Levin 1929, GG 108

The latest GammelGuran is a Levin with floating stables from 1929. The years around 1930, Levin had some models that had extra thick neck and this is one of them.

This copy had undergone a "renovation" earlier where the bottom, side and neck were sanded clean on varnish. The lid was also repainted, but had aged with pleasure. The only original paint left was on both sides of the head. The tuning screws were odd and not in good condition. The string holder was of the flat sheet metal type (later they received decorations in the form of punched patterns and Levin engraving). I like the flat string holders better as you can dampen the metal sound with a thick black welding tape on the back. This one got two coats of tape to really get rid of the ugly metallic bee sound.

The walnut fingerboard had a solid radius, more than a Telecaster. It was changed to a NOS Levin board in rosewood that I got from Tomas Fredholm who bought a warehouse when Levin was put down. The new boards had a more reasonable radius of 10 ″ and were ground as thin as possible to compensate for the thick neck.

During the renovation, the neck had been epoxy glued and I had to remanufacture the neck block. There was also unexplained damage to the back of the guitar that was filled with plastic padding and some paint on top… Pieces of the side had come loose, I folded in new wood instead of the plastic padding 🙂 A small remnant of the padding is in a crack on the lid, left behind it consciously. The lid had its cracks and some were OK repaired and others had to be glued again and get team patches on the inside. A nice feature of the lid was that it had a nice curvature that helps withstand the pressure from the strings.

Neck, side and bottom are in beautiful flaming birch. The bottom had a twig that used to be hidden behind brown paint. Used the faded original brown color that remained on the back of the head as a template (under the tuning screws there was a deeper brown color) for the spirit varnish that was applied in several rounds. The beautiful wood at the bottom shimmers when you turn the guitar.

The edge of the bottom had been sanded way too round during the last renovation, I solved it by milling a bottom strip in birch around to get a more normal edge.

New tuning screws were installed. One problem is that the back of the head is not completely flat but has a slight bend near the upper saddle. That makes some tuning screws go a little slower than they should, but that's no big problem.

Ribbed on lid and bottom. In the lid it received ladder bracing at the top and two longitudinal ribs under the stable. Ladder bracing under the stable is not good, it should keep getting the lid too stiff. Took down the thickness of the two ribs under the stable as much as I dared and I have to say that this is the Levin with string holders that has made the best of all I have prepared. The curvature of the lid meant that I dared to remove more wood from the ribs. Strung up with Newtone Masterclass 0.11 strings.

The stable is adjustable and high tech with two K&K pickups mounted. One plate picks up the lid and provides a lot of bass, the other picks up more of the strings. Together it will be a good mix. Individual intonation was done with loose ribbon pieces. Two small holes were made in the lid for the mic cords which are hidden under the string holder.

The upper saddle was intoned and the grip board received brass bands.

Satisfied with the result. In my taste, a guitar with conventional string holders and floating stables will never sound as good as a guitar with a fixed stool, but this is the first one with a floating stool that I did not get tired of playing on it. A very good sign 🙂



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