The “SJ,” which stands for “Small Jumbo,” is a guitar size initiated or promoted by the Gibson Company back in 1951. This new “figure-8” shaped “Spanish” guitar provided a new choice for the contemporary guitar player seeking to own an acoustic that is considerably smaller than the 17” wide King of the Flattop Guitars – the lordly J-200 – but which, instead, is comfortable to hold, being only 16” across at the lower bout. Being made from spruce with maple back and sides, it is an instrument that produces the volume and clarity required to dominate the room in which it is used. Quoting from an article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine by Derek See, written about a vintage J-185 (but certainly attributable in spirit to this guitar): “Strum a bit on this rib shaker, and chords radiate in massive musical chunks out of the soundhole. Pound out a boom-chuck rhythm and you can close your eyes and imagine you're Johnny Cash on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in 1958. Although the J-185 may have not had the success Gibson imagined when it was introduced, its body proportions (often referred to as "small jumbo") have served as a blueprint for many of today's most popular luthier-made custom instruments.”
This example shows normal signs of use and wear including very light nicks, dings (at least one of them on the upper bass bout at the purfling), chips, scuffs, scratches, small marks around the headstock; it has some scrapes in or on the ivoroid binding. All this is quite normal when a guitar is actually taken out of the house and played instead of remaining at all times in the special place in the living room, on the pedestal, with the multi-color spotlights and the bowl of fuzzy gloves to be worn by anybody who seeks to touch it. This CJ has recently had work performed here, including a bridge reglue, humidification, and glue and cleat some hairline cracks. The three repaired cracks, all positioned under the bridge, although tightly closed still show. This, the perfectly proportioned Small Jumbo measures 1 11/16th” at the nut, and has a bridge string spacing of 2 3/16th”. It has a body width of 16 1/8” at lower bout, and a scale length of 25.5” nut to saddle. The headstock is bordered in crème/black/crème outermost and its topmost edge is asymmetrical, having the “pompadour” haircut; the polished ebony headplate bears the script pearl “Collings” logo and below that, in vertical configuration, the “twisted deco diamond” that has four partial black lines and four pearl dots at the center. The fingerboard inlay pattern, in an ivoroid-black-ivoroid bound ebony ‘board, is similar, but lacks the four circles at the middle of its 7 pearl decorations. Tuning machines are gold-plated Schaller sealed-back Minis.
The two-piece back, the sides and the one piece neck are made from gloriously curly, three-dimensionally figured maple. The backstripe is wooden parquetry in the pleasing, repeating crème and black rectangular pattern; the back is bordered in ivoroid-black-with crème outermost; the end graft and the heel cap are each ivoroid. The top is tightly-grained Sitka that has turned a deep orange hue; it shows considerable cross grain and was made from hand-chosen materials both select and desirable. The pickguard is tortoise shell color celluloid; and abuts the three ring soundhole rosette made up of 5-9-3 layers of purfling with the larger, center ring containing, for dramatic effect, some ivoroid layers. The bridge is carved of ebony and hosts six ebony bridge pins with abalone dots. The cutaway provides the either the sophisticated guitarist, or the player who uses a capo on every single song they play, plenty of headroom to maneuver around the heights. This is a practical and beautiful instrument ready to light up your life, and the room in which in which it is played.
NOW ON SALE! WAS $3603 now. . .