1969 Gibson B-15 Flattop Guitar

This is the sort-of instrument that often doesn't make it to the blog -- a decent, lower-end guitar that just came in for while-you-wait work to get it going again. The owner went out to lunch, though, so I had a few extra minutes to snag some pictures.

It's a 1969 Gibson B-15 (the LG-0 successor) and it's basically an LG-0 except that the bridge is big and rectangular and the headstock is narrow and finished in natural. This version is made from all-solid mahogany but the vast majority of them seem to have ply back and sides. A tiny amount of them were made with x-bracing, even, just to add more confusion!

These can be had on Reverb and whatnot for ~$400-500 (like LG-0s used to be priced at) and sound and play just as well as any mid or late-'60s LG-0 to my ears, though they're not at all competition for late-'50s or early-'60s models. I kind-of like the tiny headstock, too, as it's not so apt to be knocked against walls or doorways as you're hanging out with the guitar in the house.

I didn't get a soundclip, but the sound is woody, mids-heavy, and loves fingerpicking. These make good "country-blues" guitars, for what it's worth. The necks, however, are tiny at almost 1 1/2" at the nut and with a slim-C rear profile. It's no wonder that so many of the truss rods in these are just "adequate" at removing upbow from the necks -- there's not that much wood there!

Work included a fret level/dress, replacement bolt for the bridge, recut for true compensation at the saddle, bridge pin-hole fill/redrill to fix a worn bridgeplate problem, string ramps, and a good setup with 50w-11 gauges.

The openback Kluson tuners are like a throwback to the '40s.