Gibson Advanced Jumbo (1938)



Gibson started producing their version of a dreadnought guitar in about 1934 with the aptly named mahogany Jumbo. By 1936 they had a couple of rosewood models in the mix under the name Advanced Jumbo which may have referred to the slightly increased body size, or the fancier appointments. In any case, production of these beauties was already on the wane by 1938 when this example was made. The total production between '37 and '39 amounted to no more than about 270 which makes these guitars some of the rarest Gibsons. Many players consider the Advanced Jumbo, or AJ, to be the finest flat top guitar ever made by Gibson and a few strums of this example make you see why. People talk about that Gibson "chunkiness" and "growl". This guitar has that and so much more. It's a sound that you feel more than you hear. It rattles your insides and hits some pleasure center deep in your musical core that convinces you without a doubt that this guitar is indeed something that couldn't possibly be recreated in a modern shop. Old wood, seasoned over the decades, and a build that is so light, one marvels at how the guitar is still in one piece!  It's only the inherent strength of the old-growth spruce and tenacity of the hide glue that keep this thing from shaking itself into splinters with every satisfying strum.

On that note, the guitar has had its share of restoration over the years, all in an effort to keep it amongst the living. Some well-repaired top cracks, a refin, and a very artful headstock repair, all done some time ago. Pristine examples of this rare wonder are priced in the Unobtainium levels of $70-$80K. This is a chance to get that same level of playing satisfaction for 1/3 of the price. 


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