4/28/2016

1950 Gibson Southern Jumbo Slope Dreadnought Guitar




Yup -- this is #2 Gibson SJ from 1950 in the same day. This one is in better overall condition than the last one and, like its sibling, has a familiar voice but skewed in a different direction: just like the 1950 LG-2 that was in here a couple weeks ago, this guitar is all about forward volume, punch, and flatpicking guts. It sounds phenomenal on crosspicked chording or "bluegrassy" leads as the note separation is clear, distinct, and crisp.

It was obviously played hard with a flatpick, too, judging by the washboarding next to the fretboard extension, all over the fretboard extension, and around the soundhole -- giving it some definite "player's street cred."

Work on this included a fret level/dress, recut of the saddle slot and a new bone (compensated) saddle, a new bone nut, three small hairline crack cleat/repairs (one next to the pickguard, one tiny one at the top treble waist over the kerfing, and one on the back upper-bout), cleaning, a new set of ebony pins, and a good setup. It plays spot-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret and is strung with a set of 12s. The truss is barely engaged and the neck is dead-straight, so a heavy-hander using mediums would have no issues stringing it with them.


This one looks glorious -- it's "dirty" in the right spots (where you pick) and fairly clean in the rest. The bridge, I think, is possibly a replacement (though it's Brazilian) and the pins, tuners, nut, and saddle are, too -- but the rest is all stock.


This has a 1 11/16" nut width and mild-medium C-shaped neck profile. The normal 24 3/4" Gibson scale is in use and the Brazilian rosewood board is radiused.


The guitar was refretted with jumbo frets at some point, though the job was somewhat sloppy, and with a bit of wear in the first position, too. I gave them a full-on level/dress and now they're "tamed" and in good order and will last for a good, long time.


That multi-ply binding always looks good against the sunburst, I say.



I'm not sure if the bridge is original or not. The saddle slot was pretty thin on it and not quite in the right place, so I widened it and installed a new bone saddle and new ebony pins to boot.

There is a bridge plate cap that was installed on this at some point in the past. It's a little crude but is thin and maple so isn't sucking up tone. I had half a mind to remove it but it looked pretty well-glued-up.

Other old repairs include a a number of reglues to the back braces.



The mahogany on the back and sides is that luminous, red-brown yum that I expect on 50s Gibs.



Curiously-enough, this SJ also arrived in-shop with aftermarket Kluson tuners, rather than the original units. They work just fine.









The saddle has plenty of height.





The only crack on the back is this small hairline which is cleated, sealed, and filled.



The guitar comes with an (apparently) original Gibson brown hard case with the kelly-green felted lining.



The case is in great condition, road worthy, and certainly "collector-worthy."


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