1947 Gibson SJ (Southern Jumbo)

This is a vintage 1947 Gibson SJ (Southern Jumbo) flat top acoustic guitar. This example, which lacks an FON/Serial Number, was manufactured using pre-war techniques while being one of the first to display the non-script modernized Gibson logo on the headstock. It features an incredibly bulky war-era D-shape neck profile with a wide 1 3/4″ nut, and has the same booming tone of “Banner” model J-45.

With split parallelogram inlays, a double-bound body ornamentation, individual 3-on-a-side Kluson tuning machines and a larger profile bridge footprint, the Gibson Southern Jumbo was clearly a more decorated version of the simpler J-45 model. Like the J-45, the Southern Jumbo had identical proportions, a Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides, a Mahogany neck with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard, a Sunburst finish, a tortoise pickguard, etc. This guitar comes with an era appropriate arcthop case, and while it isn’t the original one, it actually fits it quite well.

This example is in good original condition, however, the bridge was replaced with a sufficient version sometime ago. Surely, a more accurate vintage spec replacement would highly enhance the appearance and functionality of the guitar. So while it works and sounds great, it could be better. There are two small parallel cracks on the butt of the guitar, which are the result of an impact. They have not been repaired, but appear stable. Otherwise, there are no cracks on the top, no cracks on the back, and similarly, no cracks in the neck. The neck, top and back are all in structurally perfect condition without issue. The original finish is highly attractive and very intact.

The neck angle is great, and the neck is perfectly straight. The bridge and/or saddle should be shaved to accommodate for lower action, though the guitar is playable as-is. With a prodigious neck profile, and substantial neck mass, the guitar is an absolute cannon. It projects with an incredible booming tone, and sustains cleanly for an extended period. With a proper bridge and a visit to a luthier to address a single loose brace within, this guitar will become a real winner.