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Gibson SJN


BennyBoy
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Could I get some help on identifying this guitar. Year and make. The sticker is gone from the porthole.  My daughter is wanting to buy it from a friend. The serial number is 926645. It's stamp on the headstock and also says Made in USA under that. It's in really good shape. How much should she pay for it? Thanks for all the help. This is my first post so hopefully I did this right.

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2 hours ago, DanvillRob said:

You should be able to get expert advice on this guitar.

Appears to be a Natural Southern Jumbo, (SJN).....but I'm not the guy to give you the entire scoop.

Looks like a GREAT guitar.

I'm not an expert either, but I own a Southern Jumbo, and this one doesn't have the slope of mine. Advanced Jumbo, perhaps? In a natural top? 

Edited by Sevendaymelee
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1 hour ago, Sevendaymelee said:

I'm not an expert either, but I own a Southern Jumbo, and this one doesn't have the slope of mine. Advanced Jumbo, perhaps? In a natural top? 

The SJ was re-designed with square shoulders in 1963.  At the time they were still officially named Southerner Jumbo.  

Edited by zombywoof
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The serial number indicates the guitar was built in 1968 or the early-1970s as Gibson tended to roll serial numbers over.  As it has the "Made in the USA" stamp though that means 1970 to 1972,  To narrow it down further you would have to look a the bracing.  If it has the now infamous Double X bracing that would mean the guitar was built in 1971 or 1972,   

I do not have a clue as to value as I do not keep up with such things any longer.  You might check the usual suspects such as  Reverb or completed auctions on eBay.

Edited by zombywoof
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1 hour ago, zombywoof said:

The serial number indicates the guitar was built in 1968 or the early-1970s as Gibson tended to roll serial numbers over.  As it has the "Made in the USA" stamp though that means 1970 to 1972,  To narrow it down further you would have to look a the bracing.  If it has the now infamous Double X bracing that would mean the guitar was built in 1971 or 1972,   

I do not have a clue as to value as I do not keep up with such things any longer.  You might check the usual suspects such as  Reverb or completed auctions on eBay.

I have an early 70s SJD, Southern Jumbo Deluxe.  While I haven’t looked up it’s price in a price guide for some time, I do recall that there was also a SJN during those years as production switched from the SJN to the SJD.  The SJN retained the split parallelogram fret markers that the square shouldered Country Western/Southern Jumbo had in the 60s.  The SJD had block fret markers without the split in the fret marker.  The SJD also had the unpopular Norlin era volute on the back of the neck where the SJN still did not.  The SJN did not also have the unpopular double X bracing of the Norlin era.  I recall that the SJN’s resale price was higher than the overlapping SJD.  Your SJN appears to be one of those instruments that was produced before Norlin’s unpopular changes but was still sold in late ‘69-72 until Gibsons stock produced before the changes ran out.  Both the SJN and the SJD, however had the Made in USA stamp on the back of the headstock.

I suggest purchasing a recent Vintage Guitar Price Guide to find the value of your SJN.  You’ll be able to compare its price to the SJD, too, from the same years…and I’m pretty sure you will find it sells for more than the replacement SJD that sold from the same years.  The SJN has a very good reputation.  It’s lineage was still directly linked to the square shoulder SJ (the sunburst version) and the Country Western (which was the natural name version of the sunburst version of the SJ.  The N in the SJN model’s name references it is the Natural version of the SJ at the time.  Gibson was a bit funky with once having two different names of the same SJ model.  FYI, the SJD came in both sunburst and natural with no model designation.

I hope this helps.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

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It has a  volute , the pick guard original ? if you dont see shadowing or marks where a bat wing guard could of been.  I do see a shadow.  The belly down bridge is a fair size.  Early 70s for sure.  Mid 70s seemed to have block inlay.    Value?  Reverb is your best source.  See what they have sold for.   The prices go up and down on everything there.  Personally I wouldnt give to much.    Unless it has that tone a SJ should have. 

