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GIBSON CLASSICAL GUITARS


OldCowboy

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I've got a 1958 C-6, likely from the first batch. I believe it was a horrific reject bound for the bandsaw/dumpster. I can't even reconcile how it got completed. Nothing makes sense. The top is distorted in between the braces but they still put the bridge on, so it doesn't even make full contact...hit or miss. The neck has ZERO finish on it. Probably the most odd feature is the ebony board. If you look at the sides, you can see clearly where random fret slots had been cut on the BOTTOM of the board....like they cut a half dozen random slots in a fingerboard blank, then flipped it over and cut them 'right'. The coup de grace is the finish on the body. It is thick and severely cracked. It would remind you of an old Vox guitar from Italy. The story I was told was that it was used for an experimental finish that Gibson never pursued further. I know lacquer thinner just lays there and acetone might smudge it a little if you scrub hard enough with a rough cloth. It's just about indestructable. Gibson gave or sold it to banjo/guitar artist Eddie Collins when he was visiting the factory and I bought it from his son. It plays well and sounds...adequate. I wish sometimes the candy apple goop finish would disappear and I'd leave it naked.

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There is distortion in the top, almost like...you know the jig they put the tops in to glue the bracing on? It's almost like they cranked it too tight or otherwise made the spruce distort in between the fan braces. So why did it even end up on a body? And why did they attach the bridge anyway?? And yes, it is a radiused board, quite unusual for a classical.

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Odd slotting on the underside of the board.

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I don't know what type of material this is. I doubt it's ivory but it appears to be some kind of ceramic.

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Yes, I compensated the saddle.

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Hey! Thanks for sharing the photos! Looks like a guitar that someone put together from parts that Gibson didn't mind letting go to employees back in the day. I've seen a few of those and knew some of the guys that did that. Thing is, they most always sound good - sometimes better than 'official' production. I recall seeing Segovia's guitar in the late 1960's and its top was distorted almost beyond belief. Sure sounded good, though....

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Not this one. I exchanged many emails with the seller prior to buying it. He stated Gibson had tested a new finish and it cracked within a few days.

 

"Scott, Glad you're pleased with the guitar. I always thought it was pretty cool, I just didn't have enough time to devote to it. Like yourself, I also have too many irons in the fire at all times. My dad had a great rapport with the folks at Gibson, back in the old days. They would often "loan" him an instrument, for his opinion, etc. I believe this one came right off the floor in some such circumstance, and they just let him keep it after evaluating the finish . Thanks again, TC."

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Not this one. I exchanged many emails with the seller prior to buying it. He stated Gibson had tested a new finish and it cracked within a few days.

 

"Scott, Glad you're pleased with the guitar. I always thought it was pretty cool, I just didn't have enough time to devote to it. Like yourself, I also have too many irons in the fire at all times. My dad had a great rapport with the folks at Gibson, back in the old days. They would often "loan" him an instrument, for his opinion, etc. I believe this one came right off the floor in some such circumstance, and they just let him keep it after evaluating the finish . Thanks again, TC."

That's a cool story!

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Wow, talk about mojo. Or maybe mojo isn't quite the right word--maybe "Frankengibson."

 

Actually, the rosette looks kinda nice. What's really surprising to me is that Gibson put their label inside, including an "approved by." Was "Richard Pick" (or is it "Rickard"?) a real person? Any chance he's still alive? Maybe there's a can of that super finish still sitting in a closet in the old Kalamazoo factory.

 

Thanks for the photos. I guess the only thing left is sound samples. That's probably as unique a Gibson as I've seen.

 

I'm fairly sure the OP won't find one like it, but apparently a. . .uh, regular C-6 is the model he should check out.

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