1964 Gibson B-25 00-Sized Flattop Guitar

1964 is a fairly-desirable year for '60s Gibson acoustics. The necks still have a 1 11/16" nut width and the tops are still built with the lightweight bracing of the early-'60s years. This one has both and I've replaced the original (broken) plastic adjustable bridge for a '50s-style drop-in rosewood one.

As a result, it sounds like a cross between a late-'50s LG-2 or LG-3 and an early-'60s B-25 (they're the same guitar, really, but renamed). This means you get the nice bottom-end warmth of the '60s plus the better definition, extra mids, and clean picking of the '50s. I really like it -- as you can clearly here in the video clip! Volume is good, too.

When this came into the shop via its consignor, it had some loose top bracing (which had attempts at fixing made apparent with a mirror), said broken bridge, and big, ugly, dirty-white classical guitar pickguards on it. Otherwise, it looked like an original B-25N (natural top) to me -- though the branding in the soundhole identifies it as a B-25. After removing the original bridge, I found a bright yellow finish underneath it in the style one expects to find in the cherryburst of a "normal" B-25. That says to me that this possibly had a refinished top at some point. I suppose outgassing from the plastic could have discolored it under the bridge, but I'm not so sure.

Interestingly, I would've never guessed a refin because the top's finish looks exactly right for a period B-25N (nitro, with weather-check, the right sort of gloss, thinness, and whatnot). It almost makes me wonder if it was refinished at the factory or left the factory refinished to natural. Either way, it doesn't matter as it looks right and sounds great.

Work included: regluing several top braces, cutting and installing a pair of new Gibson-shaped pickguards to hide muck from the old classical pickguards, cutting and installing a new '50s-style rosewood bridge, a new bone saddle, fret level/dress, much cleaning, and a good setup. It plays bang-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret and is strung with 54w-12 gauges. The truss works and it's ready to roll.

Scale length: 24 5/8"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/8"
Body length: 19"
Lower bout width: 14 1/4"
Waist width: 9 1/2"
Upper bout width: 11 1/4"
Side depth at endpin: 4 1/2"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: mahogany
Bracing type: x-braced
Fretboard: Brazilian rosewood
Bridge: Indian rosewood, bone saddle
Neck feel: slim-to-medium C-shape, ~10-12" board radius

Condition notes: presumably-refinished face (though period-correct), replaced pickguards, replaced bridge and saddle, pickwear around the soundhole and various tiny scratches, nicks, and dings throughout -- but otherwise actually in pretty decent shape finish-wise. It has all the usual weather-checking that these old Gibson finishes get from the time. The center seam was reglued and cleated at some point as well and there's an old repair to a small hairline crack on the back.

As you can see, there's plenty of adjustment room to shim-up or shave-down the new saddle. It's a drop-in slot so that's easy to do as well.