Please read this entire description before acting to purchase this guitar.

Up for sale is one 1994 Gibson Centennial Collection 1940 Jumbo 55 Sunburst. To celebrate their 100th anniversary, Gibson re-issued 12 special acoustic guitars, one model for each month of the year, each one hand-crafted in a limited production run of only 100 instruments, one guitar for each of their first 100 years . This example is #49 of 100.

Of the legendary Gibson Jumbo family of the 1930s, the Jumbo 55 remains the most elaborate and distinct; sloped shoulder dreadnought, spruce top, ebony fingerboard, ebony moustache bridge, mahogany back & sides, carved stairstep peghead, historic terraced pickguard, advanced bracing pattern, long scale, vintage AJ tuners.

Condition here is excellent; no dings, dents, or other rash. The only degradation worth noting is the typical finish checking around and over the inlaid logo and upper edge on the headstock, and about five small hairline finish cracks in the area of the right curl of the moustache bridge. Otherwise this piece is clean, clean, clean. I've had people tell me I'm one of the toughest condition graders they know, and I would put condition here at 95-96 points out of 100. The same applies to the case.

In addition to this example's outstanding cosmetic condition, this piece is one of the finest sounding Gibson Jumbo acoustic guitars I have ever heard from this (or frankly any) era in which they have been made. Believe me... the day I originally bought this guitar I didn't walk into the shop looking for a Gibson. My opinion at that time was that most of what they were building was over built, and simply lacking in the kind of sonic dimensionality exhibited by the earlier years of these type of models. But the proprietor insisted I play it, and when I did, I was blown away. I asked him what the deal was with this piece, and here's the story.

The guitar I was playing was the second incarnation of 'Centennial 1940 Jumbo 55, #49/100'. Apparently, the first #49/100 suffered a catastrophic body failure within its first year of life. Being that these guitars were limited production runs (and not “masterbuilt” as is so often misstated), the only way Gibson had to satisfy a warranty claim on this piece was to send it back to what was then their custom shop and have one of their guys build a new body for it. And guess who's hands it landed in? Hint... the answer is in the last photo. And this is what makes all the difference with this guitar. I've played a number of the Centennial Collection guitars including 2 other examples of this model and none of them came close to this one in terms of sonics. This guitar has excellent string to string definition, that beautiful woody dryness with just the right amount of sparkle you only get with mahogany and sloped shouldered dreadnought, good power, and ample bass end, again with excellent control and definition. It's not any kind of the woofy, whumpy, thumpy, or thuddy that so defined most Gibson acoustic tone at that time.

This is your opportunity to acquire what is probably the finest sounding of this guitar out there. This guitar is being offered for sale only because I've gotten the itch to try a type of guitar I've never had before, and I have other guitars I play more because they are more well suited to the type of music I play. If something else sells first, I'd be just as happy to continue to hold it. Because I'm not interested in sending this guitar for an unnecessary ride, please ask any and all questions you have before purchasing since any sale here will be final.

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Listed5 months ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.Learn more
  • J-55
  • Sunburst
  • 1994
Made In
  • United States
  • None
Color Family
  • Brown
String Type
  • Steel
Right / Left Handed
  • Right Handed
Number of Strings
  • 6-String
Neck Material
  • Mahogany
Body Shape
  • Dreadnought
Finish Pattern
  • Sunburst
Top Material
  • Spruce
Back Material
  • Mahogany
Sides Material
  • Mahogany
Fretboard Material
  • Ebony
Model Family
Active Preamp
  • No
Number of Frets
  • 20

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Canton, CT, United States
Joined Reverb:2017

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