Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

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Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby estragon » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:10 pm

Hi im looking at a Gibson L-00 guitar,

overall i like the vibe but have concerns about the alleged inconsistent quality of gibson acoustics............any thoughts?

Also,

Can anyone recommend other similar guitars for me to compare with it? Is there a Yamaha equivalent? What about the Washburn parlours too?

Thanks.............

oh yeah, im in the UK so availability might be differnt to rest of the world.................

Thanks folks!
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby Lo-Fi » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:50 am

Gibsons do have a heck of a reputation for inconsistentcy when it comes to sound and, if you are talking about Bozeman-made guitars, build quality. The best of them will have a dry and woody sound with a real crackling edge to them. They should not be a real bright sounding guitar but with a thumping (rather than boomy) bass, saturated mids and crisp to fat highs. Most, even the smaller body guitars, will be good and loud.

Are you talking about an original L-00, the Blues King or the Legend Series L-00? The originals - like all old guitars vary. They were an entry-level instrument but were still incredibly well made. But you will need to know what a good one sounds like to choose wisely as well as be on the lookout for various issues that can arise with a guitar made before 1946. The Blues King - a nice guitar but with its heavier bracing and different kerfing is a very different sounding guitar than the L-00. Whether you prefer the sound over that of an L-00 is purely a matter of personal taste (I don't).

If I had the money, I would jump on a Legend Series L-00. The Legend Series are the only spot on reproductions of guitars from Gibsons past catalogs. Cost you as much as an original but you get none of the issues you often find with older instruments. Real pricey but every one I have ever played was an extraordinary instrument.

Another avenue ya might want to look at is getting a Gibson LG-2 or LG-3. If ya want the nice beefy neck you will have to stick with one made no later than 1959 but up though 1964 they were still hand-made. Nice X- braced guitars that will not cost you an arm and a leg.

Gibson, has just come out with a Keb Mo signature guitar and of course, also offers the Robert Johnson L-1. Have not played either but I just find it kinda silly to pay the extra money for a stock guitar with someone's signature placed on it. Gibson marketing at its best.

A really sweet little L-00 type guitar was the Masterbuilt Epiphone Bluesmaster. These have been discontinued but are not all that hard to find. They will give the Gibson Blues King a real run for its money. They are still relatively inexpensive but prices are going up on them because the secret is out.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby estragon » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:00 pm

basically im looking at modern instrument...........

i want something of this kind of size, hard wearing and not too expensive,

basically a good guitar that if i bash it on the table by mistake wont break my heart! but something that still plays nice,

thats why i wondered about yamaha, i think £300 - £500 yamahas often are a better option than the bottom of the range of a more 'desirable' make such as martin, taylor etc...............what you think?

can anyone direct me to anything that fits the bill from any other contemporary makes?
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby ricochet » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:50 pm

I don't know what Yamaha offers in this size/style, but Yamaha guitars have always had a reputation kinda like Toyota's cars. Not "sexy," but reliable, economical & durable.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby birddog » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:06 pm

I know there are some big Yamaha fans on the HC forum. They have always made pretty good instruments.
Check out the LS series acoustics, If you can get those in your area or go try them out at a real store that would be a plus.

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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby allanlummox » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:29 pm

I'm still mad in love with my old Gibson - but I've had it since the early eighties, and it was ancient then.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby blueshome » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:58 pm

What about a used small body l'Arrivee. I've heard quite a few of these and they've all been good.These are very nice sounding guitars and a cut above Far Eastern product.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby ricochet » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:11 pm

I have a friend with a small body L'Arrivee, and it is a good sounding little guitar. The Baby Taylor is another.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby rustyslide » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:06 am

It's Larrivée. No apostrophe. They're very nice. You might also look for an Eastman, though dealers are fair and few. Handmade in China. Own two, including an OM/OOO style acoustic.

Thread about them here: Eastman flattops.

Just try out as many as you can, let your ears and hands be the judge.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby estragon » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:37 am

Hey guys some nice suggestions but i think we are missing an important point!

i said:

estragon wrote:basically im looking at modern instrument...........

i want something of this kind of size, hard wearing and not too expensive,

basically a good guitar that if i bash it on the table by mistake wont break my heart! but something that still plays nice,

thats why i wondered about yamaha, i think £300 - £500


I dont know anyone who isnt going to cry if they bash a larrivee on a table!

Maybe youre all a lot richer than me!! Im looking for guitars wiht an upper limit of around £500 maybe £600!

Anyone got suggestions that wont cost me thousands!!!???????


:D
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:03 pm

This is a class of guitars I was not aware had a Blues reputation, can this size be what is also called the “parlor size” of guitar body?
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby allanlummox » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:03 pm

We're looking at 00 sized instruments I think - Parlor guitars are smaller.

Lots of Country Blues has been created on these smaller guitars - they tend to have a better balance between the low, high, and middle tones - better for finger picking, as opposed to say a Dreadnaught, with it's BOOMchuck bottom.

As for cheap - look at Art and Lutherie, Seagull, Johnson - there's loads of low end guitars out there, more than ever before, and cheap guitars are better than ever before, too. But if you're shopping price - you DO give up reputation, cachet, or whatever you want to call it. And it won't sound like a serious guitar - at least not for years and years of playing and maintenance.

As for worrying about dings and dents on a quality guitar - it's a guitar, not a piece of furniture. My old Gibson looks like it's been through the wars - and given a bad paint job in between them - but it sure sounds good.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby Lo-Fi » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:29 pm

allanlummox wrote:I'm still mad in love with my old Gibson - but I've had it since the early eighties, and it was ancient then.
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Ain't it funny how those used guitars all of a sudden became vintage instruments. These days I could not afford to buy the two Gibsons I own. But I am with ya Bro. My wife laid claim to my old J-200 right after we got married but the only way your are going to get my even older SJ away from me is to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. T
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby allanlummox » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:46 pm

Yea, it was a cheap second hand guitar when I got it - although I've put quite a bit of cash into repairs, upgrades and pickups, as well as an onboard preamp , over the years.

It IS the best sounding flat top I've played - the only thing even close was a custom guitar built by John Mello - at close to 4 large. Just a bit rich for my blood.
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Re: Gibson L-00 and similar guitars

Postby ricochet » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:12 pm

I just found a Larivée in my basement. Dang guitars are breeding again. I'm gonna have to start leaving the lights on, or I'll run out of space.
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