Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1941 Gibson J-35

FON 5130G. Vintage Gibson acoustics don't get much more exciting than this. It's an ultra-rare, shaded cherry edgeburst 1941 J-35 in nearly mint condition.

The guitar was bought shortly before its original owner headed to the pacific to fight in WWII. When he returned from the war, there were new families to start, and work to do, and the guitar wasn't played much. It was soon tucked away so the young kids wouldn't damage it, and it never came back out again. In fact, those young kids - now grandparents themselves - had no idea that their father even played guitar until recently. Thanks to the internet, they found Folkway and learned all about the kind of treasure they had unearthed.

The guitar is almost unplayed, has close to no flaws and no repairs. We have never encountered a highly desirable model of vintage guitar in as fine condition as this one. The factory set-up hasn't been altered, and the guitar plays perfectly. We have opted to leave a crack at the pickguard's inside margin unrepaired, in the name of originality. We'll be happy to repair this minor crack at the buyer's request.

Original neck angle is absolutely perfect, and the original saddle is full-height. Neck relief is perfect and the lie of the frets really couldn't be better. The guitar plays perfectly. No loose or reglued braces, original bridgeplate and bridge, original unworn bridge pins. The Kluson tuners feature the mosaic buttons seen only in 1940-41 -- and they've amazingly not disintegrated. The nut and saddle have never been removed, and the frets are largely unworn.

It's a two-tonebar J-35, with gently scalloped braces and a rounded neck that measures a shade 1-11/16" at the nut. Tone is incredible, and the guitar is as wonderful to experience as it is to marvel at. The guitar is both powerful and warm, with some thump in the bass end that's balanced nicely by a clear midrange and great presence.

In short, this is a J-35 that's got every thing going for it. Near-mint condition, perfect playability, no repairs, a good neck angle, and a phenomenally rare finish. We can't think of a J-35 that we'd get more excited about.

With original chipboard case

Click HERE for our hi-def video feature of this J-35



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