The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:00 PM
musical5 musical5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 153
Default Funky thrift store find

Anyone have any idea what this might be? I think it's a Kay or something, but the "Gibson" label is as old as the guitar. Sounds pretty nice.

__________________
Justin Jones (not "and the driving rain".....this one http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/waiting/id305405409

Takamine Santa Fe, Alvarez 5056, Alvarez 5053,Yamaha FG-300, Yairi DY53 1990 (Pecan), Spirit Dreadnought, Yamaha Classical....we wont even start on the electrics.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:06 PM
KSHillTopper KSHillTopper is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 301
Default

Wow, that's a beast. Love it. How much did ya get it for?
__________________
Slumberin' on the Cumberland.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:08 PM
musical5 musical5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 153
Default

Less than a tank of gas
__________________
Justin Jones (not "and the driving rain".....this one http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/waiting/id305405409

Takamine Santa Fe, Alvarez 5056, Alvarez 5053,Yamaha FG-300, Yairi DY53 1990 (Pecan), Spirit Dreadnought, Yamaha Classical....we wont even start on the electrics.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:13 PM
tdq tdq is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mullumbimby, Australia
Posts: 1,403
Default

Wow, looks real interesting. Is it a small/size short scale? Hard to tell from the pics but either the headstock is big or the guitar is small.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:16 PM
musical5 musical5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 153
Default

The headstock is rather large. It does have 19 frets.
__________________
Justin Jones (not "and the driving rain".....this one http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/waiting/id305405409

Takamine Santa Fe, Alvarez 5056, Alvarez 5053,Yamaha FG-300, Yairi DY53 1990 (Pecan), Spirit Dreadnought, Yamaha Classical....we wont even start on the electrics.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:38 PM
TerryAllanHall TerryAllanHall is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Fairview, Rep. O' Tejas
Posts: 564
Thumbs up

Possibly a WWII era Kay that Gibson distributed for a short time...heard of these, but have never seen one.

Looks pretty cool...how's the action?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:52 PM
musical5 musical5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 153
Default

Really good actually! Considering the neck could use a reset. The top is solid cedar. It's strung with electric strings for now. I'm not sure if it will stay that way, but I dont want to stress the neck with heavier strings.
__________________
Justin Jones (not "and the driving rain".....this one http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/waiting/id305405409

Takamine Santa Fe, Alvarez 5056, Alvarez 5053,Yamaha FG-300, Yairi DY53 1990 (Pecan), Spirit Dreadnought, Yamaha Classical....we wont even start on the electrics.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-12-2011, 08:45 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 29,278
Default

Justin, it's not a Gibson, and I'd be very surprised if it has a cedar top. What's a lot more likely is it has a spruce, maple or possibly even birch top that's darkened with age. My guess is that it's age-darkened spruce.

Cedar tops on steel string acoustic guitars were basically unheard of before the 1970's, when they started showing up on custom luthier-built guitars, and later on factory-built instruments. But a pre-WWII archtop, as this appears to be - extremely unlikely.

That peghead logo appears to be something that got appliqued onto the peghead by some do-it-yourselfer, maybe thirty or forty years ago, maybe more recently. But it's not a type font that the Gibson company has ever used for any of its headstock logos, not recently, not fifty years ago, not before or during World War One.

Looking at the photo, the guitar is almost certainly from the 1930's, 40's or 50's, and was built either by one of the big Chicago firms like Harmony, Kay or Regal; or else possibly by Vega. My guess is that it's pre-war and was built by Harmony or Kay and that somebody in the past thirty or forty years stripped it, refinished it, and glued that "Gibson" on the headstock and varnished or lacquered over it.

Back in the late 1960's, when I was in high school, there was a minor vogue for the style and illustrations of a turn-of-the-last-century illustrator named Charles Dana Gibson, inventor of the "Gibson Girls":





Here's a Wikipedia article on the man and his art:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_Girl


Given the sort of beaux-arts typeface that that "Gibson" is written in on the guitar's headstock, my guess is that that came from either a book or a magazine article about Gibson Girls that the handyman who stripped down and refinished this guitar had access to. It was his little joke to stick it on the peghead, and he'd probably be surprised that anyone might take it seriously.

But it's not a Gibson guitar, and that's most definitely not a logo Gibson has ever used.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:11 PM
mynewguitar mynewguitar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14
Default Thanks for the conversation

Thanks for posting the photo, musical5, and thanks, as well, to you Wade for that insight about cedar tops and the history of Gibson.

I'd love to hear what the guitar sounds like. What kind of strings do you imagine putting on the guitar if you do change them?

Thanks -
__________________
Chris -

Findaguitarteacher.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:12 PM
slimey slimey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,222
Default

Awesome info Wade.
It's my guess ther "gibson girls' were all in a hair band....
__________________
Steve
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:20 PM
musical5 musical5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 153
Default

Thanks Wade.

Mynewguitar

Im going to take it into my luthier tomorrow, and see about string alternatives.
__________________
Justin Jones (not "and the driving rain".....this one http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/waiting/id305405409

Takamine Santa Fe, Alvarez 5056, Alvarez 5053,Yamaha FG-300, Yairi DY53 1990 (Pecan), Spirit Dreadnought, Yamaha Classical....we wont even start on the electrics.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:26 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 29,278
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimey View Post
Awesome info Wade.
It's my guess ther "gibson girls' were all in a hair band....
Charles Dana Gibson was an extremely active and productive illustrator during his professional heyday - I own a massive two volume set of "Harper's Illustrated Weekly's Pictorial History Of The Recent War With Spain" that has any number of his combat drawings from the Spanish-American War. So he wasn't limited merely to drawings of enticing young women, even though that's all he's remembered for today.

As for those young women being in a "hair band" - maybe so! There was certainly a lot of emphasis on that in those drawings, wasn't there?


whm
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:32 PM
SixStingString SixStingString is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Plymouth
Posts: 838
Default

not a gibson - definately a kay,
I was able to match it to my encyclopedia. Possibly the lower end of their line looking at the plain headstock. It looks like a 1950's era. In 56 they came out with a "kelvinator" plastic headstock named for their resemblance to a sears appliance line. Later they came out with semi-kelvinator headstocks. My guess is this was a semi that they fumbled with the headstock and probably added the gibson label as the other poster stated. They did make solid and laminates for this so it fits.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-12-2011, 10:09 PM
musical5 musical5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 153
Default

I think it's a Kay as well but, I cant seem to find a Kay with this headstock design. It is a wood headstock.

__________________
Justin Jones (not "and the driving rain".....this one http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/waiting/id305405409

Takamine Santa Fe, Alvarez 5056, Alvarez 5053,Yamaha FG-300, Yairi DY53 1990 (Pecan), Spirit Dreadnought, Yamaha Classical....we wont even start on the electrics.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-12-2011, 10:27 PM
Marc Durso Marc Durso is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 521
Default

WADE!

You are truly a Renaissance man!

And coming from a Jayhawk about a Missouri boy that's high cotten!

All the best!

Marc
__________________
Wonderful reality guitars now:
Ted Thompson Guitars: T1 (GA), T2 (00), T2C (00) all in sitka/EIR
...

Wonderful dream guitars someday:
Mark Blanchard Pinyon (00) Ad/Koa slothead 12fret contour cutaway, Mark Blanchard Sugarpine (000) Ad/Mad fan 12 fret contour cutaway w/Manzer wedge
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=