1940 Gibson J-35

A strong, well-rounded, and clearly-voiced Gibson with big bass and plenty of volume. This 1940 J-35 is a top-notch flatpicker that would give the most stalwart Martin player some pause. There’s more detail in the trebles than you’d hear in later scalloped-braced models, warm and woody midrange support, and excellent focus. Imagine a late 1930’s D-18 with fatter trebles and a rounder midrange and you’re on the right page.

By 1940 Gibson’s J-35 had started evolving towards what would ultimately become the J-45. This example features straight braces and two tone-bars below the X, a red spruce top, and a very deeply carved round neck with a 1-11/16” nut width. The strings taper to a wide 2-3/8” spread at the pins, affording your right hand all kinds of real estate to work in. It has classic J-35 appointments – simple bindings and soundhole rosette, Gibson screened logo, three-on-a-strip tuners, lacquered-over rosewood bridge and firestripe pickguard. Natural finish, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard.

This example is in excellent condition both in structure and playability. It’s had a very cleanly executed neck reset in the recent past, and we’ve just installed a new aged bone nut and saddle as part of our set-up work prior to listing it here. There’s a repaired top crack about an inch off the fingerboard extension, treble side, and an older repaired side crack on the treble side, but no other cracks of any note. The original bridge plate was installed in the wrong place way back in 1940, which positioned the bridge pins too close to its back edge. The maple behind the pins had all broken away, and there was no choice but to replace it. We’ve installed a new plate that is dimensioned accurately, and will include the original part (along with the original nut) with the guitar. Frets have just been dressed, and the guitar plays easily and cleanly right up the neck with an action of 5-6 64ths. Original finish throughout, original frets and tuning machines, as well.

With newer hardshell case