can someone look up this FON in the Spann book for me?

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by THiwaTT, Mar 25, 2020 at 10:39 PM.

  1. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    Looking at a vintage Gibson - shop has it listed as a '39 but based on the FON and red pencil I believe it to be a bit later than that. The odd thing is the back looks like 2 pieces (possibly solid) and the heel is the more pointed "boat shape" which would be correct for an earlier L-50

    FON is 2210-19

    here is the listing, any L-50 experts care to weigh in?

    https://www.thunderroadguitars.com/1939-gibson-l-50-sunburst/
     
  2. WordMan

    WordMan Silver Supporting Member

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    I am sorry I don’t have my copy in an accessible place; just moved. Doesn’t the inlay script logo mean it has to be 30’s? I can’t recall when that switched.

    Great lookin’ guitar - best of luck pursuing it! I have a ‘38 Kalamazoo KG-31 and love it. If you get it, I strongly recommend you try slide on it. I love my K’zoo for slide.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 3:44 PM
  3. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    What I think I know..
    1600-xx to 2999-xx 1938 to 1940
    But, tail piece should have diamond.
     
  4. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Supporting Member

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    FON does seem right for ~1939. The heel shape looks right for late '30s to early '40s to me. Earlier '30s heels are the same basic shape, but often more pointed -- this is a close match to my '41-ish L-00.

    As Bluzeboy says, the guides say that the tailpiece should be diamond -- but I wouldn't assume much based on it being slightly earlier. L-50s are one of the trickier models to date, since they seem like they got more than their share of leftover parts. There are banner L-50s, and white silk-screened script, and pearl, and....

    Looks like a nice guitar.
     
  5. Dave Richard

    Dave Richard Member

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    The tailpiece matches the one on my ‘39 Kalamazoo archtop. The one on this L-50 May have been switched, but looks correct for Gibson. The back looks solid, and maybe carved. Looks nice!
    My Ka-zoo is also great for slide, better than the ‘38 L-50 I owned. But they’re braced differently: L-50 had parallel tone bars, K-zoo has a modified x or A frame bracing.
     
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  6. Dave Richard

    Dave Richard Member

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    Meant to add: I have videos, of me demoing my L-50, and the Ka-zoo, at my Facebook page, David Richard Luthier.
     
  7. WordMan

    WordMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Ha - thanks; I hadn’t appreciated the difference in bracing.
     
  8. Dave Richard

    Dave Richard Member

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    Thr bracing in my Kazoo is the same as in Gibson’s x-braced archtops, from the same period.
     
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  9. JimR56

    JimR56 Member

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    I don't own the Spann book either, but if someone does, please weigh in. As the OP suggests, a sequence number written in red pencil had always been considered to be a characteristic of WWII-era FONs. Then again, it doesn't have a wooden crosspiece on the trapeze, and the head logo seems earlier than the 1943-44 era associated with the FON (note that the number fits both the 1938-40 range as well as 1943-44. The red pencil being a key part of the puzzle).
     

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