Other Guitars

Anybody ever play an early Gibson L-1 ?


I might have an angle on a fixer upper, a very early archtop one. Do they sound okay? I'm not really looking for a funky blues machine. I'd prefer it it could be made to sound like a nice acoustic guitar.


Since 1987 I have owned this one, a 1916. It has a vibe... hollow, direct, neck like a tree trunk.

I restored it about 1991, it had a long-ago Humpty Dumpty event. I have the original case.


When I bought the guitar, I think maybe the case was worth more...Ha!


Honestly they are not the best sounding guitars you’ve ever heard. That being said if you can get a cheap enough maybe you can re carve of the top because they’re quite thick


Or, an even better idea, change the neck angle, replace the top and make it into a flat top like the later 1926 to 1929 L1 model. They sounded great! I know you are crafty enough to do this!


Hmm I was thinking that might be the case...it actually doesn't have a case..well it did but the fellow is using the case for his fully restored one. I like fixing them up even for fun. However I have a feeling it won't be in the fix-up-for-fun ballpark of pricing. I'll check it out anyway for kicks.


I don't disagree with Paul about the fidelity of the tone, ... I just say it sounds like 1916! And it represents what was in the market at that time, back then it was the middle of the Banjo hey day.

It projects differently with the Round Hole, small body, short scale. I notice the intonation being imperfect despite making a compensated "original-style" bridge/saddle.

Like I said, it has a vibe...most who play it are attracted to it versus being put off...it is a fun guitar.


They sound kind of "clanky"

Not my cup of tea....But an L-4 from the same time period can sound nice.

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