This is a 1996 JW Gallagher & Sons “Doc Watson” model flat top acoustic guitar. This particular example, serial number 2832, is in nice original condition and includes a non-original hard shell case. With an MSRP of $3,599.00, the Doc Watson model remains the most popular Gallagher guitar. The collaborative design included input from Doc Watson, Merle Travis, and of course, J.W., and since beginning very limited production in 1965, only approximately 3000 instruments were produced over a 40 year period. Without question, the Doc Watson is one of the most tasteful and refined pre-war Martin-inspired hand-crafted boutique instruments ever made, and even at its asking price, is worth every single penny.
This Doc Watson model features: a spruce top with the original natural finish, mahogany back and sides, bound top and back, C-shaped mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard, a wide 1 3/4″ nut width, original jumbo frets, an ebony bridge, herringbone purfling, Schaller tuning machines, voiced bracing, and a non-original hard shell case.
Built approximately 17 years ago, it is quite apparent that this example has had ample time to dry naturally, resulting in an open and better balanced sound. Aside from a couple of dings, very minimal playing wear, and an additional strap pin added to the neck heel, this gutiar is a fantastic example. The action is low, the guitar sounds great, and it definitely looks beautiful.
To clarify, this guitar has no breaks, no cracks, no repairs, nor any modifications. It exhibits absolutely no bellying along the top, no lifting of the bridge, and no pickguard stress. The neck angle is good, and there is considerable saddle height for those desiring the absolute best setup.