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Thread: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    GIBSON L-1 TENOR GUITAR, EARLY 1930'S, ROBERT JOHNSON TENOR GUITAR EQUIVALENT

    "9950" stamped on the block?
    No pearl script Gibson or inlays on the peghead?
    Seller is looking for theories regarding the naked peghead.
    Thoughts?
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Mine is pretty much the same guitar - short bridge, vary faded FON which I think reads 96--, but has the standard inlaid headstock. Tenors from 1931 onward would have been L-00 sized guitars with silkscreened headstocks. Perhaps 99-- was a very late batch and ended up with a silk screen instead of the inlay, but there should be some shadow of the logo still on the pegbox if it's the original finish. I'll dig out Joe Spann's book later and see if we can get a definitive date for it.

    It's probably not that big a deal though, and otherwise looks like it will be a nice example with a little work.

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Sorry, I spend too much time around violins... headstock, not peg box!

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    That one's been listed for awhile. It's a good starting price but not getting much interest.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Have wanted one of those for a long time. I thought I had finalized a $500 deal for one in Tennessee that had belonged to the seller's departed brother, but then he stopped returning my calls ...

    I have never played one, so it's sort of an irrational thing with me. Just really like the looks of them. I would not go for one without the headstock bling, though ... for me that's part of the package.
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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    I'd love to get my hands on one of these also!
    I admit, the headstock bling is important to me too...+1 on that being important for the Mojo Factor!
    I think I'd prefer one with the 12th fret body join (1930s?).
    By the way, here's the tenor guitar page from Gibson's 1929 Catalog. Too cool!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    They're awesome guitars but very delicatel built compared to the more common L-00 style version - the top is close to 2mm in thickness and the X fairly low so the soundboards have a tendency to dip in front of the bridge. I can't imagine stringing one up in EADG either.

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    It probably had a silk-screened logo at one time, but either wore off or was refinished. I think the lack of the logo does hurt its value.
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayyj View Post
    They're awesome guitars but very delicatel built compared to the more common L-00 style version - the top is close to 2mm in thickness and the X fairly low so the soundboards have a tendency to dip in front of the bridge. I can't imagine stringing one up in EADG either.
    I'm sure this all also contributes to the fact that just about every one of these I've seen offered has multiple repaired or non-repaired soundboard and side cracks.
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    I have never seen one without the pearl "Mastertone" inlay, like Martin said it's part of the package. I would not think of having one without it. I had one a long time ago and remember it as being very sweet sounding but not very loud.
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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    This I believe is what they should look like. N.F.I. for seller, just a good picture:

    TG-1

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    I have never seen one without the pearl "Mastertone" inlay, like Martin said it's part of the package. I would not think of having one without it. I had one a long time ago and remember it as being very sweet sounding but not very loud.
    Aren't you thinking of a tenor banjo? I've never seen a Gibson tenor guitar with "Mastertone" on the fretboard.

    Also I have a 1935 TG-0 -- identical to the TG-1 except it has silk screened "Gibson" on the headstock instead of MOP inlay. My particular tenor guitar is not at all lacking for volume....pic attached
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Bernie, you are correct. I have seen the headstock inlay on "Mastertone" banjo's.
    Charley

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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Click on the link on my post above and you'll see the mastertone-styled inlay of which you speak.

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    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlieshafer View Post
    Click on the link on my post above and you'll see the mastertone-styled inlay of which you speak.
    Yeah, OK, I see that you were talking about the headsock inlay. I agree that is typical for a TG-1 but I guess I've never heard it called "mastertone" inlay before -- although you do find a very similar inlay on TB-3 banjos of that era.

    The mastertone I think of is the actual word "mastertone" inlaid on the 17th fret of the banjo fretboard.
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Bernie, I misused the term "Mastertone", sorry about that. There were probably a few headstock inlay patterns on Gibson Mastertone banjo's and the thing that made it a "Mastertone" was an inlay on the 17th fret. I do like this headstock inlay pattern though.
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayyj View Post
    They're awesome guitars but very delicatel built compared to the more common L-00 style version - the top is close to 2mm in thickness and the X fairly low so the soundboards have a tendency to dip in front of the bridge. I can't imagine stringing one up in EADG either.
    Isn't this one tuned GDAE?
    (By the way, every time I watch this video I become filled with TGAS!!)

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    That one sounds like C tuning to me.

    Finally tracked my copy of Spann's book down, 9950 would put it in 1931, making it very late for a small body tenor. Perhaps but that point they had a few old style bodies assembled but had run out of headstock veneers? I'm sure banjo enthusiasts would know whether that veneer was in use with other instruments at the time.

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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    Wow, zero bids on the OP tenor.
    That headstock bling means a lot doesn't it?
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    Registered User Gary Hedrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 "L-1 TENOR GUITAR" on ebay

    I have one of these from 1929. Yep they crack....it has a number of repaired cracks on the back and top. That said, I have always like the #3 banjo inlays and the tuners are banjo pieces also from that year. It plays great and sounds great....lots of fun to play. I have thought about selling it now that I own a 1940 O-18 Martin but it sure keeps hanging in there
    Last edited by Gary Hedrick; May-06-2012 at 9:23am.

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