on the right track having it set up and sorted before you get to know it. If it’s not set up to your specification, it doesn’t matter how it sounds!, you’ll never be entirely be happy with it. But, I’m thinking it will be very similar to my 62 FT33 Caballero and that was a stellar little guitar. It was only overwhelmed in my collection because of the company it was in at that time.

Enjoy it!

Hopefully, these excerpts come through the right way up.
Yes, they came through and all's good, thankyou @Gedster
 


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