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Hi Guys , I have an old L00 in for work , including a neck reset.This guitar has had a lot of poor repair work , and the fretboard is elevated like an arch-top.Is this a recognised alternative to the common neck joint ? It also seems that the fretboard is a veneer over the original.The bridge has been replaced with a Martin style belly, would you recommend the 6 X 1" from Stewmac ?

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Hi Len,

Lts of information here on the L00

http://home.provide.net/~cfh/loo.html

It appears the elevated fretboard was found on black 1932 models.

The stewmac bridge is not a very original option, you don't want the pyramids, the saddle is through cut and the pin holes are near the back edge.

Easy enough to make with a tablesaw and spindle sander. I can do you one if you arent set up for it.

Hi Jeff , great website thanks , I had never seen the elevated fretboard before.You are right about the bridge, I might get you to run one up for me,I will let you know by phone.Len

Do you know if Gibson used different bridge styles on the 1930's L00 models? Here's a picture of the bridge that is on mine...it doesn't look original, but I don't see any outline from the longer and thinner original bridge. Do you know anything about this?

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Boy, that fingerboard is ug-ly. Can those frets be anywhere near level? What's your plan? Avoid refretting? I think if you try to pull frets you'll have little pieces of veneer everywhere.
Agreed Greg. I say nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!
Ha Ha , love that sentiment Mark , well so far the bridge area is razzed up pretty bad ,the neck angle is way out , the 1st s/bd brace has let go letting the fretboard punch in to the s/hole on treble side , X brace is loose on bass side of bridge , and she needs a new fretboard I think . The owner got it pretty cheap so I think it's gonna fly at a certain cost.Len

The veneer on the board in your photos is really weird! Otherwise it looks like the normal elevated board of that era, which was used on various Gibson models. It's not any bigger a deal to refret those boards than any archtop of the same era. But it looks like you have to do a new one.

 

Of greater concern to me is the fact that the neckblock has detached from the sides and has pitched forward, causing that crack along the treble side of the board and through the rosette. That's trouble.

 

A copy of a real Gibson 1x6 of that era would be far better than anything you can buy. They all have lame saddle compensation. But you'd have to refinish the top before doing that.

 

Got yourself quite a project there. Hope it's all worth it in the end.

 

 

Len .. as stated earlier, the elevated board appeared briefly in '32 on not only black guitars, but on some sunbursts, too.  I owned a sunburst example, w/ maple b & s.

The fingerboard, based on the images provided, could be original, since in those days Gibson did use a very thin board, but often over an overlay of maple; the Kel Kroyden model specifically had the very thin board.  The photo sure makes it appear wavy, though, and if so, that would need addressed.  By '33, the board became the 'normal' Brazilian type.

I'd definitely replace the bridge with one made to original specs .. the one posted above is for sure a replacement.  You can google image "'32 L00 bridge" or something like that.  If needed I can send you a photo of an example.  Be advised that from the early thirties onward, the L-00s had slightly different iterations of bridge profiles, some with bolts and pearl dots.  Also, I would avoid refinishing that beautiful, original black top.  Instead, I'd color in the exposed footprint.  Most owners/dealers of vintage instruments that I know would rather have a colored-in footprint than a completely refinished top...the dictates of the market speaking here.

BTW, the L-00s are considered by many players of vintage to be among the finest of guitars (sound-wise) produced pre WWII.  The elevated board examples are quite rare, overall, and coveted by some for superior sound when compared to the 'regular' fret board extension examples.  Well worth putting some $ and effort into this one!

Tom

The bridge looks like it was larger than the usual type of bridge. The exact same thing I found on my 1936 Gibson L00, bought new in Canada in 1936 as an import from the U.S.A. After taking the bridge off, there was no "footprint" of any other size bridge ever being on there. Any suggestions?

Assuming you are referring to the photo above, it evidences a belly bridge which Gibson didn't use until much later. So that's definitely aftermarket. If that's the kind of bridge you also had, I think it's safe to say yours was a replacement as well. You wouldn't necessarily see evidence of an earlier 1x6 if the surface had been prepped sufficiently for the replacement.

Oh, I really didn't want to hear that, but thank you. According to my luthier, if he puts a 1"x6" original bridge, it'll apparently look the sheeites, so we have decided for him to make a bridge the same size. I'm only worried about the resale value IF & WHEN I have to sell it. I paid $2000 for it. It was playable and sounded great, but the action was a bit high and I want it best as possible. If I can get my $2G'z back plus the money it cost me to set it up, I'll be OK I suppose. It is in great structural shape considering it's age. No cracks ever on it, just a few loose braces that were easily repaired. It'll be better than ever once it's finished. Thanks so much folks...much appreciation to all.

Everyone wants the "best as possible." Sorry that you're even worried about resale value, but I bet you'll be OK. Some guitars sell themselves on how much fun they are to play. Look what else you get for $2K.

Original is great, and if you have a black finish, it's not that hard to patch in so you can return it to a 1x6. But a replacement belly bridge is not the end of the world.

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