Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1994 Gibson Roy Smeck Radio Grande 1934 Re-Issue

Serial # 90914020. Centennial Series, Limited Edition, #42 of 100. In reaction to the burgeoning Hawaiian music craze of the early part of the 20th century, Gibson introduced the Roy Smeck Radio Grande, among other Hawaiian models. The Original Radio Grande was an expensive instrument that didn't sell terribly well during the height of the Great Depression, and there aren't too many of them around -- which is unfortunate, as they are among the best sounding vintage Gibson flat tops, particularly when converted to 'Spanish' style.

This version, re-issued in 1994 by Gibson, skips the Hawaiian and gets straight to the Spanish! Recently set up in our shop, the guitar plays quite well with a lovely rounded tone. Trebles are thick and sparkling, mids are punchy and the bass is expansive without being thumpy. With scalloped braces, a small bridge plate and a uniform-depth 4-1/4" body with rosewood back and sides, it is little wonder that this Smeck sounds so nice. At almost 20 years old, only a few slight crazes in the guitar's finish and a replaced truss rod cover attest to its age.

Fire-stripe tortoise pick-guard, butter bean Kluson-style tuners, through-cut saddle, Nick Lucas style inlays, 1-13/16" nut width, 12 fret modified V-shaped neck and 24-3/4" scale length. Comes complete with its certificate of authenticity, and has a sterling silver commemorative plaque on the back of the headstock.

With original hard shell case

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