Gibson Advanced Jumbo Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1937)

Gibson  Advanced Jumbo Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1937)
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Item # 6112
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Gibson Advanced Jumbo Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1937), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, sunburst top, natural back and sides finish, rosewood back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewod fingerboard, period black hard shell case.

The veritable holy grail of Gibson flat-tops, the slope-shoulder Advanced Jumbo is generally considered the finest guitar of its type in the company's entire history. For many years, the "AJ" has been one of the most sought-after of all vintage guitars, with few ever even coming up for sale. This one dates to the beginning of 1937, and is thus a fairly early example.

Listing originally at the reasonably high price of $80.00, the "AJ" was a more sophisticated development of the 1934 Jumbo, with a rosewood body instead of mahogany and fancier cosmetics, specifically the unusual "arrowhead" inlay on the fingerboard and headstock. The major structural difference is a 25 1/2" scale, 3/4" longer than other Gibson 16" Jumbo guitars. This coupled with the rosewood body produces an extremely powerful sound, practically unique among flat-top guitars.

The neck is very slim, much speedier, and more modern-feeling than most period Gibsons. Designed to compete directly with Martin's Dreadnought D-28 for the radio Cowboy and "Hillbilly" players' attention, the Advanced Jumbo's sound combines volume, projection, and responsivness in an unparalleled package. It doesn't exactly sound like a '37 D-28, or any other Gibson for that matter, but once played tends to linger in the memory. This "AJ" is a pleasure to see, hear, and play, and is a guitar that absolutely lives up to its formidable reputation.
Overall length is 41 3/8 in. (105.1 cm.), 16 1/16 in. (40.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar has been very well-played with a number of repairs over the years, but remains substantially original; it's still a fine player's guitar. The bridge is an oversize reproduction based on the original style. The bridgeplate is a correct-style replacement to match; the internal bracing remains original. The back appears to been taken off and re-installed. The kerfing is all solid and uncut; the neck has been re-set. There is a decent amount of touched up area around the bridge where the original lifted off long ago. There is a fairly small area with some heavy pickwear between the pickguard and bridge well into the wood.

Tuners are the correct period open back Grovers; at one point strip tuners were fitted, but there was no routing, and the original tuners and bushings fit perfectly with little evidence of ever being off. There is some wear to the back of the neck, which has been recently refretted with perfect period-correct wire. There are a couple of small marks on the headstock that appear to be cigarette burns! The finish overall is checked and there are numerous small dings and chips but it is substantially original, except for the touch up around the bridge area. This guitar must have seen some very heavy use over the last 75 years, and playing it today it's still easy to see why! Very Good + Condition.