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1956 Gibson J-50 Vintage Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1956 Gibson J-50 in excellent condition, complete with the original chipboard case. A golden age example of Gibson's quintessential dreadnought model, this guitar features a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides paired with a one-piece mahogany neck capped with a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard.

Sound simply leaps from this instrument, and this dreadnought offers plenty of detail and woody cut, with the sweetness and soft growl of mahogany when digging in hard with a flatpick. The midrange is balanced and textured with a certain bell-like quality that records very well, while the trebles are full-sounding and bouncy with just enough sparkle and articulation. The guitar weighs 4lbs 1oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with fresh 12-53 bronze strings, easy-playing action, and accurate intonation.

The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a round C-shaped profile carve that's a bit more slender and fast-feeling than many of the more aggressive late 50s "baseball bat" neck carves. The profile has moderate shoulders, measuring .880" deep at the 1st fret and .915" at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the original slender "banjo" fretwire which has decent meat remaining given the fret size, exhibiting only light wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-5. The guitar plays cleanly in every register up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original nylon nut measures 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the original nickel-plated Kluson Deluxe "no-line" strip tuners are intact, fitted with replacement white buttons. These tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch as they should, and the original gold "Gibson" silkscreen logo is present on the headstock face as well.

The V-prefix factory order number is stamped on the heel block and visible through the soundhole, translating to a 1956 build date. The Brazilian rosewood bridge sits flush with the top, fitted with a new tall carved bone saddle. This J-50 also benefits from a professional neck reset, ensuring the neck meets the body at the ideal angle for decades of future viability. The pickguard is a high quality tortoise replacement furnished by Fox Guards, matching both the thickness and particular style of tortoise material consistent with mid-1950s Gibson spec.

The guitar retains its original gloss nitro lacquer finish, and the top and rims are crack-free. There are a number of repaired splits on the back, largely on the lower bout, all smooth to the touch with a bit of light targeted gloss lacquer overspray. There is strum wear across the soundhole, prominent lacquer checking, and various scuffs and dings from use on the instrument as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss, with some subtle checking, particularly on the bass side of the carve, and a (vintage) forward strap button has also been installed in the guitar's lifetime.

The original chipboard case with faux alligator covering is included, and the case retains its stock molded handle and functional latches.