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1973 Twin-Pickup Gibson Johnny Smith Archtop, Wine Red - USED


(USED)  A dandy and desirable "Double Johnny" (two pickup model) with bookmatched solid spruce top, solid maple back, sides and neck; ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl block fingerboard inlay; 7-ply body binding, 5-ply peghead and fingerboard binding, 3 ply back binding, bound f-holes, and bone nut.

It appears to have all original hardware including engraved gold-plated tailpiece; solid ebony bridge with pearl inlay in base, gold Kluson Sealfast tuners, gold floating Johnny Smith humbucking pickups with volume and tone controls, selector switch, and 1/8" jack mounted to pickguard, quintuple-bound tortoise pickguard, original truss rod cover.

Introduced in 1961, the Gibson Johnny Smith combined classic body styling with unprecedented technical innovation. The JS debuted the world's first floating humbucking pickup, and resurrected the classic X-braced top, a design used by Gibson in the 1930's. This model also revived the more generous 1 3/4" fingerboard, a favorite of finger-style players, and introduced a 25" scale, to facilitate stretch voicings without sacrificing response. Finally, the body was slimmed by 1/8th of an inch to an even 3" depth, to make it just that much easier to hold. The result is an instrument unique in playability, tonal response, and aesthetics. The visual design of the Johnny Smith is drawn from a number of top-of-the-line models as well. The 17" Venetian cutaway body and deco tailpiece are those of the L-5C, the neck and peghead are from the Super 400, and the opulent 7-ply body binding recalls the classic Epiphone Emperor. 

This guitar is one of just 28 twin pickup Johnnies from its model year, in all finish colors, and the Wine Red/burgundy version is the rarest of them all. This example shows exceptional figure in the tiger flame body and is in excellent 100% original condition; without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and equipped with all its original gold hardware and electronics. The neck profile is fast and easygoing, tapering to a smooth flat contour at the back of the neck, with the original medium-jumbo frets, and has no volute bump at the peghead. The tone is rich, warm and responsive with the sustain and depth of a vintage X-braced body, and the guitar is fitted with its original Gibson deluxe plush hardshell case. Sold to the original owner by Johnny Smith Music in Colorado Springs by the maestro himself. A unique and rare instrument, and a matchless piece of jazz guitar history from one of it's greatest innovators. (sincere thanks to for this history.)

The Johnny Smith model endured Gibson’s move from Kalamazoo to Nashville in ’84 and the acquisition by its current owners in ’86. However, Mr. Smith’s loyalty stayed with the crew in Kalamazoo, and in ’89 he moved his endorsement from Gibson to Heritage. In 2004, he returned to endorse the Guild Johnny Smith Award, by Benedetto (produced through 2006). Still, Smith’s legacy remains strong at Gibson, where the model that once bore his name is still offered, but as the LeGrand.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

The condition is very good, with a few light scratches on the body, and light lacquer checking in a few places.  There appears to have been a repair where the neck meets the peghead, professionally repaired and finished over, seems perfectly stable.  

Body size at lower bout:17" Scale length: 25" Nut width: 1 3/4"'

Case: Original Gibson black plush hardshell case.

Serial #00100294
AMW Price: $8,995 (Online checkout, ON CONSIGNMENT)

For more information, email or call (412) 422-0710