Edited by slimt
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I dont think so.     I would be inclined though to get it checked out prior to buying though.  Make all the braces inside are firm with no looseness or cracks.   They had narrow short bracing.   Nothing like the 50s 60s models   And the neck angle is good 

Edited by slimt
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12 hours ago, QuestionMark said:

I have an early 70s SJD, Southern Jumbo Deluxe.  While I haven’t looked up it’s price in a price guide for some time, I do recall that there was also a SJN during those years as production switched from the SJN to the SJD.  The SJN retained the split parallelogram fret markers that the square shouldered Country Western/Southern Jumbo had in the 60s.  The SJD had block fret markers without the split in the fret marker.  The SJD also had the unpopular Norlin era volute on the back of the neck where the SJN still did not.  The SJN did not also have the unpopular double X bracing of the Norlin era.  I recall that the SJN’s resale price was higher than the overlapping SJD.  Your SJN appears to be one of those instruments that was produced before Norlin’s unpopular changes but was still sold in late ‘69-72 until Gibsons stock produced before the changes ran out.  Both the SJN and the SJD, however had the Made in USA stamp on the back of the headstock.

I suggest purchasing a recent Vintage Guitar Price Guide to find the value of your SJN.  You’ll be able to compare its price to the SJD, too, from the same years…and I’m pretty sure you will find it sells for more than the replacement SJD that sold from the same years.  The SJN has a very good reputation.  It’s lineage was still directly linked to the square shoulder SJ (the sunburst version) and the Country Western (which was the natural name version of the sunburst version of the SJ.  The N in the SJN model’s name references it is the Natural version of the SJ at the time.  Gibson was a bit funky with once having two different names of the same SJ model.  FYI, the SJD came in both sunburst and natural with no model designation.

I hope this helps.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

Good point on the board inlays.  The OPs guitar has the split parallelograms which I assume would make it a 1970.   I would also assume a 1970 retained the 24 3/4" scale which was shortly after increased to 25 1/2".  But the reason the SJs cost more than say a J45 was simply because of the additional materials and labor needed to deal with binding, inlays and such.  When it comes to 1970s Gibsons though I have never heard that there were both SJNs and SJDs being produced at the same.  While there was possibly a transition period (as there often is with Gibson) my understanding has been the Deluxe thing was just a rebranding of the SJ in either 1969 or 1970.   

Edited by zombywoof
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11 hours ago, BennyBoy said:

Thanks for all the info. Is the teardrop pick gaurd original? Is $2500 to much?

For myself, I wouldn't pay $2500 for that guitar, (and everyone knows I'm willing  to pay top price for a guitar I love).

I might pay $1500 - $2K it though....but that's just me....and without looking up the value anywhere.

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The most recent Vintage Guitar Price Guide I could easily find in my library was from 2012.  It shows a SJN existing until 1969 with lineage to the square shouldered version starting in 1962.  The 1969 SJN had a below belly bridge and a SJN logo? Which I guess means designation.  Starting in  1970 the name changed to SJ Deluxe with a series of engineering changes.  

The 2012 guide shows a 1969 SJN as selling between $2150-2850.  The 1970/1971 SJD  in natural in 2012 shows as selling between $1675-1925.

2012 was ten years ago, so it will be interesting to learn its present value.

Regarding the possibility of a volute, the photo does show a shadow by the neck joining the headstock in back, but to me it doesn’t look like a volute shadow, but just a shadow where the neck shape thins to join the headstock.  Only the Original Poster can tell us if there’s an actual volute sticking outward from the neck at that spot or if it’s just a shadow in the photo.  My understanding is the volute started with the SJ Deluxe and other 1969 models I’ve seen of Gibsons seem to have no volute yet.  But, one never knows with Gibsons during transition periods, although the fret markers are clearly the split parallelograms not the block inlays of a  re-engineered SJ Deluxe model.

Regarding the pickguard shape, I knew a fellow at the jam I used to run who had a 1969 SJN with the same teardrop pickguard (that was gassing and beginning to curl and to fall  off.  But, it was the original pickguard.)

