4/15/2018

1957 Gibson LG-2 Flattop Guitar (John Sebastian-owned)




This handsome, jaw-droppingly-punchy LG-2 was owned for a time by Mr. John Sebastian himself (he'd bought it from Matt Umanov's shop). My buddy Floyd purchased it from him and it's been in his collection ever since. Yes -- it's all documented, of course! Aside from its celebrity credentials, this guitar is quite the hum-dinger in the playing department, too.

Over the last several years there have been any number of great LG-2s and LG-3s visiting the shop. My favorite up to this point was a '54 LG-3 that just had it -- that punchy, solid, fundamental, somewhat-bluesy, but woody tone. This one has that vibe in spades but it also has volume to spare and crosspicking or old-time backup on it sounds grand.

The guitar does have a mixed history, though, when one looks it over in detail. Inside it's totally original and clean save one old cleat on the top center seam on the lower bout and one added by me just south of the treble side of the soundhole on the top. Externally, it's pretty obvious that the guitar has had a total refinish to black. It may well have been factory work from a later period ('70s? '80s?) or even small-shop work, as the clearcoat has plenty of pickwear around the soundhole and minor use-wear throughout. It's also had plenty of time to get weather-check/crackle in the finish here and there (especially on the sides), too.

Aside from the finish, the frets have also been replaced with large/jumbo stock. It's a good job and really gives it more of a modern/pro feel. The bridge had been reglued (without the customary factory bolts) at some point in the past and it was coming-up when it came in, so I reglued that. I imagine it also had a neck reset in its past, too, as the neck angle is good and the bone saddle is taller than a factory saddle would've been when the guitar was made. Said original saddle is in the case, too. The saddle slot is shallow (as on all the other mid-to-late-'50s LG bridges I've worked-on), though, so it leans a bit under tension. I tightened-up the saddle slot which keeps it from leaning as it did when it came in, but I'm tempted to fill it and cut it thinner and deeper for more purchase. I'll let the next owner decide if that will be the plan, but it holds-up just fine as it is and I've compensated it, too. The last bit of work I did was to give it a light fret level/dress and set it up. It plays on-the-dot save that after the 12th fret, the fretboard just barely backbows as it runs over the body. This is probably due to the (presumed) old neck set job.

Specs are: 24 5/8" scale, 1 11/16" nut width, 1 1/2" string spacing at the nut, 2 3/16" spacing at the bridge, 14 1/4" lower bout, 11 1/8" upper bout, 4 1/2" side depth at the endblock. The neck is straight and the action is spot-on at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE. I've got it strung with 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 strings and it rumbles.



The truss rod cover and nut appear to be replacements, too.














The two filled small holes just below the heel suggest tacking-in-place while work on the back or neck joint was being done.










A decent TKL hard case comes with it.


Here are the credentials: Mr. Sebastian's receipt from Mr. Umanov's shop will not come with it as there are credit card numbers scrawled all over it, but the rest of the information will.





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