Welcome to Vintage Gibson guitars where you'll find reviews ,insites and a little history on gibson vintage guitars .... Enjoy
If you have any vintage gibson guitars that are posted on this site, you are always welcome to post a review,comment or detailed features ,im sure other guitar players who visit us would love to know ...

Important Note
: Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully somebody will help.

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During the 30s ( pre world war II ) The gibson L-0 , L-00 and the L-1 ( played by bluesmaster robert johnson ) were known as the cheaper model guitars , these gibson guitars were very lightly constructed , delicate , and affordable .

However , for the price ( in the $30 range at that time ) these guitars offered a beautiful warm , remarkable tone & volume for their small body construction . They were favorites amongst fingerpicking & blues style guitarists . The gibson L1 and l-0 were the first gibson flat top guitars to leave the factory in kalamazoo .

Gibson L-0 Guitar (1926-1942)

1939 gibson l-0 In 1926 Gibson introduced the l-0 guitar which was an acoustic flat top , maple back and sides ,13.5" wide , bound top and back , dot inlays 5th, 7th and 9th frets on the ebonized fingerboard , gibson logo in white paint , ebony belly bridge , 12 frets clear of the body , no pickguard , and were available in amber finishes .

In 1928 they made them in mahogany back and sides , dot inlays on the 15th fret , and rosewood fingerboards .

In 1931 the l-0 had a wider lower bout 14.75" very similar to the L-2 , and continued making them in amber finishes . In 1932 they were 14 frets clear of the body and were discontinued in 1933 .

In 1937 Gibson reintroduced the l-0 with a tortoise grain pickguard , spruce top , mahogany back and sides , and were available in black . ( see pic ) Discontinued in 1942 .

Vintage guitar price value :
1926-1942 > $1700 to $2400

guitar price guideAvg Upward Trend Of 15% a Year since 2000

During the same time ( 1926 ) Gibson also introduced the gibson L-1 guitar ( also known as the robert johnson guitar )


Gibson l-00 (1932-1946)
1940 gibson l-00
The gibson l-00 was actually introduced in 1929 but was available on the market in 1932 when it made its first catalog appearance . The L-00 is very similar to l-0 Gibson guitar models but are more recognized for ragtime , blues , and folk . They were a hit during the depression and were less expensive ( $25 list price ) . They were also nicer and more attractive .

In 1932 The gibson l-00 was 14.75" wide , had a rectangle rosewood bridge , mahogany back and sides , had a bound top till 1936 and a bound top and back from 1937 and on . In 1943 some l-00 guitars were made with " only a gibson is good enough " banner on the peg head . Color finishes changed through the years . Discontinued in 1945 , some ( very few ) sold till 1946 .

Estimated Guitar Price Value :
1932-1946 > $2300 to $3000
1936-1939 > $2500 to $3700
( 1936 - 1939 yellow part of sunburst finish was wider ,considered classics of the depression era and also more appealing )

guitar price guide Avg Upward Trend Of 11% a Year since 2000


Gibson L-00 Blues King ( 1991 to present )

In 1991 and on gibson introduced some replicas based on the L-00 model with silkscreen gibson logos , mahogany back and sides , same vintage style rosewood bridges , and old style tuners , they have a very balanced warm tonal response and are fairly popular today .

( they are known as the gibson blues king guitars or the L-00/blues king or the L-00 Reissue ) they also made one with indian wood and called it the blues king special .


28 Comments

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have sort of inherited what I beleive is a 1936 L-00. As a kid I dragged this poor thing to school not knowing it was actually quite valuable. Luckily I didn't do it any damage.

The guitar originally belonged to my grandmothers husband, was actually taken to WWII and brought back. There were several capo gouges in the back due to the style of capo used back then.

It had also had strings put on that were too heavy for it and had started to lift the bridge....that particular transgression was my fathers fault :-).

I pre-inherited it about 2 years ago and took it to a reputable luthier. He reset the neck, fixed the neck capo gouges, bridge and tunning keys (not original keys unfortunately and I suspect they have been changed more than once).

Apart from that work the body has never been touched to my knowledge. I am happy to say that whilst retaining its original character, the work has made it one of the nicest instruments to play I have ever known. There is something just magical about the tone.

I am a bit of a hacker when it comes to playing but my youngest son somehow inherited a true gift for guitar, self taught, great feel and creative. However he will have to wait a little longer before I am willing to let him touch this particular instrument.

