Gibson HG-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1939)

Gibson  HG-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1939)

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Item # 7622
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Gibson HG-00 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1939), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # EG-4795, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, rigid foam case.

While originally intended for lap-style Hawaiian play, the fairly rare HG-00 makes a dandy Spanish-style guitar and an interesting variation on the normal 1930s "L" flat-top specs. This one has been cleanly converted, resulting in a 12-fret guitar with slightly heavier bracing than the 14-fret standard L-00. We do mean slightly -- compared to most other guitars, it is still a featherweight instrument.

The neck is a quite wide (nearly 2" at the nut) but comfortable "V" profile, rather chunkier in feel than the contemporary Spanish neck. Unlike most HGs, this one DOES have an adjustable truss rod installed; this was often omitted, as it was deemed unnecessary for the Hawaiian style neck. The fingerboards were fretted in the standard style, so the conversion to Spanish play does not require a refret. The tuners are still the original early style Kluson strip tuners with lovely amber plastic buttons.

The FON (Factory Order Number) on this guitar is stamped on the back of the headstock, and the "EG" code indicates a production date of 1939. The HG-00 model was only available for a few years in the late '30s, soon rendered obsolete by the newly popular student electric Hawaiian guitars.

This is a really fine flat-top, quite a bit rarer than a "normal" L-00 and with a slightly more aggressive tone. The 12-fret neck joint and center bridge placement makes the guitar a most efficient tone generator and it has a big sound for its relatively small body. It is a fine instrument for a number of acoustic styles and a connoisseur's delight in a 1930s Gibson flat-top.
 
Overall length is 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm.), 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 7/16 in. (11.3 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 15/16 in. (49 mm.).

This is a nice, clean example overall, with some light finish wear but much better preserved than many of the pre-war Gibson flat-tops we see. The finish has light checking and small dings and chips, but retains a lovely shine. There is one repaired grain crack on the back near the neck heel with the finish touched up above it. There is also one ding in the back of the neck between the first and second fret; the rest of the finish has little wear. The guitar has just had a very clean neckset and proper compensated bridge fitted, and is an excellent player with a truly fine sound. Excellent - Condition.