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1966 Gibson Southern Jumbo SJ Vintage Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Country Western w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1966 Gibson Southern Jumbo in excellent condition. By the mid-1950s, the "Southern Jumbo" and "Country Western" models were synonymous in the Gibson catalog, and as one of the company's most ostentatious offerings to date, this square shouldered dreadnought has an impressive look and tone to match.

The sound is bold and muscly with tons of projection, offering a rich textured growl in the bass register that holds together well with great punch when you dig in hard with a flatpick. The trebles are sweet and articulate with good snap and body, and the midrange is balanced. The string to string balance is excellent, and while the mahogany back and sides give the guitar the warmth that this tonewood is known for, the overall clarity of the instrument is surprising, and complex chords ring our clearly with a piano-like quality. The guitar is a featherweight 4lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with fresh 12-53 bronze strings, comfortable action, and accurate intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with modest shoulder and a fast, effortless feel, measuring .800" deep at the 1st fret, graduating to .920" at 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features pearloid split trapezoid inlay, professionally refretted with wire that matches vintage width with more meat and crown. The current frets are flawless, playing cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale length with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut has a 1 9/16" width, upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone for ideal note clarity and sustain. On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe double line tuners are intact and turn smoothly with the original white buttons.

The original Brazilian rosewood bridge is intact, with the adjustable saddle slot flawlessly filled with matching rosewood, fitted with a traditional compensated bone saddle. The saddle has plenty of height, and the neck has been reset in the guitar's lifetime, ensuring ideal playability for decades to come. The original bridge pins are intact too, and the original three-point tortoise pickguard sits flush with the top on all edges, thinner than many '60s Gibson guards, allowing the top to resonate optimally. The "SJ" stamp is visible through the soundhole.

The original nitro lacquer Ice Tea Sunburst finish is warm and vibrant, and the only differentiating factor between the Southern Jumbo and Country Western was the finish, with the SJ featuring a Sunburst gloss, while the Country Western was finished Natural. There is light lacquer checking on top and one small “case bite” on the lower bout, with one small split repaired on top between the treble side upper bout edge and pickguard. There are some minor nicks and scuffs on the back and sides, consistent with very light, careful use, and the body binding is deeply ambered. One piece of binding has been replaced on the back lower bout body edge with two small spots of stabilized binding adjacent to the new color-matched binding piece. The nitro gloss on the neck profile is clean and smooth, with no palm wear and only one shallow nick of note central to the carve behind fret 6.

A modern black tolex hardshell case is included.