Vintage Instruments: Gibson Guitars

Bookmark and Share

1954 Gibson CF-100E

Gibson’s CF-100E and its acoustic twin the CF-100 were built through the 1950’s and have the honour of being the first cutaway flat-top and first cut-away electric acoustic guitars Gibson ever built. The CF-100 shared the LG-2’s body and build, but with gussied up Les-Paul style inlays, pearl headstock logo and crown inlay, and a pointy Florentine cutaway. The CF-100E added a P-90 pickup at the end of the fingerboard and top-mounted volume and tone controls.

With its all-solid construction and scalloped X braced top, the CF-100E is a far superior sounding guitar than the larger J-160E and holds its own played acoustic. It’s a cut-away LG-2 after all, and shares that guitar’s midrangey tonal characteristics. Plugged in, the P-90 offers a clean and clear electric tone that’s perfect for blues and jazz. The pickup is a full-size P-90 – it just doesn’t look that way from the outside!

This guitar is in amazing condition. It arrived at Folkway in need of nothing more than a truss rod adjustment and to have a few nut slots lowered. That small a repair bill is nearly unheard of among vintage Gibson guitars. There are no cracks or repairs, no loose or reglued braces, no changed parts or finish, and the neck angle is fine. The original frets show only very light wear in the first position, and the nut has never been removed or shimmed. Original tuners, pins, and saddle. Original unmodified electronics. The guitar is set up with 12-52 electric strings and has an action of 5-6 64ths.

A cleaner CF-100E would be hard to find, and a cooler pickup-equipped flat top may not exist.

With similarly clean Gibson early 1960’s hardshell case.

← Back to Gibson Guitars