N RO(really old) GD.. meet Annabelle

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by nightbird, May 8, 2016.

  1. nightbird

    nightbird Member

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    1921 Gibson L-1
    I played one of these about a month ago and was completely caught off guard on how bluesy it sounded. Unfortunately, it got sold before I could get the funds together so that started a search for one. Checked Ebay, Reverb, Gbase, here, and other sites. Most of the ones I looked at had either non original parts or top, back , and side cracks. Then, I came across a gentleman selling some of his rare guitars, and, lo and behold, there was the same year guitar I had played. I emailed him and did not get a response. About two weeks later, I'm considering one at Guitar Center; a 1916 L1 that had a cracked top and possibly refinished and some changed parts when I received an email From the person selling the one I wanted. Turns out he was away for some time taking care of his ailing father. He gave me a price that I felt was more than fair and 5 days later it arrived. It's exactly like the one I played except one difference. This one is in far better condition. No cracks, very minor scratches, and completely original. Did a bit of polishing, put on some new strings, played for a couple of hours and dubbed her Annabelle.

    PS. The gentleman I purchased it from is an incredible, interesting man who for over 50 years has photographed famous folk and blues musicians, was good friends with Pete Seeger, and good friends with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary, An expert on vintage Martins, etc...
    His webpage is: http://www.robertcorwin.com/

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  2. Stev0Griffin

    Stev0Griffin Trendsetter

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    Love those old script logos. Absolutely beautiful find!
     
  3. Clark GriswoId

    Clark GriswoId Supporting Member

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  4. Lt Dak

    Lt Dak Supporting Member

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    Holy crap. That is fantastic.
     
  5. Rikster

    Rikster Member

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    That's an amazing instrument and piece of history. Congratulations and enjoy

    Cheers,

    Rich:cool:
     
  6. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    I had a chance to play one similar not long ago. Great sounds. That's a sweet find.
     
  7. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Member

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    That's just friggin' awesome
     
  8. H. Mac

    H. Mac Member

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    Congratulations on an excellent guitar! I think that any guitar player who plays a Gibson round hole arch top even once will spend countless hours wondering why this style of guitar faded, and the F hole arch tops and flat tops survived.

    Have fun with your new vintage guitar!
     
    Baxtercat likes this.
  9. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

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  10. DBBlues

    DBBlues Formerly fullertone Silver Supporting Member

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  11. superrock

    superrock Silver Supporting Member

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    the machine, of course...
    BA_BAM>>>


    awesome....sauce....

    :)
     
  12. HayekFan

    HayekFan Member

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    What a beautiful thing that guitar is. Just the antique brown tones of the body wood -- so nice. How's the action? Is it truly playable? What kind of strings are you using? Do you tune to concert pitch or detune some to reduce the strain? I'd love to hear a sound clip of it.
     
  13. nightbird

    nightbird Member

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    The action is a little high at the 12 fret. Normal parameters are usually 2.25mm to 2.50mm and this sits a hair below 2.75. But it's very playable and sounds great. The hardest thing to get used to is the thick V neck. Right now I'm trying
    D'addario Acoustic Bronze 11's. Im not sure if they're the best string for this guitar. I tune to concert pitch and the pins seem to hold just fine and it stays in tune. The neck is really straight and I have a feeling it would be hard to get much of a bow, even with a set of '13's with this thick neck. I'll see if I can record something.

    [​IMG]

    The original tortoise tail piece. A lot of them deteriorated over the years.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. rumstove

    rumstove Member

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    That guitar is beautiful.

    I was just looking online at some reissue L-1's earlier tonight, then I came to TGP and saw this thread.

    Your guitar looks simply amazing. I really like everything about it. If you ever decide to part with it...
     
  15. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

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    Very nice. I think I've seen some of his photos around LA.
     
  16. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Wow. That's cool.
     
  17. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    I've owned a few L1s and played quite a few more but I've never seen one in this good condition - great find! The necks certainly take some getting used to. I remember bringing my first one home, reaching for a capo that was lying around and finding it didn't open wide enough to fit around the neck.

    My keeper ended up being a 1926 example with the flat top. When the design initially switched to a flat top Gibson stuck more or less with the longitudinal bracing pattern of the archtop so the sound of the early flat top version is really unique, and with a definite family resemblance to the older versions. This is it:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. HayekFan

    HayekFan Member

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    Useable action and a straight neck
    I guess we can forgive a nearly 100 year old survivor for having action that's out by a fraction of a millimeter. One thing for sure is that you don't have to worry about the action shifting or settling further. It probably got all that out of its system well before WWII. The condition of the plastic parts is amazing. The tailpiece appears to be load bearing and is still doing its job. Like you say, on most examples that part probably crumbled decades ago. The pickguard looks pretty flat and the tuner buttons look positively youthful. I wonder what the storage history of this guitar was? Must have been nearly ideal conditions. Gotta love that slightly primitive figure 8 shape.
     
  19. nightbird

    nightbird Member

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    I've wondered about this, too. I'm going to see if Robert can shed some light on the history of this guitar.
     
  20. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Member

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    Amazing score sir, congratulations and HNGD!
     

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