Cheers

John

p.s. I have photos if anyone would like to see another example of the L-00

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

are you selling it ? do you have photos online ... thanks

 

  Posted By : Blogger Steve

I resently purchased an old Gibson guitar and was told it was a year 1934 – 1935. From the research I've done, it appears to be either an L-00 or a Nick Lucas model. The width of it is 14 ½” wide and has a 24.75” scale and has 14 frets clear of the body and a rectangle rosewood pin bridge. It looks like a Medium Sunburst design on the front. I can't find any serial numbers, etc. Does anyone out there know how to determine what model it is? I can send pics if needed.
Thanks,
Steve

 

  Posted By : Anonymous domenic

can you post your pictures online , last time i posted my email i got a swarm of emails (lol) ..domenic

 

  Posted By : Blogger john

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

  Posted By : Blogger john

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

  Posted By : Blogger john

It took a while to get the photos online but heres a link to them.
Having no end of trouble with tags.



Cheers

John

 

  Posted By : Anonymous mack

awesome guitar ..are you selling it ?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

i just recently got an old gibson that i am looking to sell, im guessing its from around the 1930s and could be a L model there is a large crack in the back and the bridge i coming off the top, but it is a great peice of history and a good project contact me at willn2rock@optonline.net for more information about buying or pictures

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Hi, I'm trying to narrow down the year of my L-00. The serial number stamped on the neck block is "1325" with "172" written in red below. Here's a pic
Front: http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l13/Gutch220/Front.jpg (front binding only)

 

  Posted By : Anonymous electronicfiles

hi- i just bought an old gibson... because the guy needed the money, he said it was a 1963, and i've always wanted a gibson, and it happened to be my year of birth. coincidence? no, just odd happening. so, here's the deal... i've looked up the serial on gibson's web site (the serial pdf files they have available) and the number that i have 622067 is not there. also, all of the pictures that i have found on the web, don't show any with a thin black and white trim around the entire guitar. while it has the serial, Made in U.S.A. stamp (supposedly stamped on guitars AFTER 1970 but a few before were stamped), and it has a less than dark standard sunburst finish. Its more like a sunburst that has a more reddish color to it. any thoughts would be helpful. i'm THINKING that its really more of a 1967 or 1969 guitar :( but then the back of the tuning pegs (metal pegs and backs) are individual instead of a standard strip molding. send any ideas to electronicfiles@yahoo.com. thanks a bunch. ki

 

  Posted By : Blogger Melika

I have a guitar which I believe is a 1936 L-00 stamped with the batch number 208A. It looks just like the pictures I see here online for the L-00 (with a sunburst pattern on the front and pick guard) except it is a bass acoustic guitar.
Does anyone know if this would still be considered an L-00 or something else? Also, would this bass guitar have the same value as the six string L-00's that I see pictures of?

 

  Posted By : Blogger Bill

Hi. I need some advice. I have inherited a 1932 Gibson L-0, but unfortunately it has been raped and ravaged. The tuners have been changed, it's been refinished, bridgework has been done, and it has several cracks and holes beyond that. Is there any way this instrument could be "brought back" to a valuable condition or would I be better off just repairing it and playing it. It still has great tone but the truss rod no longer works either. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Bill

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I think I have a Gibson L-0 from 1928 or later (mahogany sides and back, rosewood fret, ebony nut) but the guitar does not have a Gibson Logo on the head which is flat black. I had this guitar restored by a very crafted Luthier and it plays beautifully. Does anyone know if Gibson mass market produced these without the Gibson logo or if there were imitations similar to the Gibson?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

In 1970 while living in Sydney I impressed an old second-hand furniture dealer with my guitar playing (he was EASILY impressed!!) One day he went out back of his shop and brought out an old guitar which had belonged to his father, He offered it to me for $25 - if I promised to look after it and never sell it. It was a Gibson L-00. It had suffered various mishaps including losing the laquer from the front and being "refinished" with polyurethane, however the sound was unique and superb. I often wonder how it would have sounded in original condition, but even now it plays beautifuly - fantastic response and volume considering the size of the body. I have had quite a few guitars, all with their good points, but this old Gibson remains my overall favourite.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 1934 L-00, small sunburst, firestripe pickguard. I bought it at an estate sale. It had no strings for over 40 years, still in original case (even old Seranader pitch-pipe etc in perfect condition). There is no wear at all on neck (as it was barely played). Sound is huge. Am reluctantly considering selling it and will post/email pics to anyone interested. Thanks, Larry

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

1930s Gibson L-00 wanted. Hey Larry email your details & pics to : vintage.attic.collectibles@gmail.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I've got an old HG00. I've got about a dozen good guitars and none of them come close, or none I've ever played. When I'm picking sometimes, driving it hard, playing harp and singing and trying to keep my mind on the song, but still can't help but be distracted, thinking, Good God! What a sound! What a guitar!
They will have to pry it from my cold hands. Lucky the kid who gets it.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Hard to imagine all this energy being put into deifying old pieces of wood and metal. The reason most aging white men "Love" these "Traditional Fingerstyle Blues" guitars is because of the good music that some notable, but waaay over hyped "artists" from a bygone era happend to play on these old guitars. Funny thing is, if any of ya'll lived back then, you wouldn't know or care about Robert Johnson, etc. Only because Keith Richards and Eric Clapton told you to do so, now you guys are getting all historical and into this genre like mindless followers often do.
Robert Johnson (or EVEN Nick Lucas!!) could have recorded on a Daisy Rock purple sparkle electric guitar or on a Rogue $79 plywood guitar and still been whatever they were; You can knock yourself out attaining the most perfect vintage piece and you'll still sound like an old soulless whiteman no matter what guitar you play. The guitar doesn't really matter all that much. This contrivance of "Traditional Fingerstyle Blues" guitars is only novel consumerism that is clearly a market driven creation, and unfortunately dupes many into putting the focus onto the least important element of music: The raw material that the "artist" uses to
play his songs.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

