5/01/2016

1959 Gibson Country Western Slope Dreadnought Guitar





This rugged beaut came in for consignment and has been luthier-owned for a while. It's got that big, balanced, blooming, ka-chunky old "slope dread" tone with the crisp and clear picking tone I expect from '50s Gibsons and a bit more extra bottom mwah that I expect from '60s Gibsons. It's a good balance and would suit someone who moves back and forth between different styles, though I have to admit I prefer it for what it's named for -- pounding-out chords "country western" style.

The guitar is in perfect playing health and has perfectly dialed-in action (3/32" EA, 1/16" DGBE) at the 12th fret strung with gauges between medium and light (a "bluegrass" set). My only work on it was just to lightly level/dress the frets as the first-position area had some worn spots. This would even be a great "gigging" guitar as it has a K&K Pure Western (3-sensor mini) installed.

Suffice to say, however, that this has had a ton of old professional repairs to bring it back to spec. It was owned by a luthier and, among other things, old work included filling various holes for old electronics, crack repairs to the back and a few to the top, much bracing and seam regluing, fretwork, a pickguard reglue, and replacement (custom-made) bridge, saddle, and bridge pins. It's all good to go.


The "Country Western" model is a "Southern Jumbo" in natural -- meaning it's a gussied-up version of a J-50 rather than a J-45. It's a classic look, especially for its year -- 1959. Can't you imagine this slung over the shoulder of a honky-tonk prince?


The tuners are also replacement Kluson-style units. The nut is 1 11/16" and this has that comfortable, medium-C profile to the back of the neck and the standard 24 3/4" Gibson short scale.


The fretboard is radiused, has bigger frets (for the time), and shows mild playwear throughout.


Gotta love those inlays!


There's pickwear around the soundhole and two replacement little bits of top wood -- see them? -- where someone had a soundhole pickup screwed onto the guitar.


The luthier/owner of this guitar made a beautiful replacement bridge for it, complete with compensated bone saddle and good-quality white bridge pins. The saddle height is excellent and the top is in good order "belly-wise." Basically -- it plays like a new, boutique guitar.


Here's one filled hole (there was a switch here, previously).


Here are two more. I know that weird "teardrop" shape, too, by the way -- at some point someone had a DeArmond control plate stuck on here before going to "integrated" vol/tone controls. It's all pat.



Country Westerns, like most slope dread models, are solid spruce over solid mahogany. I love the nice deep red color Gibson finished the mahogany in these years.






There are a few repaired old hairline cracks on the back.




There's a filled old jack-hole on the side.






Here's the jack for the K&K.


An apparently original hard case is also included -- with nice orange-yellow lining. It's in good health and the owner repaired a few seams at one point.

1 comment:

PHILLIP FABIANO said...
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