Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1956 Gibson J-185N

Serial # A24492, FON V7133-10. Produced in limited numbers from 1951 until its discontinuation in 1958, the J-185 was the slightly smaller, slightly less expensive cousin of the J-200. Offered in both sunburst and natural finishes, the sunburst versions outsold the naturals by a margin of 4 to 1. There were only 270 of the Blonde J-185N built, and it's not often a model that's found in the vintage guitar market. The 185 sounded full and rich, and was a great instrument for vocal accompaniment, fingerstyle blues, or just about any other application. For many, the J-185 was the best thing Gibson ever produced, even if it was only for a short while.

This guitar has definitely been enjoyed over the years, and shows all the signs of a well-loved instrument. There is heavy playwear all over the guitar's original finish, and the neck's finish is pretty much worn off. Replaced bridgeplate and bridge, pickguard and tuners. A professional neck reset and refret were done about 15 years ago and the neck angle is perfect still. A repaired pickguard crack is the only significant top crack; there are four short repaired back cracks, a number of re-glued braces, and a fair amount of glue-messiness and water staining inside the box. All in all, it's a great player guitar; it sounds like it should, and plays very well thanks to a set up and saddle replacement by our shop. No further repairs are needed.

Modern Kluson tuners, solid maple back and sides, spruce top, bridgeplate transducer pickup, rosewood fingerboard, twin-parallelogram inlays, 24-3/4" scale and 1-11/16" bone nut. Excellent playability, extra-comfortable neck.

With 1960's Gibson hard shell case

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