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1967 Gibson Southern Jumbo


Seventies-Fan
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Hello, I have posted a longer description of my guitar in the "Introduce Yourself" forum, but I wanted to say hello to all of the folks here in the Acoustic forum!

 

I recently acquired a 1967 Gibson SJ (Southern Jumbo) that is in pretty incredible condition from the original owner who never learned to play, and so it lived in the case.

 

Here is something unusual... I could tell by examination, that this guitar has a 4 pc top! I had heard that was done on early examples, but not for one made in 1967.

I contacted Gibson and provided them with serial# and photos, and the response was that it was very interesting and unusual, and that a veteran repair tech said he had never seen one (of that vintage I'm assuming).

 

They wondered if it might have been a "Second" and asked if there was a stamp on the back of the headstock, but there isn't anything except the serial#, so it's not a second.

A bit of intrigue! It sounds great and even though the additional seams are visible up close, they aren't very noticeable.

 

Any Theories?

Edited by Seventies-Fan
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Hey S-Fan - Welcome inside and what a gem to have brought along there.

 

I'm absolutely crazy about these guitars and am the lucky owner of a few.

The 4 piece top sounds like something from another world. Never heard anything like it.

But Kalamazoo was Kalamazoo, (as they say) and you could never tell what oddballs left the plant back then.

 

I'm sure you are aware your version has the rosewood saddle-insert - they also came in ceramic - and that yours is the mellower of the 2.

Big difference between them, , , also regarding the newer tusq ones, which don't reach the magic clang of the original porcelain at all.

Enjoy your guitar.

Here is one from around '66. Check 1:36, , , and feel free to giggle over the 'Hummingbird Dove description', , , what !?!

 

3 Gibsons ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REZMYRCrZXA

 

And don't forget Gibson re-made a number of these 1967's last year. Not sure if you know, but am 100 % positive they didn't have 4 pc top.

Edited by E-minor7
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Thanks for the welcome E! (you don't mind if I call you E do you?)

 

You have some nice Guitars there! I'm still researching and learning about these SJ's, but have been thrilled to get this one!

I did notice the rosewood adj. saddle, it's in great shape and moves freely when adjusted, and I can imagine there would be a difference between the wood and ceramic. Maybe I'll try to get my hands on one someday and hear the difference myself.

 

I saw that they did a re-issue of the 1967 model, lovely guitars, and I'd take one for sure, but I'm almost giddy about having the real deal! ha

I don't know if having a 4 pc top is a negative or not for this guitar, but it certainly sounds great to me!

 

Thanks for sharing your demo, sounds good! I need to do something like that..

 

-Keith

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No theories or thoughts on this one. I have run across guitars with pieces of top spliced in where mucho damage had occurred but never one that came out of the factory that way.

 

The good news with these is that 1967 is the last full year that Gibsons were built with the same top bracing they had been using since 1955. It started getting heavier the following year. If you go with the fixed saddle inset I would also recommend swapping out the bridge plate which had been designed to support that heavy ADJ saddle. The downside though is it would be a whole lot more difficult to go back to stock condition if you ever wanted.

Edited by zombywoof
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Thanks for the welcome E! (you don't mind if I call you E do you?)

 

You could call me E all the way to the next chord as long as you realize that the film isn't me or mine.

Calling the Southern Jumbo a Hummingbird-Dove would never happen here, , , not even after a genuine 1970's giga-hookah.

 

Just found the clip before X-mas and waited for an opportunity to post. You provided it. Thanx.

Lets talk more about these guitars in the time ahead.

They are something special, , , slightly controversial for some G-fundamentalists, yet so mesmerizing, lush'n'rockin'.

 

And yes, do try to find a ceramic saddle. Comparing the sonic difference/expression is intriguing and a bit of a mind-opener in itself.

Definitely worth it.

 

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No theories or thoughts on this one. I have run across guitars with pieces of top spliced in where mucho damage had occurred but never one that came out of the factory that way.

 

The good news with these is that 1967 is the last full year that Gibsons were built with the same top bracing they had been using since 1955. It started getting heavier the following year. If you go with the fixed saddle inset I would also recommend swapping out the bridge plate which had been designed to support that heavy ADJ saddle. The downside though is it would be a whole lot more difficult to go back to stock condition if you ever wanted.

 

 

 

 

Thank you zombywoof, glad to hear about the bracing! I probably wouldn't change anything on this old beauty unless it were easy to revert back.

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You could call me E all the way to the next chord as long as you realize that the film isn't me or mine.

Calling the Southern Jumbo a Hummingbird-Dove would never happen here, , , not even after a genuine 1970's giga-hookah.

 

Just found the clip before X-mas and waited for an opportunity to post. You provided it. Thanx.

Lets talk more about these guitars in the time ahead.

They are something special, , , slightly controversial for some G-fundamentalists, yet so mesmerizing, lush'n'rockin'.

