Vintage 1973 GIBSON J-55 Jumbo Acoustic, VGC, OHSC, NR!

According to The Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars, 325 Gibson J-55s were produced from 1939 to 1942, which now sell for $10,000-20,000! This is not one of those. This is one of the 3900 or so re-issued from 1972-1982, and is essentially the same as the vintage J-45 except the natural finish replaces the J-45’s sunburst finish.

Like some earlier J-45s, the J-55 has a round-shouldered jumbo body with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, although the J-55 has a maple neck rather than the J-45’s mahogany neck. Like the post-1975 J-45s, it has a non-adjustable rosewood bridge, a 14/20-fret rosewood finger board with pearl dot inlay, a multi-stripe inlaid rosette, the re-designed larger tortoise pick guard, and tortoise body binding. The only other difference of which I am aware is that the J-55’s mahogany back is laminated, allowing it to be arched; this design naturally helps it to project the huge sound for which vintage Jumbo Gibsons have been famous for decades.

This guitar is serial number A314135 (visible in picture 12 of the back of the headstock), which with the orange and white rectangular label inside probably dates it as 1973—thirty-seven years of making music. In excellent condition for this vintage, there are very few cosmetic concerns: some finish crazing “to let the sound out,” and some small dings,
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