1951 Gibson TG-50 Carved-Top Tenor Guitar

With 30 minutes left to go in the workday, I quickly polished this customer consignment up, restrung it, compensated the saddle, gave it a setup, and adjusted the K&K pickup inside for better tone and fit. After that? Ready to roll. It's apparently had a refret in the past and still had a very good setup when it came in. It plays perfectly with 1/16" action at the 12th fret and is strung for DGBE ("Chicago") tuning at the moment, though the bridge compensation suits standard CGDA as well, too.

With Gibson's standard 22 3/4" long tenor scale length and full 16" carved-top archtop body, this thing certainly does that projecting, dark-ish, mids-heavy jazz tone to a T. I'm pretty enamored of it, really. Part of that, though, is due to just how amazingly clean it is! This one is pretty as well as functional. Early 50s L-48s and L-50s had carved spruce tops and laminate maple back and sides -- and that's just what this one is made of.

I know, right? You feel it too, don't you? It's like it was made 10 years ago rather than 60+!

All the hardware is original except that the tuner buttons are replacements. The truss works perfectly, too. Bone nut.

The board is bound rosewood and feels great. The neck shape is a quick C shape.

Such clean work...

The original adjustable rosewood bridge is holding steady. There's a single-sensor K&K pickup installed right underneath that gives a pretty accurate acoustic tone -- and is passive and hot so you don't need a preamp when plugging in.

Whoever installed the K&K originally did a good job by installing it through the endpin area of the tailpiece.

A TKL "featherweight" case comes with it and the original pickguard, too, though I understand why it was removed -- someone had cut it for an electric pickup at some point in time.


Gim said…
Sweet - I have a '57 with a DeArmond toaster on it - but this one sounds like it has more projection - not sure if it's because the '57s have a pressed top or maybe it's the flatwounds I have on mine which make it so slinky as an electric but lank the ringy zing.
Jake Wildwood said…
It's because the 57 is pressed lam top rather than solid carved. Very different beasts! The pressed lam tops can sound pretty good, though -- or terrible. I don't know quite why! A buddy plays a 58 L-48 that sounds tops, though.