Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

  1. #1
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    231

    Default Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    I just bought this old Gibson archtop (!). Credit to pheffernan for finding it, and even further credit to him for showing it to me instead of buying it himself.
    Can't wait for it to arrive, so I can start playing!

    In the meantime, we've been trying to get an exact identification of what it is. The seller provided quite a bit of info about it:

    * FON - 432F, which would place it, according to Spann's, as a 1940 manufacture date.
    * It was originally an acoustic archtop, a pickup was factory-added later. That pickup was then replaced by the current pickup, which is a Lindy Fralin P90 made custom for this guitar.
    * The seller listed it as an L-4 T, which is not actually a model listed in Spann's. However, pheffernan pointed out to me that the headstock matches the one found here, referred to as an L75-style peg head. So, could it be a TG-75? A model listed in Spann's in the late '30s, of which neither phef nor I can find a photo.

    Here's a google drive folder with all the seller's photos, as well as recordings of it played electrically and acoustically: Link to folder.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.jpg 
Views:	141 
Size:	143.2 KB 
ID:	187293
    1940 Gibson L-4T
    2016 Martin TEN515
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  2. The following members say thank you to MoreThanQuinn for this post:


  3. #2
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Spann's lists of factory order numbers are not complete. Also, a special order instrument would not necessarily be included in his list of models. I believe that any model could be special ordered as a tenor.

    A model 75 from 1940 would have mahogany back and sides, and model 4 would have maple. The pictures are not complete or clear enough to say for sure, but it looks like your instrument has a maple back.

    If it's a 16" instrument with a maple back, it's an L-4T or TG-4, depending on which designation is accepted as being "correct." If it's a 16" instrument with a mahogany back, it's a TG-75.

    But if it's a 17" instrument, it's a custom order loosely based on an L-7 design.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to rcc56 For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Thanks, rcc. I would be happy to post some pictures to help identify the woods when I receive the guitar. Though, not knowing much about woods nor about older Gibsons, you may have to describe what exactly would be helpful to identify it for certain.
    1940 Gibson L-4T
    2016 Martin TEN515
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  6. #4
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    The best way is probably to look through the sound hole. Mahogany will be decidedly brown, and old maple will be a dirty white or a light gray in color.
    And to find the width of the guitar, measure across the back at the widest point-- what we call the "lower bout" [where your arm rests].

  7. #5
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Awesome, thank you again. Once the guitar arrives, I will both check out and take a picture of the interior, as well as measure it.

    Any tips on caring for a guitar this old? I'll be moving to Arizona, which I imagine will only make things more difficult. I think it's probably time to invest in a case humidifier, no?
    1940 Gibson L-4T
    2016 Martin TEN515
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  8. #6
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    A humidifier would be a good idea. Anything below 35 - 40% is bad for wooden instruments, as well as rapid drops in humidity.
    Otherwise, wipe it off after you play, and keep it in the case.

  9. #7
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    4,878

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Wow, nice score!
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  10. #8
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    @rcc, thanks. I will put in an order for a humidifier later today. If you have any recommendations for specific ones, I'm all ears.

    @Charles, thanks a lot! I feel fortunate to have it heading my way! And again, many thanks to pheffernan for the tip.

    When I get it in hand (e.t.a. Monday), I'll post the length of the bout and the images of the wood.
    1940 Gibson L-4T
    2016 Martin TEN515
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  11. The following members say thank you to MoreThanQuinn for this post:


  12. #9
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    A Dampit humidifier is a good choice. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. If a guitar size Dampit is not available, the 'cello size will work fine.

    An alternative is a room humidifier available at any Walgreen's or similar store. This is a good choice if you have several instruments. It is more practical than trying to keep up with individual humidifiers for multiple instruments.

  13. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Corinth, VT
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    I second rcc56's suggestion of the Dampit brand or type(Humitron is another). In my repair work, I have had to repair the damage caused by other types(Oasis 'bag' suspended in the strings, and the D'Addario Humidipak), and some of that damage was severe. Based on that, I would avoid those two.

  14. #11
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Thank you both for recommendations. I am now thinking a room humidifier might be the best option. I'll be moving into a studio-sized space and bringing three guitars. So, I think I'll look for one of those and a hydrometer.
    1940 Gibson L-4T
    2016 Martin TEN515
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  15. The following members say thank you to MoreThanQuinn for this post:


  16. #12
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    4,878

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Did you get it?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  17. The following members say thank you to Charles E. for this post:


  18. #13
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Just got it in the mail last night! I'll post some videos and photos in the next day or two. I absolutely love this thing!

    I also picked up a room humidifier and a Fender Pro Junior. It's safe to say that I would be very content indeed stuck in a room with my new toys for the next few months.
    Last edited by MoreThanQuinn; Jul-21-2020 at 12:26am.
    1940 Gibson L-4T
    2016 Martin TEN515
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MoreThanQuinn For This Useful Post:


  20. #14
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Found some time to record this today!
    1940 Gibson L-4T
    2016 Martin TEN515
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  21. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to MoreThanQuinn For This Useful Post:


  22. #15
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    4,878

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    MTQuinn, that really looks and sounds great! Nice playing. When I had mine many years ago, I had a Small Fender tube amp that had a "master" volume knob and a regular volume knob. By keeping the regular knob cranked and the "master" set low, I was able to get a very crunchy distorted tone similar to Junior Barnard of the Bob Wills Texas Playboys. Junior is credited with being the first guitarist to record using distortion. Decades before Link Wray and other Rockabilly pioneers.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Charles E.; Jul-25-2020 at 2:45pm.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  23. #16
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,201

    Default Re: Help Identify This Old Gibson I Bought

    Hi Quinn, been offline for a bit - very pleased for you! That’s one lovely axe

    Happy days!!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, 59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: 57 Gibson ETG-150, 80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •