The Gibson Advanced Jumbo is one of a handful of true holy grail acoustic guitars for the majority of players and collectors, and is arguably the most sought after Gibson made flat top alongside pre-war Super Jumbos. Introduced in 1935 and retailing for $80, the Advanced Jumbo was the top of the line Gibson acoustic guitar, competing with the Martin D-28 in a marketplace that was looking for more volume, presence and tone from Dreadnought shaped instruments. With no more than 300 thought to have been produced, this 1938 Gibson Advanced Jumbo is an iconic instrument that we a thrilled to offer for sale.
This 1938 Gibson J-45 is a fantastic example of Gibsons pre-war acoustic period, making it easy to see why this is considered their golden era for flat top instruments. Constructed from an Adirondack Spruce top and East Indian Rosewood back and sides, the Advanced Jumbo was the only instrument featuring rosewood to bear the Gibson headstock logo during this period. Featuring scalloped X bracing, the story goes that all Advanced Jumbo models were given to one employee at Kalamazoo, who would hand scallop the bracing and tune it to each piece of Spruce after coming off the production line, with all Advanced Jumbo models having slightly different scalloping patterns. The result is a remarkably open, balanced and detailed tone that is perhaps the best we have heard in all our years of selling guitars.
The neck profile is a comfortable 'V' profile that was used specifically on the Advanced Jumbo model, with a slimmer back shape that gives it a faster playing feel, with the fuller, rounder back shape reserved for supposedly more 'working class' instruments at the time. The guitar is finished with the larger sunburst introduced in 1938, along with a flamed celluloid pickguard and diamond & arrowhead fretboard and headstock inlay.
This guitar is in good condition for an instrument of its age, and has had some work over the years to keep it in top playing condition. The neck has been reset at some point to ensure optimal playability, and the top has been removed and rebraced with the original braces retained. There has also been two pieces of spruce filleted in to the top to repair previous bridge screw cracks, along with a previous headstock repair which can be seen in the photos. The back of the body and neck have had some clear lacquer overspray, and the lower half of the black edge of the sunburst also shows some evidence of overspray. The original bridge and thicker maple bridge plate are present and correct, and the guitar is fitted with a newer set of period correct open gear tuners.