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I know my crown gonna fit me well, 'cause tried it on at the gates of hell - Reverend Gary Davis

Author Topic: New (New or Old) Guitars  (Read 56084 times)

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Offline GhostRider

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2004, 10:50:25 AM »
Hi all:

Much to my surprise, the Gibson L-3 that I discussed earlier was still availible when I got back from my field work in Montana, and I got a crack at playing it last Saturday. It appears to be a 1929, and is in great shape, especially finish-wise. All maple, round soundhole, tortoise shell pickguard. I think its not the original bridge.

It sounded great, especially when played forcefully, taking into account the strings on it were pretty old. The neck takes some getting used to, it's quite thick and wide, with a tapered shape (which I like).

All in all I think it would be a good 'un for blues playing. The fellow wants $2500 Canadian for it, which sounds a bit much. I've taken it to my local guitar repairman for his opinion. But I'm tempted, especially if I can knock some dough off his asking price.

Alex

Offline GhostRider

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #46 on: July 20, 2004, 11:53:22 AM »
Howdy:

Well, after long pursuit and concideration I yesterday purchased the 1929 Gibson L-3 small bodied, roundhole archtop guitar I've been mentioning. It's quite the little beauty. The acoustic sustain is quite remarkable, the treble nice and clear with a somewhat muted bass. The bridge probably needs to be modified or replaced, but overall I'm quite pleased.

I'll bring it to PT so you all can have a look.

Excited but poorer,
Alex

Offline Slack

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #47 on: July 20, 2004, 12:08:03 PM »
Congratulations Alex!

These are cool little guitars.  Jed usually brings his old archtop Gibson every year and I just love to play it - you would not think the sound on these archtops would be that great, but I really love the sound of these... very 'woody'.  I've got the flattop version of your guitar (a couple of pics in the library) and I love it too.  Know what you mean about feeling much poorer -  after buying a '28 L0 and a '21 A4 mando - I've sworn off old instruments! ;)

Looking forward to checking it out.

cheers,
slack

Offline jed

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #48 on: July 21, 2004, 11:45:28 PM »
Good on you, Alex!  If I can locate one of the extra archtop bridges (non-adjustable) I had made, we can see whether it would work on your "new" guitar.  You should get good sound and playability from medium strings, as that neck ought to have a lot of wood.  Some of these very early guitars are real sleepers - the more you play them, the richer you become!

Cheers,
Jed
ok then:  http://jed.net

Offline GhostRider

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2004, 09:46:43 AM »
Guys:

Thanks for the words.

You're right Jed, there's a lot of wood in that neck, so I have put mediums on it. Sort of like a strongly tapered baseball bat. Very comfortable in the hand, but different.

I'd love to try your bridge. The one on it is non-ajustable as well and probably intonates the guitar poorly.

And Slack, your description of the tone, woody, is just about right, especially the bass strings.

That's a mighty nice looking L0 you've got there.

Alex

Offline Cambio

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #50 on: July 31, 2004, 10:28:10 AM »
I've been busy building guitars this summer.  I took a picture of four of them before they go their seperate ways.  They're copies of grand concert and auditorium model Stellas.  I used red (Adirondak) spruce for the tops, white oak for the backs and sides,  maple neck and rosewood fingerboard.  The big one to the left of center has mahogany b&s, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge.  The scale length is 26 1/2" except for the six string which is 25 1/2".  I'm looking forward to running them past Frank this week at Clifftop to get his critique.

Offline frankie

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #51 on: July 31, 2004, 04:02:36 PM »
Oh my.... oh my, oh my, oh my, oh my, oh my, oh my...

I'll need something to revive me after playing those...  bring smelling salts...  or single malt!

Offline Johnm

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #52 on: July 31, 2004, 07:03:55 PM »
Good for you, Todd!? If they sound anywhere near as good as they look, they must be terrific.? It must be very satisfying to be able to make musical instruments with your hands like that.? Congratulations!
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 31, 2004, 10:12:23 PM by Johnm »

Offline Cambio

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #53 on: July 31, 2004, 08:44:31 PM »
Thanks for the compliments.  The funny thing is, they sound better than they look.  It's always hard for me to be pleased with the aesthetic.  I'll see a little blemish, that nobody else will see, and it will eat at me everytime I look at the instrument, but when they're making noise I know that I did alright.  I'm looking forward to hear Frank tear it up and let me know that I'm not hallucinating.

Offline Slack

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2004, 07:00:01 AM »
Absolutely beautiful Todd, am anxious to hear Frank's report.... I'm sure they sound great too.  You would have been a big hit at Port Townsend - we all loved JohnC's grand concert stella 12 string - you need to show up next year with your next batch! ;)

cheers,
slack

Offline Cambio

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2004, 12:00:30 PM »
Thanks alot Slack.  I toted a bunch of guitars up to Clifftop and Frank and Tom (Mot Mot) got to try them all out.  Frank actually ended up taking one of my twelves home.  I'm looking forward to hearing what he comes up with on it.  We had a great time playing, hanging out and ranting.  It was good for me to get feedback from some seasoned players and instrument makers, I don't get much of that here in Wisconsin.  The six string was the biggest hit of all, since it was a mostly old time crowd.  I actually had a fiddle player say that it sounded great during a jam.  I took that as one of the biggest compliments since I have never heard a fiddle player compliment a lowly guitar player in an old time jam.
Hopefully I can make it to Port Townsend one of these years.  I really enjoy hearing people play my instruments and seeing their reactions and that seems to be the biggest gathering of Country Blues fanatics.

Offline frankie

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2004, 01:24:54 PM »
Frank actually ended up taking one of my twelves home.

I was initially drawn to the little twelve string, the Angelica, but it was hard to pass up the raw brawn of the larger Francesca.  Every time I hopped in the saddle on that thing it'd shout "take me!  take me!"...  heh...  so I did!

Now that six-string...  Todd, you're like a dope pusher with that guitar...

I actually had a fiddle player say that it sounded great during a jam.

A rave!

Offline MotMot

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2004, 07:13:43 PM »
<? . . . snip . . . > I toted a bunch of guitars up to Clifftop and Frank and Tom (Mot Mot) got to try them all out.? < . . . snip . . .>?
I actually had a fiddle player say that it sounded great during a jam.? I took that as one of the biggest compliments since I have never heard a fiddle player compliment a lowly guitar player in an old time jam.

Ain't that the truth.? But those guitars of yours are pretty hard to put down (whether you're playing them, or listening to them).

Enjoyed meeting you and having some tunes, and appreciate your patience (and Frankie's) with a festival newby.

Best,
MotMot (tom)
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline Slack

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #58 on: August 11, 2004, 08:26:11 AM »
Todd,

As soon as I get caught up, I'm going to email you about some of the details on your Stella copies (like did you use the AG magazine article to come up with your plan?).  I've got a parlor guitar in process and was going to X brace it, but after hearing Docs ladder braced Larson and hearing the raves on your ladder braced 6 string - I'm thinking maybe I oughta get brave and start ladder bracing some guitars.

Maybe Country Blues guitar making could be a component in the new Country blues particpants festival? ;)

cheers,
slack

Offline Cambio

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Re: New (New or Old) Guitars
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2004, 08:33:57 AM »
Now you're talkin'!  Throw those X braces out the window!  The problem with ladder braced guitars wasn't that they were ladder braced, it was that they were poorly made with cheap materials, so they fell apart.  It's possible to build them so that they'll hold up and sound great.  I think I got a few converts this weekend.  Lots of people still think that I'm nuts though.  Let em think it.  E-mail me, I'll try to pass on what I've figured out.

 


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