1941 Gibson J-35

August 22nd, 2023

1940-1942 were transitional years for Gibson’s Jumbos, with specs changing rapidly.  These J-35s are very unique, and come in many variants.  They each have their own sound and are therefore difficult to compare on equal ground.   I had this wonderfully clean and original 1941 Gibson J-35 on the bench that is an excellent example of its kind.

Photo 1.  The natural finished 1941 body.

1941 Gibson J-35

Photo 2.  1930s-style sawn neck pocket.  Look closely and you can see the model name pencilled on the side right next to the mortise.
1941 Gibson J-35
Photo 3. Lacquered bridge with drop in saddle. The saddles on Gibsons were always glued in place, even the drop-ins, right up until the adjustable bridges came along in the mid/late 1950s.
1941 Gibson J-35 bridge & saddle
Photo 4.  Lacquered over ebony nut.  The Ebony nut was standard on the J-35 and L-00 models.  They have this shape from around 1935 until 1942, thereabouts.
1941 Gibson J-35 ebony nut
Photo 5.  Transitional ‘scalloped’ 2 bar bracing.  When Gibson went to a 2 tone bar design they tightened up the X brace angle, used a larger bridge plate, and shorter braces.  The top thickness appears to have been increased as well.  Notice the single finger braces, as well.
1941 Gibson J-35 bracing
Photo 6.  Banner 1944 Bracing, for comparison.  Notice the wider X, smaller plate (just like on a 3 tone bar J-35, and on post war J-45s), as well as taller and more robust braces.
Interested in learning more about Gibson J-35s from this era?  Check out this post we shared about a 1940 Gibson J-35 

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