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Gibson J-35 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, Circa 1937

Photo for Ad 115839

Gibson J-35 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, c. 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.

We love the original Gibson J-35 in any form; this early example shows evidence of play time but remains one sweet playing and sounding prewar Gibson Jumbo! This guitar was built in 1937 or early '38 -the ink-stamped part of the factory order number on the heelblock has faded into oblivion but we can tell it was #15 in its batch. The model had only recently been introduced so this example represents the first style of J-35 with a dark sunburst top that would later supplanted by a natural top version first cataloged in 1940. The neck big and chunky with a 1 3/4" nut and the typical mid-1930's V profile which was also replaced in 1939 with a slimmer "C" shaped neck. Other original features include the "firestripe" tortoise celluloid pickguard, small straight bridge with two pearl dots and silkscreened white script Gibson headstock logo.

The J-35 was Gibson's "working man's" Jumbo flattop in the 1930's and early '40's. Selling on introduction for under forty dollars it was intended as a direct competitor to Martin's D-18, and has since been similarly recognized as one of the all time classic flat-top designs. This is a guitar to be reckoned with, extremely light for its size and superbly responsive-a good flatpicker and a very nice fingerpicking guitar as well. This particular J-35 has a fairly bright but even sound, and would make an excellent recording or performance guitar.

Overall length is 40 11/16 in. (103.3 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 13/16 in. (12.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.). This guitar is in excellent playing condition and in nicely preserved condition with some general wear overall. The neck has been cleanly reset, the frets and fingerboard are original with only minor wear. There are several small and well-sealed grain cracks to the spruce top between the fingerboard end and the soundhole, and a longer one in the typical spot on the top edge of the pickguard. There is one small side cracks to the mahogany side in the bass side waist area. All are solidly repaired with minimal touch-up. The bulk of the guitar's finish remains original with a nice, moderately checked patina and dings and dents overall. The only notable strumwear is to the soundhole edges.

The bridge and bridgeplate remain original-the saddle has been subtly re-shaped but bridge has never been cut down and even at least some of the celluloid pins appear original. The bone nut appears to be an old replacement, the oldest-style Kluson tuner plates have some light corrosion but the buttons are fully intact and are still fully functional. Playability is excellent, and this guitar has a big slightly raw sound with more power than many later J-35's. Overall Excellent - Condition.

Item # 7898


Reply to Ad #115839

Category: Guitars
Ad Number 115839
Posted: Sep 30, 2017 10:46 AM CDT

Ad Owner
Retrofret/Steve Uhrik
233 Butler Street
Brooklyn NY 11217

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