View Full Version : Gibson TG-50's

Larry S Sherman
Sep-14-2008, 7:51pm
We had a meeting of Gibson TG-50 owners today. We had five tenors in the same room. In the pics left to right the approximate years are 1934, 1935/36, 1949, 1950/51, and 1954.

It was cool to see the evolution of the Gibson TG-50 right before your eyes (for example, the dark areas of the sunbursts got smaller over time).

Here's a front and back display:

Charles E.
Sep-14-2008, 8:34pm
Now thats pretty darn cool. I would loved to have heard them being played at the same time.


Sep-15-2008, 8:29am
Nice grouping & what a line up! I parted with my 48 TG-50 2-3 years ago, it looked stellar, sounded great but I never got comfy with the big body size.

Bernie Daniel
Sep-21-2008, 3:26pm
That is outrageously great - thanks for the pictures!

That is the TG that I have been looking for -- not hard core -- but just watching on various lists. Having had such a great opportunity of hearing these guitars at the same time and in the same room like that do you have any general comments on how the quality varied over the years?

Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:17am
Okay...prepare to hear nothing helpful...

Like most instruments, the TG-50's I've played are all individuals, despite being the same model. Every TG-50 we had in the room sounded great, but all differently. A lot has to do with the condition and setup.

There didn't seem to be any pattern of better/worse by year. One of them had a structural issue that probably was affecting the tone for the worse. A couple of them have had recent expert setup work done. There was a mix of original and replacement parts (tuners, nuts, etc). There were also some different string choices.

For example, my TG-50 (1949) looks like it had been accidentally sat on just before being dragged under a bus for a few miles. But it has a great recent setup, and plays like butter and it was the consensus that it was louder than the rest (using the same tune, player, and pick), and with the best tone.

I love the mojo of this player's tenor, and wouldn't trade it for the ones that looked like they came out of a Gibson showroom time machine.

I actually preferred some of the others while jazz comping, but I prefer mine for single note runs (I sometimes feel like my low G stands out too much while playing chords). Open chords sound great.

The other TG-50's get regular weekly workouts at Irish sessions, so I would discount the "opening up/waking up" effect. They all sounded good to me, but no two sounded the same.


Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:27am
Here's some more pictures...

Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:29am
Headstock scripts...

Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:34am

Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:41am
Tuner pics...

Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:46am

Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:51am
Side-by-side comparisons...and one last group shot...

Larry S Sherman
Sep-22-2008, 10:55am
One difference between years that might make a difference it the neck profile. Some have a more pronounced v-shaped neck profile, some are more rounded.

Another difference (more cosmetic) are that some necks are bound and some aren't.

The consensus was that the group preferred the banjo-style tuners, although I don't really care as long as they don't slip.


Bernie Daniel
Sep-23-2008, 7:15am
Amazing collection of photographs -- thanks so much.

Even Gibson would probably be interested and envious of that collection of images.

Looks like a person does not have to be particularly cautious about one year versus another then when looking -- although I prefer the older Gibson script verus the block logo.

Sep-23-2008, 8:42am
Okay...prepare to hear nothing helpful...
I might oughta pretext all my posts with that...hahaha!
Great pic's and review Larry thanks for the "data"!

Jul-26-2011, 12:23am
anyone know what year the TG-50 ceased having banjo-style tuners?

Jul-26-2011, 7:45am
Great photos! It would be great to have some videos or recordings of them. Thanks.