1968 Gibson-made Epiphone FT-79 Texan Slope Dreadnought Guitar

Right, a nice old J-45! Wait? Nope, it's an Epiphone Texan. This is essentially a Gibson J-45 but the twist is that it has a long-scale neck -- 25 3/8" vs 24 3/4" (or close to it as Gibson often used 24 5/8" at the time). That makes it sort-of like a more-modern version of a Gibson Advanced Jumbo -- except that old AJs have somewhat-different bracing. Still, the "AJ" sound is in evidence -- it has that Gibson predilection towards mids-glorification and good low-end but with a lot more bark and bite. This is a loud guitar and I think it'd be the perfect fit for someone who wants that '50s-ish Gibson tone but with more of a D-18 snap to it. I'll be honest: I smiled at the first strum.

It's also in really good shape. It has the usual weather-check to the finish all-over but all that finish is original, extant, and pretty glossy. It has no cracks anywhere and is 100% original throughout. There are minor nicks and dings and the usual mix of scratches from playwear on the top, though -- including a patch of pickwear that had some finish slopped over it right next to the pickguard. This is all minor stuff to me, however.

The biggest thing to know about late-'60s Gibsons is that the nut width is fairly narrow. This one clocks-in at 1 9/16" and has a slim-C rear shape. That means that rock-n-roll barred chords are going to kill it up and down the neck, but if you're fingerpicking or doing complicated flatpicking lead/fill work, you might be served by a pre-'65 model better. I don't find the narrow nut limiting, but then again I've played so many necks that I'm used to them all, now.

Also, this has an adjustable bridge. Some people don't like them. I like them a lot after I've gone through them and solved the bad-intonation or weird-back-angle problems. This lets you dial-in action as you like on-the-fly via two screwdriver-adjustable posts.

Work included: a neck reset, fret level/dress (frets are wide but lower and flatter than stock -- still good to go for some time, though), recut of the original rosewood saddle for proper intonation/compensation), cleaning, and a setup. The neck is straight and it plays bang-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, strung with 54w-12 gauges. The truss rod works.

Scale length: 25 3/8"
Nut width: 1 9/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 3/8"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/16"
Body length: 20 1/4"
Lower bout width: 16"
Waist width: 10 1/2"
Upper bout width: 11 1/4"
Side depth at endpin: 4 7/8"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: mahogany
Bracing type: x-braced
Fretboard: Brazilian rosewood, synthetic nut
Bridge: rosewood, rosewood adjustable saddle
Neck feel: slim C-shape, ~12/14" board radius

Condition notes: as-noted above... weather-check all over, minor wear-and-tear (scratches, scuffs, dings) throughout, but otherwise all-original and looking great. 

It comes with: a newer hard case.

The Texans have the cool, actual-pearl inlay, too.

It came from Umanov's famous shop in NYC -- how about that?