Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends


1985 Gibson Johnny Smith 25th Anniversary

Status: Pricing and hold status for all instruments currently available is shown on our Instruments page here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold, and is no longer available. Photos and descriptions of Previously Sold instruments may be found here. To be notified of examples of this model or similar instruments in the future, please contact [email protected],. Please be specific on which instrument(s) you're looking for, and we'll be happy to contact you as soon as they become available.

SN: 82395576, Master Model label, signed Jim Hutchins, 10/2/85

Body size at lower bout:17" Scale length: 25" Nut width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid maple back, sides and neck; solid ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl block fingerboard and peghead inlay; 7-ply body binding, 5-ply peghead and fingerboard binding, 3 ply back binding, bound f-holes, bone nut.

Hardware: All original gold hardware includes individually adjustable finger tailpiece; solid ebony bridge with pearl inlaid base; Kluson Sealfast tuners; floating Johnny Smith humbucking pickups with individual volume and tone controls, selector switch, and 1/8" mini-jack mounted to pickguard; original truss rod cover. Original quintuple-bound tortoise pickguard included, vintage correct bound tortoise guard installed.

Notes: Introduced in 1961, the Gibson Johnny Smith combined classic body styling with unprecedented technical innovation. The JS debuted the world's first floating humbucking pickup, and resurrected the classic X-braced top, a design used by Gibson in the 1930's. The model also introduced a 25" scale, to facilitate stretch voicings without sacrificing response. Finally, the body was slimmed by 1/8th of an inch to an even 3" depth, to make it just that much easier to hold. The result is an instrument unique in playability, tonal response, and aesthetics. The visual design of the Johnny Smith is drawn from a number of top-of-the-line models as well. The 17" Venetian cutaway body and deco tailpiece are those of the L-5C, the neck and peghead are from the Super 400, and the opulent 7-ply body binding recalls the classic Epiphone Emperor.

This rare guitar is one of a small batch made to commemorate the 25th Anniverary of the model. Blonde examples were fewer and more costly than sunbursts, and offered the builders the opportunity to showcase the most extravagantly figured wood the factory had to offer. Compounding the rarity is the twin pickup configuration, which comprised only a small fraction of total production.

This unusually handsome example is carved of exceptionally figured tiger flame maple throughout, with a solid carved bookmatched quartersawn soundboard of lovely fine grained spruce. Meticulously maintained, the instrument has been preserved in unusually pristine 100% original condition; without pick, thumb or fingerboard wear, and equipped with all its original gold hardware and electronics. (Apart from a bit of tarnish on the pickup covers, the instrument appears to have been virtually unplayed.) The neck profile is fast and easygoing, tapering to a smooth flat contour at the back of the neck, with the original medium-jumbo frets, and has no volute bump at the peghead. an additional factory correct bound leopard shell tortoise pickguard is installed, along with the original guard, which is included in the case along with the original factory paperwork.

The tone is rich, warm and responsive with the sustain and depth of a vintage X-braced body, and the guitar is fitted with its original Gibson deluxe plush hardshell case. A matchless piece of jazz guitar history, inspired by one of it's greatest masters.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, crowned and polished; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original Gibson deluxe black arched plush lined hardshell case.






































Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends