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Thread: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

  1. #1

    Default Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Been looking for a tenor after going round and round about octave mandolins, selling my regular mandolin and playing a bunch of tunes on my guitar in the interim.

    Saw this 1929 Gibson TG-1 that Chicago Music Exchange has... the one clip I can find of a similar guitar on youtube is really nice sounding.

    Anyone have any thoughts on these, played them, etc? Thoughts on the price? I sent them an email to see if they could come down at all. It looks like it is in pretty good shape for an 88 year old flat top, and I've had good experiences dealing with CME before.

    My thinking is to tune it GDAE if I end up grabbing it and see how it goes... not sure what string gauges would be good for that tuning on a 23" scale? (I think the actual scale length on those is 22.75".)

    https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com...urst-1929-s765

  2. #2

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    She's a beauty. I have a 50's Gibson tg and a 39 Gibson etg. I love them both. I never played a body style like the one your looking at, but I love the looks of it. I would love to hear one. Where did you find the sound clip?

    David

  3. #3
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    ...my dream tenor, but that one sure seems dear...

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    It's hard to find anything to compare against it price wise, so I'm sort of in the dark on actual value?

  6. #5
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Man, why were those not coming up in my searches?

    Looks like my search was 'Gibson Tenor Guitar', and these come up under TG-1 specifically... hrmmmm... that first one doesn't look half bad.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Sound clip was this guitar, which is slightly different - bridge isn't the same, etc., but does sound nice:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W71_GavN6ow

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Cool. Sounds great.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    I've got a similar vintage TG-1. I like the tone a lot, but it doesn't have the cutting power of my archtop or resonators! I find the neck comfortable, and with 15 frets clear of the body, plenty of room to play!

    I think the price is too high (for me), but perhaps that's the direction the market is going???

  12. #10

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Yeah, I felt the price was high as well - offered a significant chunk less.

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    They're out there for much less but the condition's not the same: here's my 1928. She's really seen some strumming in her time. Plenty of work required but well worth it...Click image for larger version. 

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    So far I've replaced the bridge, reglued the braces and the front seam, and dressed the frets. Amazing build quality and so light. Even came in the original case with some very old sheet music. I'll never part with this one...

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    My 1930 TG-O is similar body shape but all mahogany. As Djweiss said, mine has less cutting power than my Martin 0-18T. It's wonderful, however, and the one you posted about looks super sweet. Would love to hear it, compare the spruce vs. hog topped versions.

  15. #13

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Just got off the phone with the shop, went through everything on the phone - all the cracks are repaired, frets are good, bit of relief on the neck but very playable, said it sounds great (sounded good in the background on the phone). Seems super clean for an 88 year old guitar.

    Headed here for $600 less than the sticker price, shipped, which seems about right to me. I will report back!

  16. #14
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Congratulations, sure you won't regret it

  17. #15

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Anyone have any insights on string gauges for GDAE for this thing?

  18. #16
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    For GDAE (octave lower than mandolin) or FCGD (one step less than GDAE), I usually buy a pack of medium guitar strings, and use the EAGB strings (ditch the D and e).

  19. #17
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    There's no one answer, but these two links are full of good advice:

    https://antebelluminstruments.blogsp...tar-tenor.html
    http://rycooder.nl/pages/tenor_gauges.htm

  20. #18

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    I've got a 3 pack of .013 - .056 that aren't my normal guitar gauge... looks like EAGB would be... .056, .045, .026, .017. Ought to work. Thanks for insights.

  21. #19

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Oh, or A (.045), G (.026), B (.017), E (.013) based on those links... those links are enormously helpful, thank you.

  22. #20
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    You could start with 13p 20w 30w 45w for GDAE with a scale length of around 23" that will give you around 20lb a string, I have found virtually every tenor guitar I own or have owned works very welll with around 20lb tentsion per string.
    However you might prefer the tone and feel produced by slightly heavier or lighter strings but 20lb is a great place to start.
    Buying single guitars strings is my preferred way of getting sets together, very often cheaper than sets too!

  23. #21

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Yeah, I've got enough different stuff around here to play around a bit and figure out what I like, then I had thought of doing individual strings to make my own sets as well.

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  25. #22

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Got this yesterday... I'm sorry to say I'm sort of underwhelmed. The saddle has been cut back a lot - slotted to lower the action, to the point that the wood of the bridge has been cut back to allow the strings to pass through it. Some buzzing on the high string... sound seems awfully tight for an old guitar. It might be going back...

    Threw together a vid... judge for yourself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr71KCSRogc

  26. #23
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    If the bridge is that low, I would guess the neck joint has moved or the neck is bent?

  27. #24

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929

    Well... I think it's 88 years of string tension causing an excess of relief, and with no truss rod, they just kept dropping that thing.

  28. #25

    Default Re: Gibson TG-1 - 1929


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