Gibson SJ Southern Jumbo Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1951)

Gibson  SJ Southern Jumbo Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1951)

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Item # 7786
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Gibson SJ Southern Jumbo Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1951), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 7622-8, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

The SJ or "Southern Jumbo" sometimes feels like a bit of a forgotten model in Gibson's postwar flat top line; not as simple a working man's guitar as the more austere J-45 but not as yee-haw fancy as the big 17" SJ-200 or J-185. The SJ features the same basic construction as the more familiar J-45 with a sunburst spruce top on a 16" slope-shouldered mahogany jumbo body, with a mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard.

The cosmetics of the SJ are fancier than the J-45 all around; there are multiple layers of binding around the body and soundhole; the fingerboard is bound with pearloid double parallelogram inlays. The rosewood bridge is a top-belly design, which looks rather like an upside-down Martin bridge. This 1951 model is as some general play wear but still sports a very sharp look but more importantly a big warm sound.

Don Everly used a 1953 SJ to create the famous open-tuned chord hooks on the Everly Brothers' early records, and this guitar has plenty of ring some of that same punch when pushed. This is a very fine playing example of this classic Gibson flat top-the kind of guitar that makes you want to sit around singing country songs all night, even if you're in the middle of the city.
Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 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 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This SJ has some general wear but remains an excellent player. The overall look is not heavily worn; there is less pick wear to the top than many, and overall the finish shows multiple small dings dents and scrapes but no major loss. The big exception is the back of the neck, where most of the finish is gone from behind the nut down to around the seventh fret. We're not sure if this was done on purpose or if a previous owner just had a very abrasive hand, but at any rate is still feels great in that classic "worn-in' way. For some reason there is also more wear on the bass side edge of the headstock.

There is one internal alteration-the main braces appear to have been scalloped slightly long ago, but the work was not detrimental to the guitar's stability or sound. The only notable repair is a small sealed rain crack on the bass side waist, otherwise this is a crack-free guitar. The guitar also remains otherwise original except for the tuners, which are the correct style repros and a strap button added to the heel. This is a great playing and sounding SJ, big and round-toned and a pleasure to play. Excellent - Condition.