View Full Version : Vintage Gibson question-L-30 conversion to ES-150?
10-17-2011, 10:14 AM
I have a chance to buy a late-30's sunburst Gibson L-30 archtop acoustic for under $1000. It is in good original condition, but someone did add a hole on the lower bout next to the strap peg for an input jack, I assume. No other mods that I can see. It plays great and looks cool. I also noticed how similar it is to Charlie Christian's ES-150. Looks almost like Gibson slapped on the pickup, made a notch in the pickguard, and added volume and tone controls to the L-30. Got me thinking about doing the same conversion. Is anyone familiar with these pre-war models, and if they are in fact very similar instruments, save for the electronics?
10-17-2011, 11:08 AM
The L-30 is 15" wide whereas the ES-150 is 16" wide, and the difference is noticable when you put a horizontal line in there such as a CC pickup. The L-30 has mahogany back/sides whereas the ES-150 has maple. The scales are also different - 24.75 for the L-30 vs 25.5 for the ES-150.
Those differences aside, I think an L-30 would be a great candidate for such a conversion. They're pretty low on the Gibson archtop totem pole, both in terms of value and (acoustic) sound, so it's not like you're defiling a Super 400. There's a similar conversion (http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=965542&highlight=epiphone+christian) in the Emporium right now, where someone installed a Charlie Christian pickup in an old Epiphone archtop; looks pretty cool to me.
10-18-2011, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the reply. I'm gonna check the guitar out again in a few days, so we'll see what happens. Thinking a Lollar CC would be just fine, save finding a real vintage CC pickup.
10-19-2011, 07:31 AM
I recetly picked up a 52 L48 and have been considering amplification options as well. Mine is dead mint and crazy clean, so I do not want to cut a hole in the top, so I am thinking a K&K archtop pickup. I hear good things about them, and if you have the hole for the jack already you are set to go. Just another possibility.
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