(USED) Here is something that you don't see every day, a fantastic original 1939 J-35 from the pre-war era of Gibson guitars! Being massive fans of jumbos and slope Ds, it is exciting to have such an excellent example to offer. It has its bumps and bruises, but has been fastidiously and professionally maintained, is wanting for nothing, and sounds exactly how we want it to.
Built in 1939, this natural top J-35 has some tight-grained (and we mean TIGHT) Adirondack spruce, mahogany back and sides that have faded to a butterscotch orange color, and a sizable but comfortable "V" neck profile. This is the two tone bar configuration, with both tone bars and X-brace being ramped (vs scalloped) so it's punchy, with a clear voice, but also not lacking that meaty low end that we expect from an almost 85 year old jumbo. It has the humble aesthetics that we associate with the model: white plastic binding with no purfling, simple single-ring rosette, and fire stripe pick guard.
For specs, we've got a scale length of just over 24 3/4", with 1 3/4" nut width and generous 2 3/8" string spacing at the saddle. It weighs in at 3 lbs, 15 oz, and plays perfectly!
We know, we know... with vintage guitars, it's all about CONDITION, CONDITION, CONDITION, so let us detail that for y'all, as best we can: the top has obviously been in the hands of talented luthiers over the years, based on the cleanliness of the repairs, replacement parts, and of course the aforementioned playability. It has a handful of thin top cracks which have been either cleated or stabilized with hot hide glue, or some combination of both. All cracks display as being completely closed up, stable, and relatively clean in appearance given the age of the instrument. The neck has been reset to a perfect angle for approximately 3/32-2/32 action, from bass to treble. The rosewood bridge is a replacement, but was perfectly executed and is an excellent grain match for the original rosewood fingerboard. The saddle and pins are new, but the nut appears to be original. It has newer frets that are showing almost no wear. The tuners appear to be replacements, but are not "new" as such, a well fitting and proper feeling vintage set.
There appears to be a light overspray on the top, it displays some dings and scratches but no finish checking. The back has finish checking consummate with the age of the guitar, and the neck has various scratches and some finish worn through at the cap of the "V" (none of which diminishes the playing experience!) and a fair bit of chipping at the top of the peghead. There is a binding repair on the bass side of the lower bout. All of this is to say that the guitar is in perfect working order, but has the appearance of a well-played 1930s instrument. Includes modern (last 20 years?) hard case.
One of the cleanest, best kept, and greatest sounding J-35s that we've gotten the chance to play in our 21 years, vintage or otherwise! This is one that checks all the boxes, shouldn't need a bit of maintenance for a good long while, and will certainly appreciate in value. A very special piece.
Serial #EG-4178 (1939)
AMW Price: $8,495 (On consignment, no trade offers please!)
For more information, email email@example.com or call (412) 422-0710