1973 Gibson Gospel

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by willpayne, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. willpayne

    willpayne TDPRI Member

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    I picked up a 1973 Gibson Gospel off of Craigslist locally and I'm wondering if anyone has much experience with one? It definitely needs new bridge pins. Other than that, the binding is Chipping off in some places, which I have read is pretty much what happened to all the ones with the tortoise shell binding. I'm considering throwing a couple of hundred into it to set it up, get new pins and get a pickup installed. It sounds pretty good all things considered. If anyone has a good suggestion on how to fix or even stop the binding chipping I'd be very appreciative.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  2. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't know anything about Gospels, but that seems like a pretty sweet deal on a pretty sweet guitar. Congrats!
     
  3. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    That is not a bad guitar at all from that year & if it were mine I'd swap pins as needed, adjust saddle height & tweak truss rod as needed & should be cheap if you can do it yerself.

    Binding can probably be stabilized a bit with drop-fill a simple glue, search web?

    I'll bet it sounds pretty darned good.
     
  4. Donelson

    Donelson Tele-Afflicted

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    You paid pretty small $$$ for a classic axe. You should take it to a luthier and have it looked over by a trained eye, and get it fixed as needed. Even if it costs a decent amount to do so, you will be glad you did it later.

    Good luck!
     
  5. banjohabit

    banjohabit Tele-Holic

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    +1. i do-it-myself on old asian made $80 acoustics, but the one you've got there is worth what you will pay a pro to put it in order. see if you can find some bluegrass guys in your area (maybe the seller?) or an open bluegrass jam at a church or civic building and show that guitar around. some of those guys will know exactly who to get to do the best job on it.
     
  6. Dan R

    Dan R Poster Extraordinaire

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    Even if you put a couple hundred more in it, it should be worth it. I think you scored a nice acoustic there. You certainly couldn't find a new acoustic that is as good for that kind of money.

    Dan R
     
  7. willpayne

    willpayne TDPRI Member

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    That's exactly what I'm planning on. Thanks for the help, I will look into that glue. I does sound good!
     
  8. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    I think the Gospel is one of Gibson's better Norlin-era offerings as the arched back helped restore some of the volume and presence that the massive double X bracing Gibson started using in 1971 robbed.

    Personally, I do not sweat cosmetics and only have structural issues taken care of. But for what you paid - which is about 1/2 what one in really good condition would run - you have plenty of room to throw some money into it. Then again, if you are like me, I do not care what the resale value of a guitar I really like is and will put more into it than I could ever recoup.
     
  9. willpayne

    willpayne TDPRI Member

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    I'm not too worried about cosmetics- moreso about what will happen with the tortoise binding cracks off. I don't want the back to detach from the sides! It is definitely a great sounding instrument. I am in the middle of a studio album and plan on taking it in tonight to see how it sounds.
     
  10. Zillinois

    Zillinois Friend of Leo's

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    I used to have the Anniversary model, it was a pretty nice guitar, but I never bonded with it.
     
  11. willpayne

    willpayne TDPRI Member

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    Well I took it into the studio tonight and I loved how it tracked. It has more of an evenness (or compression?) to it than my Martin does. The Martin can get a bit boomy. I've read all over the 'net that gospels are praised for their ability to punch through the mix. Very true. Also, they are highly acclaimed for folk, bluegrass and blues, which is what I do. I think I made a great purchase.
     
  12. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    Not sure I would go as far as to say any 1970s Gibson acoustic is "highly acclaimed." But as I said, the Gospel fared better than other models - many of which sound like they are stuffed with old t-shirts. While some of what drove the descision to go with a laminate body was cost cutting (at one time laminate had actually cost more to use than solid wood as it took more wood and labor to make) the arched back created a sound chamber which gave the guitar a bit bigger voice and helped overcome the overbraced rigid top.

    The Anniversary Model and RIs were a totally different guitars with the much lighter standard Bozeman scalloped top bracing.
     
  13. Twang Factor 10

    Twang Factor 10 Tele-Meister

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    Last Fall I scored an early 70's J 45 Deluxe from a local store. I have the same trouble with the binding. Just before Christmas I sent it to a reputable luthier in Nashville. He quoted a 3 week turnaround for a new nut, fix binding and install a pickup. Today is Good Friday and he still has it. Last I talked to him he had everything fixed except binding. So I'm gonna say that the binding isn't easy to replace. I have had other dealings with his fellow and have had good luck with him. The binding must be a motherf&%$#r to scrape out and replace,
     
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