GIBSON LG-1 1963

A 1963 Gibson LG-1, in very good condition.

The LG-1 has long held the place of small format destined to students and modest budgets among the flat-tops offered by Gibson, but nevertheless remains a perfectly elegant guitar with a beautiful sound. The model, introduced in 1947, completes the range consisting of the LG-2 and LG-3; the LG-1 is aesthetically identical to the LG-2 with a spruce top finished in a beautiful Sunburst and mahogany back and sides, but features parallel bracing that is quicker and easier to craft instead of the traditional X bracing. Thus, Gibson could offer the model for a list price of $105 plus $13.50 for the Durabilt chipboard case.

Built at a time when an increasing number of young Americans were picking up a guitar to swell the ranks of Elvis emulators, the guitar shown here straddles two very distinct periods which mark the history of Gibson: an earlier one where even the the most basic instruments were produced with all the care and quality of high-end guitars, and the second half of the 60s where a significant part of the instruments were characterized by excessive production leading to shortcuts being taken and construction choices that are questionable to say the least. Fortunately, this LG-1 predates Gibson’s wanderings and is largely spared from the horrors affecting later production: the wood choice is excellent, the neck profile perfectly adjusted and features a relatively wide nut (before the tiny necks which make their appearance around 1965). The only sign of changing times is that the guitar was originally equipped with a molded plastic bridge, inexpensive to produce and inexpensive to replace if damaged. Obviously, these parts were not designed to last and the one present on the instrument when it reached us was in very poor condition and partially undone. We therefore opted to craft a replacement rosewood bridge, in the exact style of the reverse-belly original and featuring a fixed bone bridge nut in place of the adjustable nut. We also refretted the guitar and fully optimized its setup, adjusting the action so that it is low and comfortable with perfect intonation. At the end of this work, this LG-1 works wonderfully and urges us to bring out Elvis’ old 45s for a playing session alongside the King!

The guitar is sold in its original Durabilt case with crocodile skin pattern.


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