Up for sale, a 1970s Gurian J-M Jumbo Mahogany guitar in exceptional, crack-free condition, complete with the original hardshell case and hangtag. This J-M was made circa 1975 by Michael Gurian in his Hinsdale, New Hampshire workshop. Initially a classical builder who began making steel string instruments in the mid-1960s, Gurian's background as an expert with Old World techniques manifests itself in his instruments, whose unusually rounded bodies combine classical appointments and modern interior construction. Only around 5000 Gurian instruments were produced in total across the entire lifespan of the brand from 1965-81, and Gurians are highly prized, benefitting from an early association with a venerable list of artists including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Paul Simon.
The J-M model is Gurian's Jumbo Mahogany model, and the spruce top has Gurian's unusual fan-derived bracing system. With a 15 5/8” lower bout width, the tone is warm and full, with exceptional string-to-string balance and projection. The immediacy and evenness of the sound makes this a very rewarding guitar for fingerstyle playing, with great harmonic complexity, and digging in with a flatpick yields a certain openness and touch of growl. Weighing 4lbs 9oz, this Gurian benefits from a professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 12-53 bronze strings and easy-playing action.
The mahogany neck has a round C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with a gentle increase in additional heft and shoulder further up the fingerboard, measuring .860” deep at the 1st fret and .970” at the 9th. On the ebony fretboard, the slender fretwire is practically perfect, with well-rounded crowns, only exhibiting a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-3. This Gurian plays cleanly up the 25 5/8“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the stock bone nut measures 1 5/8“ in width. The headstock has a rosewood veneer, and the original set of Schaller tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.
The ebony bridge sits flush with the top on all edges, and the saddle has ample room for future adjustment with 2 1/4" string spacing. The soundhole is framed by a herringbone rosette, and the “third planet from the sun” label is intact. The original black pickguard has some requisite scuffing along the strum path.
This guitar is very well-kept and crack-free, with cosmetic wear limited to a handful of minor dings on the body as a whole, largely relegated to the lower bout on top and along the rims. Additionally, there is some very limited finish checking central to the top. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh-flawless.
The original black tolex hardshell case is included, and there is modest wear and a number of stickers on the case exterior. The latches are functional and the original handle is present (repaired at one end). The original hangtag is also included.