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1979 Gibson J-40 Vintage Square Shoulder Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1979 Gibson J-40 in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. First produced in 1971, this Norlin-era Gibson shares much of its DNA with the J-45, featuring a square shoulder dreadnought body, double X-braced spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a three-piece maple neck capped with a rosewood fingerboard. This particular J-40 has received all the maintenance due its vintage, befitting from a professional neck reset, bridge reglue, and full refret.

Central to the sound of the J-40 is the double X-braced top, and while this bracing has its proponents and detractors, the overarching sound delivers both sweetness and growl in the bass register, with a punchiness consistent with Norlin-era Gibson acoustics. The top has been worked-in over the decades, with a more open, dynamic quality than a new instrument while retaining a distinctive focus and percussive power. This J-40 weighs 4lbs 6oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 12-53 bronze strings and easy-playing action.

The lightly figured three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with good shoulders, gradually gaining more heft and fullness up the fretboard, measuring .815” deep at the 1st fret and .960” at the 9th. The rosewood fingerboard has been refretted with pristine slender fretwire, and this guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The headstock sports a gold Gibson silkscreen and J-40 truss rod cover, and the Gibson "flower" tuning machines function reliably with nickel plating and metal keystone buttons.

The guitar benefits from a fresh neck reset, meeting the body at an ideal angle and ensuring viability for decades of future use. The pin-less bridge has been reseated, sitting flush with the spruce top on all edges, and the replacement compensated bone saddle has plenty of height for future adjustment. The pickguard sits flat and has also been reseated, only exhibiting some limited shrinkage towards the waist. The original orange label is visible through the soundhole.

The Natural gloss nitro lacquer finish is framed by heavily ambered multi-ply binding, and there is one slender, repaired split on top extending beneath the pickguard on the treble-side upper bout. Cosmetic wear includes very minor buckle worming on the back, some scuffing on top along the strum path, and a number of minor marks on the body as a whole consistent with careful use. The figured flame maple neck retains its smooth gloss, free of palm wear.

The original black tolex hardshell case with Gibson silkscreen logo is included; all original latches are functional and the original handle is present.