1956 Gibson Country Western Slope Dreadnought Guitar

The Country Western is Gibson's gussied-up version of a J-50. While the upgrades are in the trim, I also have the overwhelming suspicion that most Country Westerns (and the sunburst Southern Jumbos) are a little bit fancier in the build quality, too, as most seem to have just that little bit extra horsepower when it comes to tone and feel. Who knows, maybe I'm crazy?

This mid-'50s one sounds very mid-'50s as it has a nice, balanced, aggressive sound that's mids-heavy, punchy, and has a clean, woody bass. It handles beautifully and, aside from a repaired heel crack and a good dose of finish checking, is in pretty good shape for its age. It's all-original save for the bridge pins, endpin, and tuner buttons, too.

Frankly -- when I play these guitars I'm immediately taken to imaginary honky-tonks and Grand Ole Opry episodes in my brain. This is where I expect them to be and that's where they feel like they're at home. There should be a Bigsby steel alongside it and some fiddlers in outrageous cowboy duds swarming around it. But I digress...

Repairs included: repair to a heel crack (it's nice and tight and reinforced with internal bolts), neck reset, fret level/dress, two tiny hairline crack repairs to the top (one at the treble side of the fretboard extension and one under the pickguard's edge), a bridge reglue, new buttons for the tuners, new ebony bridgpins and a replacement endpin, some brace reglues to the back braces, a cleaning, and a good setup.

Setup notes: it plays perfectly with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action height at the 12th fret. The neck is straight, the frets have good life left in them (they're almost full height but keep in mind these are the tiny old '50s Gibson frets), and the truss rod works well. The fretboard extension dips just a hair over the body. The saddle is full height and original -- I reset the neck to suit it -- and has fresh compensation for the B string.

Scale length: 24 11/16"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/8"
Body length: 20 1/8"
Lower bout width: 16"
Waist width: 10 5/8"
Upper bout width: 11 1/2"
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: Brazilian rosewood, synthetic saddle
Neck feel: medium C-shape, ~10-12" board radius

Condition notes: it's all-original save bridge pins and endpin and the tuner buttons. There's a repaired heel crack (reinforced internally) and a couple of short hairline side cracks next to it. There are two repaired small hairline cracks on the top (both at the inside edge of the pickguard -- one in front of the bridge and one next to the fretboard extension). There's mild discoloration (lighter patch) on the fretboard in its middle, but it's not obvious. As usual, there's heavy weather-checking/finish-cracking throughout the body and an average amount of small dings/nicks and pickwear.

It comes with: a chip case. This is what came with it, unfortunately. If a hard case is necessary per the buyer's needs, I may have to order one as I don't have one on hand that's spare at the moment.


Phillips said…
Yes they have that little extra mwah...oh be still my heart...