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Gibson 381 F


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I inherited this guitar in 1963. At that time it had no pickguard and had nylon strings. I had a factory approved pickguard and bridge  installed so that I could use metal strings as well. The guitar has been in its case for several years and it is time to find a new home. I have searched the forums for this model with no luck. It has a wide ebony neck and is stamped 381 F inside. I am sure this was purchased in Canada likely in the late 40's or 50's. 


Any information would be appreciated as I intend to sell the guitar. The pickguard needs some reglueing otherwise the condition is good. 





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There are people here who know flat-top guitars much better than I do, but I'll offer a few thoughts.

First, it would appear from your comments that you attempted to convert a classical guitar (nylon strings) to something it was not designed to be.  If I'm correct about this, there are two problems created.  First, different internal bracing is required for nylon vs steel strings.  Perhaps the person who installed your bridge also installed new bracing?  I would have thought that this would have been necessary to prevent serious damage.

The other problem is that you've altered a guitar in a pretty drastic way, which is going to impact its market value in a pretty drastic way.  Probably more questions raised here than answers we can provide.  The bottom line here, I think, is that even un-altered, your guitar would only have had a modest value.  As it is now, I'm afraid its value is going to be very low.

I tried to enlarge your photos in order to get a better idea of the headstock logo, but without success.  It would help a lot if you could post a close-up photo of the headstock.   Is the "381F" stamped on the neck block, or inside the back?  I don't know if you can get a photo of that for us, but it might help also in trying to date the instrument. 

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This topic prompted me to search for more information on Gibson' history with regard to nylon- or gut-stringed guitars.  I just found this, which I found quite interesting:  http://kenlelen.blogspot.com/2016/07/gibsons-classical-gas-66-pre-war-gut.html

I was going to say that the "F" inside your guitar could possible suggest a date of 1940.  I wasn't sure if that was even possible, so I hesitated.  Now it seems more of a possibility.

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I believe that to be most likely. The guitar bridge was converted  by Gibson repair in Toronto to accommodate steel strings  in 1963 and had the guard installed as well.  No issues whatsoever. The 381 F is stamped on the neck block.  

Thank you for the attachment. 


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