 

And yes, do try to find a ceramic saddle. Comparing the sonic difference/expression is intriguing and a bit of a mind-opener in itself.

Definitely worth it.

 

Thanks E,

 

Oh ok..not you in the demo, but a couple of nice guitars!

I look forward to talking more with you about these guitars, hopefully I'll learn a bit more along the way!

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You could call me E all the way to the next chord as long as you realize that the film isn't me or mine.

Calling the Southern Jumbo a Hummingbird-Dove would never happen here, , , not even after a genuine 1970's giga-hookah.

 

 

While I do get the motivation to make their acoustics more like electrics in the 1960s with the skinny neck profiles, skimpier nuts and ADJ saddles, I have never gotten Gibson's urge to homogenize the jumbos.

Edited by zombywoof
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, , , I have never gotten Gibson's urge to homogenize the jumbos.

I know these guitars don't keep you awake over nite.

Never the less it was you who introduced me to the deeper levels and literally guided me inside the vintage square Gibsons 7-8 years ago ^

1963 ~ gEJAlG1.jpg

 

 

I look forward to talking more with you about these guitars, hopefully I'll learn a bit more along the way!

 

Here's an older link to some sounds from my 63'er. It's the ceramic saddle and the strings are plain ph. b. or b.

 

 

https://soundcloud.c...-southern-jumbo

Edited by E-minor7
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I know these guitars don't keep you awake over nite.

Never the less it was you who introduced me to the deeper levels and literally guided me inside the vintage square Gibsons 7-8 years ago ^

1963 ~ gEJAlG1.jpg

 

 

 

 

Here's an older link to some sounds from my 63'er. It's the ceramic saddle and the strings are plain ph. b. or b.

 

 

https://soundcloud.c...-southern-jumbo

 

I haven't had my 67 long enough to grow familiar with it's voice yet, but I believe I can hear the difference the ceramic saddle makes, thanks for sharing that!

Edited by Seventies-Fan
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Absolutely try a ceramic saddle (if you can find one). The difference is astounding, and it'll give you a good insight as to which you prefer. I'm a fan of ceramic.

 

 

Thank you OldCowboy! Yes it sounds like I should search one out... I haven't really had much time to enjoy it yet, but I definitely like the sound it makes with the stock setup!

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Today I took in a 1967 B45-12 that will replace my 1969. When it left Kalamazoo, it had a cherry sunburst finish. That was a long time ago. It now has a fairly uniform pumpkin finish. I notice it, too, has a 4 piece top, probably hidden to some degree by the sunburst back in the day.

 

2hehqfl.jpg

 

ojmhhx.jpg

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My father has my grandfather's square southern jumbo. I think he told me it is a 63, but I questioned him because I didn't think they were square in 63. It is not in great shape and the bridge is lifting, but it does sound good. If it wasn't a little beat up, it would look just like seventies-fan's in the OP. I'm jealous because his probably sounds and looks good. Enjoy it.

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My father has my grandfather's square southern jumbo. I think he told me it is a 63, but I questioned him because I didn't think they were square in 63. It is not in great shape and the bridge is lifting, but it does sound good. If it wasn't a little beat up, it would look just like seventies-fan's in the OP. I'm jealous because his probably sounds and looks good. Enjoy it.

The Southern Jumbo - as the Country Western - changed in 1962 when it became hip to be square.

You should snap a photo of your old man's SJ and set it up in this thread.

Plastic saddle ?

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Today I took in a 1967 B45-12 that will replace my 1969. When it left Kalamazoo, it had a cherry sunburst finish. That was a long time ago. It now has a fairly uniform pumpkin finish. I notice it, too, has a 4 piece top, probably hidden to some degree by the sunburst back in the day.

 

2hehqfl.jpg

 

ojmhhx.jpg

 

 

Thanks so much for sharing your photos! The additional pieces on this 4 pc. top are fairly slim, whereas the pieces on mine are considerably wider.

I bet that B45-12 sounds sweet!

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Trying this out to see if it works...

works on several levels in this temple.

Em that is a fantastic demo, and its those sounds that keep pulling me back to find the right square. I think I just need more patience. And I need to try before I buy.

Thanx, Sal - Just remember there are miles between a vintage adjustable and a contemporary straight bone-saddle square.

 

You might recall I have and enjoy both here. But let me whisper you something wild'n'crazy :

 

My next dream is a plastic bridge ceramic saddled 1962-63 Country Western

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I tried the 62 Reissue Country Western 18 months ago.. It was ok, not great... ok.

 

I want that sound.

 

Think Sweet Virginia.

 

It would complete me.

Hear you - but it has to be real ceramic not tusq. Though Virginia very well could have been done with a rosewood saddle.

 

 

By the time all those songs were mixed and whatever it would be hard to get a guitar to sound just like that

Remember we had the real blonde Bird up a year ago or something.

Refound Stones Exile Bird ~ ZU5SVsQ.jpg

 

 

1972 ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvpMeq_4BPM

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