1948 Gibson LG-1, Sunburst

By Gibson

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Superb Gibson LG-1 from 1948 in excellent condition with later Victoria Luggage Co. Case. 75 years old, featherweight, balanced and clear. Simply one of the best LG-1 we’ve had in stock.

The LG-1 is one of Gibsons best selling flat tops and Such was its popularity the LG-1 would continue in production until 1974 despite being discontinued in 1968. Featuring a 14 1/8” wide body with a ladder braced, solid Sitka Spruce top, Honduran Mahogany back and sides, a Honduran Mahogany Neck with a Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays and rectangular Rosewood bar bridge, silkscreened gold Gibson logo, Tortoiseshell pickguard and three-on-a-strip Kluson tuners.

The LG range of guitars was initially released by Gibson just before the US joined WWII. Very few instruments were shipped before production at Gibson was streamlined during the American involvement in World War II leaving the LG-2 as the sole model to receive the ‘banner’ headstock treatment. Post-war as production and model numbers increased again, the LG proved to be quite a success for Gibson with each model having its own features but all sharing the same 14 1/8“ size. The LG-1 would feature a ladder braced spruce top with sunburst finish with the LG-2 having the same sunburst but an X-braced Spruce top and finally the X-braced LG-3 would have a natural top. In 1958 the LG-0 would join the range with its full Mahogany body and ladder braced top.

This lovely example is in fantastic condition, its late 40’s sunburst has aged nicely with plenty of character. The thin lacquer finish has checked in a tight cellular fashion on the Spruce top and there is some light wear below the guard and bridge. The back and rims show similar lacquer checking and the odd additional bump and bruise. The guitar shows a general light patination of dings and scratches typical of a near 75 year old acoustic, but it's really quite clean otherwise. The Spruce top has one very small crack, an often seen problem with Celluloid pickguards shrinking over time. The back and sides are crack free. Internally the guitar looks great with no evidence of repairs to the bridge plate or bracing. The neck is a wonderfully large 'C' profile, fuller than 50’s necks but not as big as Banner Era guitars. The profile remains consistent in depth from the nut to the heel. The nut is the 1 11/16th width we are accustom to. Frets and nut have both been expertly replaced, and the guitar plays well. The saddle has been notched and the resulting action is at 3/32” at the 12th fret with 1/16th saddle below the string. Tuners are the correct Kluson three-on-a-strip with external ‘Pat Appld’ and no secondary post hole.

The guitar is easily one of the nicest sounding Gibson LG's we've had in stock. The ladder bracing gives the LG-1 a different tonality to the X-braced LG-2 or the Mahogany topped LG-0. There is a warmth and precision with plenty of clarity. It’s balanced, open and a lot of fun to play. The tone is surprisingly rich in harmonics for a ladder braced instrument and it has decent headroom making it versatile enough to strum, flatpick or play fingerstyle. A wonderful 40s Gibson LG-1... easily as good as they come!

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