Up for sale, a 1977 Gibson MK-35 jumbo acoustic guitar in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Clean and complete, this guitar comes with the original hardshell case, leaflet from Gibson, and two additional saddles which were included with this model from the factory. This Gibson was part of their short-lived Mark series of acoustic guitars based on the work of noted physical chemist Michael Kasha and luthier Richard Schneider, who sought to improve the volume and response of acoustic guitars through the application of scientific principles - namely their proprietary bracing; a hybrid between X and Fan bracing. Despite garnering support from notables like Andres Segovia; Kasha’s work and the Mark series never quite caught on with the public and the line only ran from 1975-79, with Kasha and Schneider turning to custom work.
The MK-35 is the mahogany-based entry in the Mark line, with mahogany back and sides, spruce top, and a mahogany neck capped with a rosewood fretboard. The lower bout measures 16" in width, and the body depth is a full 5". There’s a delicate, articulate character to the overarching sound, extremely balanced and sonorous, with wound strings that have a round, smooth sound. The plain strings offer both sparkle and sweetness, and the guitar has a treble-centric percussive chop when strumming. Weighing 4lbs 14oz, this MK-35 has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with fresh 12-54 strings and easy-playing action.
The three-piece mahogany neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with round shoulders, measuring .840” deep at the 1st fret and .970” deep at the 9th, with 14 frets clear of the body. The rosewood fretboard retains the stock slender fretwire with well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear favoring the plain strings on frets 1-7. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The headstock is slightly heavier than standard; another design feature of Kasha’s designed to mitigate unwanted vibrations traveling up the neck without sacrificing overall balance. The headstock has a gold “Gibson” script logo, with the 06-prefix stickered serial number used in '77. A "Second" stamp on the back of the headstock denotes a small, now-undetectable finish flaw (or simply a tactic by Gibson to discount this slow-selling model). The nickel-plated Gibson "flower" tuners turn smoothly and hold steady pitch with metal tulip buttons.
The asymmetrical “impedance-matching” rosewood bridge sits flush with the top on all edges, and this bridge was another invention of Kasha and Schneider; designed wider on the bass side to better transmit vibrations in all registers. The small black pickguard is also present, along with a carved, raised ebony rosette.
The Natural gloss nitro lacquer finish exhibits light buckle rash on the treble-side upper bout on the back, just a few additional minor marks on the instrument as a whole, and light pick wear between the soundhole and bridge. The center seam on top has also been reglued, with a sliver of additional spruce added to account for shrinkage, and light, targeted touch-up in this area as well. The gloss is fully intact on the neck profile and free of palm wear, with some minor marks central to the carve.
The original hardshell case is included, along with a Gibson leaflet detailing the inclusion of two additional saddles with different heights.