Hello all,

I just acquired a Gibson LGO that is most likely going to need a neck reset (as well as some other work). Would I be correct in assuming it has a dovetail neck/body joint? Also, the end of the truss rod sticks out of the headstock to the point where the truss rod cover can't even be secured, is this a sign that the truss rod has been replaced? Is it possible that it has been adjusted to the point where it would come out of the headstock?

If you can't already tell, I'm not all that experienced with guitars, especially older ones. I got this as a project to work on over the summer once school ends. If anyone has any info that would help me out, like pictures of an original LGO from around the same time period, I would greatly appreciate it if you posted them.

any info that could help me with the neck reset, or determining if the truss rod has been replaced would be splendid.


Thanks in advance, and glad I found such an awesome forum. Although I must confess I haven't had time to look through much of it, so if any of my questions have already been answered I apologize.

Tags: Gibson, LGO

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Are you going to do these repairs yourself?

Yes, I'm seriously considering it. I picked the guitar up for pretty cheap, so I won't be out much if I mess it up. Then I'll just have to save up until I can afford to have it done for me :)

I converted an acoustic bass into a baritone guitar not too long ago, and that's about the only experience I have, so I know I'm going to be facing a big challenge and lots of frustration, but I'm up for it.

Although there's one thing I don't think I can fix, if it indeed proves to be a problem: the truss rod. The rod itself turns along with the nut, so it's not possible to tighten, or loosen it. I guess this is my major concern and the first and foremost problem I need to address. Does anyone know what causes this? Will the whole truss rod need to be replaced?


Hi Tim,

 I'm an amateur too. It's a great hobby and a lot of fun but it can also be frustrating at times. What follows are just some opinions and observations. I 'm sure there will be others that pitch in too.


I don't know what level of wood working ability you have or what tools you have available but this repair may be something you want to hold off on until you have a bit more experience. It is do-able by an amateur but its not one of your easier repairs and over all that guitar looks like it is in fairly nice condition otherwise. While you may not have paid much for this old Gibson, it's probably worth repairing correctly. Taking the "try it myself first and take it to a repairman if I fail" route can get expensive fast if the repairman has to undo your mistakes before fixing that is already needed.   


It sounds like the truss rod is broken and will need to be replaced.  I don't know of any way to do that except remove the fingerboard, dig out the old rod and replaced it with a new one. This repair coupled with the neck reset ( though you didn't say why it may need one) makes this a pretty involved repair in my book.


The reason I'm questioning you about the reset is because this guitar has one of the old plastic bridges on it that can be, and usually are, a source of problems. Most are warped and pulling up. It is pretty much the prevailing opinion of everyone here that they should be replaced with a wooden bridge. The removal of the extra weight in the existing bridge and the addition of an acoustically better, stronger, lighter bridge usually helps a lot with the volume and tone of these guitars. It could also be the source of your need for a neck reset. 


If it were me, I would set this aside for a while to study up by reading everything I can find on acoustic repairs.  I would also look around for junker guitars that I could experiment on to get a feel for this sort of repair. I found that correct disassembly can be a challenge by it's self  with out some practice. There is a lot of common sense in this "hobby"  but there's also a skills curve that needs to be negotiated. If you make some mistakes on some old beaters, this old Gibson may stand a better chance of turning into lifetime keeper when you finish.



Everything Ned said is gold. Maybe sell the axe as is to a home repair guy with some experience, or to a Luthier. Thing is, these guitars were never worth that much anyway. There is no way to do a neck reset if you have no experience, that's it, that's all. So fretboard off, truss rod replacement,   neck off reset, fretboard glued back on, bridge taken off and replaced. In my shop, this would be a 600 to 750 buck job, and the guitar when finished will be worth how much? Maybe $400?  Tim, go pick out a project that is easier than this, that we can help with.  I wouldn't want it to come through my shop even after doing repairs like this for 18 years. This is just my opinion though. It's your axe!

Hey guys,

Thanks a lot for the information and input, it is really appreciated. I'm not going to jump the gun on it, I still have to wait a couple weeks before school ends, and then do exactly what Ned said: research, research, research. And yes, I think a junker guitar to practice on is a definitely a good idea. That being said, if I don't think I have a chance of successfully doing the repairs, I won't try it. Also, Yes the bridge does need to be replaced and it was lifting in the back.

Thanks again!

Good thing Kerry brought up pricing, I didn't make it clear that I think it worth fixing but only if you can do it yourself. The value of an instrument I rebuild is important but it's not the reason that I like to rebuild them. My reality is that I will never make any money on any of the instruments I repair if I figure in my time. I'm just too slow at doing it. I have a LOT of respect for the people here that make a living doing this work not only because of the wealth of knowledge and skill they have amassed but because they can actually make money doing what they love.


I'm bringing this up because, if you are serious about learning, there's a pretty good chance you will kill your summer just working on junkers. In our society today, we don't tend to think in terms of spending years learning a trade but that is exactly what is required in this industry. It's not fast. Book knowledge is a start but hands on experience is what makes the old guitar play again and that takes time as well as effort. I think of it this way; I spend years becoming good as a player. Why would it take any less to learn to repair them?


I think you can have a lot of fun doing this but there's a pretty good chance that you shouldn't consider trying this guitar repair this summer. Give yourself time to learn and it will come out much better when you do get to it.



Hi Tim-- From the looks of the pics, it looks like you have your work cut out for you.- The first thing I would so is to take the fret board off and then you can accomplish two things at the same time-- one is that you can replace the truss rod and two is that you will be able to see if the neck is set or not- ( my guess is that the neck is set)

Just take your time and be real patient with it and Im sure that you will "learn as you go" -- you have a good start.

best to you in your endever, Peace,Donald


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