A coworker has what we've narrowed down, as best we can figure, to being a 1930 L-0: X-braced top, bound back & front, tortoiseshell pickguard, ebony nut, 12 frets clear, dot inlays at 3,5,7,9,12,15, rectangular bridge with no extra bridgepin, 'The Gibson' on the headstock - but no serial number of any sort that we can find inside or on the headstock.
Belonged to her husband's dad; he brought it home with him after WWII. It's in pretty decent condition, but the D-string tuner on the 3-on-a-side unit is broken. Can anyone recommend where she could get a replacement set of tuners, or a replacement part for the broken one? It's missing the little square endpiece that the shaft of the worm-gear rests in.
One of her sons is interested in learning to play, and this seems like a pretty decent piece for him to start out on.
If you can point me in the direction of some replacement parts, email me at: Lucky(dot)Pittman(at)murraystate(dot)edu

thanks.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have what I beleive is one of the few 1929 12 fret L-00's. It is black with a white pick guard, and has a three digit fon 314. The thing that I cant figure out and makes me believe that this instrument might be very rare is both the front and back are bound. Please give me some feedback if you have any.

 

  Posted By : Blogger Paul

For several days I have been reading and looking for Gibson L-00 L-0 & Blues King and wow I have no idea that in the web were so many blogs related to generic viagra, but anyways, thanks for sharing your inputs, they are really helpful.
Have a nice day

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

My father had a Depression model L-00 that he bought brand new. He sold it to a local Guitar store for 175.00! I went right up there to buy it back. No deal. The guy wanted $875 for it that quick! The guy was also very rude to me stating that he just may keep it as a "camp fire" guitar. Something that he could beat to hell and not worry about it!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a gibson L-oo bought in 1933,I have the original bill of sale with the date on it from the music shop it was purchased from,anyone interested in buying,it comes in its original case and even has the original "cord" instead of a strap,it is a depression model and does not carry theGibson logo,these guitars are very rare and most collectable

 

  Posted By : Blogger JohnOneOne

Back in the 70's my brother found a 1935 L-00 in a light rain in someones trash. He picked it up and put it in his shed for a couple of months. After talking him into giving it to me, I took it to an expert Gibson/Martin luthier, who said all the parts were still there, just that some of the inner bracing needed re-glueing. Since that time I've had the neck fine-tuned along with the nut and bridge replaced with bone, all adjusted for light-guage strings. Now, most anyone who plays it cannot believe the quality of tone it has, rarely playing a tune all the way thru before stopping to say, 'Hey, this is a really great sounding guitar,' to which, I certainly agree.

I'd like to find another close to the same year for parts. If you think you'd part with one in not so good shape, please contact me at: arcraig17522@yahoo.com

 

  Posted By : Blogger daimeon

I have a 1932 L-00 that I am about to put up for sale, tonight. It's been in my family since it was first purchased, brand new for $25 :)
Anybody want to take a look at it, e-mail me @ daimeonmichael@gmail.com. It's valued between $2300-$3000. It hurts that I must sell it, but I will negotiate a fair deal.
Daimeon Mosley
www.reverbnation.com/daimeonmosley
480-335-0366

 

  Posted By : Blogger daimeon

I have a 1932 L-oo that has been in the family, since the day it was purchased new, for $25 during the great depression.
I hate to sell it, but I'm disabled, and I haven't been playing too many gig for the last 5 or 6 months. Need the cash to get back on my feet.
I will negotiate selling price. Hopefully we can come up with a win-win fair deal.
It's valued between $2300-$3000. Let's make it happen!
Call me and I'll shoot you some pics.
Until then!
One,
Daimeon Mosley
www.reverbnation.com/daimeonmosley
480-335-0366 (AZ)

 

  Posted By : Blogger GizmoBeach.com

1931 "The Gibson" L5 Guitar, serial #90405, in original case $15,000 obo

SELLER: Original Owner worked with Tony Pastor, Joe Marsala, Adele Girard, Frankie Carle, Raymond Scott's CBS Hit Parade, Marty Symes, Al Hoffman, Mort Greene, and Artie Shaw.
call to set up a time and place to see it: 626-826-1477

I am located in Southern California

 

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