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Gibson L-OO True Vintage 2014 vs Huss & Dalton Crossroads 2020 vs Martin OODB Jeff Tweedy

The original Gibson L-OO model is near a hundred years old, some nineteen thirties model being still alive and played. Gibson reissued the model some years ago and some other builders imitated it over the recent years.

I had the chance to get a Gibson L-OO True Vintage crafted in 2014 by master luthier Ren Ferguson then working at Gibson while I began to study the old Delta Blues some years ago. Ferguson made two limited runs of some seventy units in 2014 and 2016. Gibson made another run in 2020, after Ferguson official retirement.

I just got a Huss & Dalton Crossroads crafted in 2020 for a reason I will mention below.

I find appropriate to mention I once tried another L-OO like model, a Waterloo WL-14 made by late Bill Collings : I did not buy it then because I had compared with a Gibson L-1 1928 Blues Tribute I owned and found they were sounding quite alike.

Here is a short self appreciation of both models, Gibson L-OO TV and H&D Crossroads, as I compared them : I will not loose myself in details one can find somewhere else on the net about each one, but will mention those that appear important to me as a player, say comfort and tone.

At first sight, apart from names on headstocks, they would differ by the tone of their respective sunburst which are gorgeous, aren't they ? Appreciate the appealing body shape : Both of these fourteen fretters share same body dimensions and short scale. The Gibson has a Red Spruce top while the Crossraods top is made of Sitka; both have Mahogany for back and sides. The Gibson neck is flatter than the modified V neck of the Crossroads : This bolder neck surely participates in the impression that the Crossroads is heavier when I grab it. They also differ by the strings spacing with nut width just shy of 1,75 in. for the Gibson (1,725 in.) but a larger 1,75 in. for the Crossroads : This is the main reason I wanted the Crossroads since the Gibson cause a little more work on my fretting hand. The strings spacing is also larger at bridge on the Crossroads.

Both had dead straight necks when I got them, but a bit of truss rod mediated relief and a little lower new bone saddle (to keep the original one as is !), keeping a quite steep angle of the strings behind the saddle, should result in an action low enough for my gentle fingerstyle.

The intonation at twelfth fret is just perfect on the Gibson, while it is not exactly as precise on the Crossroads : I could help this with a new bone saddle I will craft.

What about the sound ? We will try to hear them (the video is unfortunately recorded with my almost obsolete iPad, sorry).

As I mentioned the Waterloo WL-14, I add here the comparative video of the Gibsons L-1 1928 Blues Tribute and the L-OO TV I had made some years ago.

But this would not have been complete if I was not to compare with some others of my acoustics.

The 2007 Taylor 412ce (Sitka/Ovangkol) revealed to sound so thin compared to the Crossroads that I just put it on my "to sell" list.

I then played the Crossroads back to back with the all Mahogany Martin OODB : I was surprised to discover that both sound quite alike, the Martin sounding more bassy with Martin Monel Retro strings. So, here a not so good video of those three Mahogany beasts :
Second offence... ;)
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