Gibson HG-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1937)

Gibson  HG-00 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1937)
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Item # 9331
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Gibson HG-00 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1937), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

While originally designed for lap-style Hawaiian play, the fairly rare HG-00 makes a dandy Spanish-style guitar. This interesting variation on the normal Gibson 1930s "L" flat-top spec is a 12-fret guitar with slightly heavier bracing than the 14-fret standard L-00. And we do mean slightly; compared to most other guitars, it is still a featherweight instrument. The neck is quite wide, nearly 2" at the nut, but comfortable with a noticeable V profile chunkier overall than the contemporary Spanish neck. The factory order number on the heel block of this guitar has mostly faded into oblivion, but we can tell it had a "C" suffix dating it to 1937.

Like most HG-00's, this one does not have an adjustable truss rod installed as it was deemed superfluous for a Hawaiian-style neck. The fingerboards were still fretted in the standard style though, so the conversion to Spanish play does not require a refret. The tuners are simple openback strips with plastic buttons. This is a really fine guitar, somewhat rarer than a "normal" L-00 and with a slightly more aggressive tone that can be pushed harder. If the player is not uncomfortable with the wider and chunkier neck the HG-00 makes a great choice 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 5/16 in. (11 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 an excellent playing example, showing some general wear but no major repairs. The finish has a general assortment of scratches, scuffs and dings with some minor touch-up performed to some of the pick scratches on the top. There are no large areas of finish wear, and somewhat amazingly no cracks to the instrument. A strap button hole has been patched in the center of the heel.

The neck appears to have been reset very cleanly, with little cosmetic evidence at all. The rosewood bridge and small maple bridgeplate are original and unaltered with a newer bone saddle and nut. A small area of the headstock veneer above the nut has a piece glued back in, likely cracked out when the original nut was removed long ago. The frets appear to be original and show very little wear. The original openback strip tuners have some corrosion on the plates but still work well. This is a very big sounding guitar, not as sweet as some of the L-00 family but with plenty of punch and volume. Very Good + Condition.