1950s Gibson LG-1 Flattop Guitar

The LG-1's biggest notoriety comes from its being Mr. Presley's choice box for movie outings. However, legions of country-blues, folksy, and old-time players line-up to get them as well. They just have that sound. It's a direct, chunky, woody, midsy sort of voice that recalls Gibson's earlier Kalamazoo-brand efforts -- though these tend to be slightly darker in tone and a little more relaxed in feel as the necks are smaller and narrower than the old '30s bruisers.

This one doesn't have a serial number or factory order number on it that I can find, but the large pickguard dates it to 1955 at the earliest and my best bet is that it's a '57 or '58 judging by the look of the bridge and fittings.

It's seen a lot of abuse over the years and was full of suspect old repairs when it arrived on my doorstep a long time ago. Many people have been interested in this guitar but I've had it backburnered for at least a year as the owner is a consignor who always has a good mix of old Gibsons here that also need work done on them.

The worst of it is that someone in the past sloppily-reglued back bracing and back cracks, blew the job of resetting/regluing a burst neck block and joint, poorly-reglued the bridge, and to top it off oversprayed the body and the back of the neck. The only bit of unmolested original finish appears to be the headstock. Fortunately, whoever did the overspray at least kept the original finish under their new topcoat, so the guitar still looks as suave and Gibsony as it should.

Repairs included: regluing the neck block and a neck reset, a fret level/dress, bridge reglue, cleats added for all of the uncleated old back and top crack repairs, minor brace regluing where possible, cleaning, a new endpin, deepening the saddle slot and making a new compensated bone saddle, and setup.

Setup notes: the neck is straight and the truss rod works, action is perfect at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE height at the 12th fret, strings are gauged 54w-12, and the saddle has plenty of height above the deck and a deep slot for easy shim-up/down adjustments to the saddle.

Scale length: 24 5/8"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/8"
Body length: 19 1/8"
Lower bout width: 14 1/4"
Waist width: 9 1/2"
Upper bout width: 11 1/4"
Side depth at endpin: 4 1/2"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: mahogany
Bracing type: ladder
Fretboard: Brazilian rosewood, synthetic nut
Bridge: Brazilian rosewood, bone saddle
Neck feel: medium C-shape, ~10-12" board radius

Condition notes: old repairs to the back are a little frustrating -- one brace has a section of its middle with air under it (the one closest to the soundhole) but the rest are glued-down fine. There's 4 or 5 longer hairline cracks that are repaired, though the biggest one down the middle is uneven in its old glue job (so there's a tiny ridge at its midpoint on the back) and would be absolute torture to fix as it looks like epoxy was favored for that job. Everything is tight and stable, though. The top has 4 or 5 longer hairline cracks as well and they're all sealed and cleated as needed. There's an indent in the top near the pickguard's top edge and the whole body has been oversprayed with a clearcoat over the original finish. The bridge pins and endpin are replacement ebony ones. The saddle is new. The nut and tuners are original, though the tuner buttons are new. There's all sorts of old glue-wash/glue-trails inside the guitar but that makes them sound worse than they really are. I just want to note it for fullness' sake. OH, and the truss rod cover is a replacement.