1964 Gibson J-50 Slope Dreadnought Guitar

This badgered old J-50 (serial: 228676) has had its ups and downs in the past but is a solid, quick-playing instrument with that dry, woody, warm, classic '60s Gibson tone. It's a sound that, unsurprisingly, suits that '60s, folksy, strummy, singer-songwriter thing perfectly. By 1960 Gibson had started to lighten-up the bracing on their flattops and as a result the sound changes from a punchy, dry, mids-pushed, flatpicker-centric, country-style box to a scooped high-mids, tubbier, warmer voice with a wider bass. '64 was the last year with the "traditional" nut width and neck feel, too. The necks got progressively skinnier side-to-side as the rest of the '60s played-out.

Anyhow, this particular guitar is interesting. Someone replaced the original bridge -- which may have been one of the plastic ones -- with an oversize rosewood one. They preserved the original rosewood adjustable saddle, though, which was a good touch. I like them! They make life easy and are part of the key to the springiness of "that sound" on '60s Gibs. It's easy-enough to make an oversize ebony or rosewood drop-in saddle to fit in the same slot, though, if that were desired. I don't think this change as good/bad -- it's just slightly different on either side.

It also has a replacement pickguard which must've been cut some time ago. The tuners are also interesting in that they look original to me but are not the 3-on-a-plate Klusons I would expect on a guitar from this year. But -- we are talking about Gibson, here! What's "standard" on one, anyway?

There are a good number of old repairs to top hairline cracks (all cleated) and one repair to a back crack as well. The top does the usual "Gibson hump" with a little bit of a belly behind and under the bridge and a little sink in front of it. I don't know any old Gibsons that don't have this to some degree. It's part of the charm, folks.

All I had to do was give it a glorified setup, basically, and it was good to go.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, minor cleaning, saddle modification (reprofiled the top for good compensation), and setup work.

Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany, ply sides probably

Bracing type: x

Bridge: rosewood (replacement, oversize, but nicely done)

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret:
3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w-12 lights

Neck shape: slim-medium C

Board radius: 10"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: wide/lower

Scale length: 24 5/8"

Nut width: 1 11/16"

Body width: 16"

Body depth: 4 7/8"

Weight: 4 lbs 8 oz

Condition notes: frankly, it's pretty beat-up! There's pickwear and scratches all over the top, scratches and scuffs and dings here and there throughout, finish weather-check throughout, a bunch of repaired top cracks, one repaired back crack, and grunge/worn finish on the back of the neck and at the headstock. The board has some wear but it does not have an impact on playability. This was played. The pickguard, bridge, and bridge pins are replacements but the saddle and its hardware are original. There's an added strap button near the heel on the side.

It comes with: a beat but functional molded hard case.