Also, I notice the photo shows an adjustable bridge on it.  Another argument for it having lineage before the re-engineered SJ Deluxe model.

My suggestion is that the original poster could contact Gruhn’s Guitars in Nashville by phone to ask about more info and a price range.  They usually are very helpful over the phone.  They know vintage guitars and like to talk about them.

I hope this helps.

 

QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

Edited by QuestionMark
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1 hour ago, QuestionMark said:

The most recent Vintage Guitar Price Guide I could easily find in my library was from 2012.  It shows a SJN existing until 1969 with lineage to the square shouldered version starting in 1962.  The 1969 SJN had a below belly bridge and a SJN logo? Which I guess means designation.  Starting in  1970 the name changed to SJ Deluxe with a series of engineering changes.  

The 2012 guide shows a 1969 SJN as selling between $2150-2850.  The 1970/1971 SJD  in natural in 2012 shows as selling between $1675-1925.

2012 was ten years ago, so it will be interesting to learn its present value.

Regarding the possibility of a volute, the photo does show a shadow by the neck joining the headstock in back, but to me it doesn’t look like a volute shadow, but just a shadow where the neck shape thins to join the headstock.  Only the Original Poster can tell us if there’s an actual volute sticking outward from the neck at that spot or if it’s just a shadow in the photo.  My understanding is the volute started with the SJ Deluxe and other 1969 models I’ve seen of Gibsons seem to have no volute yet.  But, one never knows with Gibsons during transition periods, although the fret markers are clearly the split parallelograms not the block inlays of a  re-engineered SJ Deluxe model.

Regarding the pickguard shape, I knew a fellow at the jam I used to run who had a 1969 SJN with the same teardrop pickguard (that was gassing and beginning to curl and to fall  off.  But, it was the original pickguard.)

Also, I notice the photo shows an adjustable bridge on it.  Another argument for it having lineage before the re-engineered SJ Deluxe model.

My suggestion is that the original poster could bract Gruhn’s Guitars in Nashville by phone to ask about more info and a price range.  They usually are very helpful over the phone.  They know vintage guitars and like to talk about them.

I hope this helps.

 

QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

After relooking at the neck. Your right.    No volute.  

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39 minutes ago, BennyBoy said:

That's correct . No volute.

You guys are awesome! I'm learning so much. Is 2k a decent deal?

I suggest calling Gruhn’s Guitars in Nashville and asking their ballpark opinion on a 1969 Gibson SJN  guitar and it’s value.  They usually are more than willing to freely talk about vintage guitars.  They also do formal specific guitar appraisals for a fee, but are usually willing to give a ballpark price range for free.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

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4 minutes ago, QuestionMark said:

I suggest calling Gruhn’s Guitars in Nashville and asking their ballpark opinion on a 1969 Gibson SJN  guitar and it’s value.  They usually are more than willing to freely talk about vintage guitars.  They also do formal specific guitar appraisals for a fee, but are usually willing to give a ballpark price range for free.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Gruhn will do a long distance appraisal but normally he will charge you a fee,  While it was many years ago I did have one done for my '58 Telecaster.  If I recall I paid him $35 for the assessment.  Not a bad investment as he appraised the guitar at $10K. 

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You know, there are 3 categories or stages of this square model from way back when it was born. And I'm not talking Hummingbird, Southern Jumbo, Country western (SJN).                                                                     We are goin' under the hood to examine the structure and soul of these creatures. Are you ready !?

Born in 1960 and from then on to 67 the adored and treasured first wave squares see light of day.

Then in 1968 and a couple of years forward the braces turn bulkier, which makes the guitars stiffer and less vibrant. The magik falls

And from 1970 further up through the decade the disaster sets in. The now fortified braces get a second X to double up the top-support.                                                                                                                                       This means even less vibration, , , and so little sound that people begin to doubt what's goin on. Some look at each other believing they are now full of socks, , , and turn to Martins which for their part misunderstands the concept menzur from 10 straight years. 


The Gibson in your binoculars is probably from the mid-period and should be seen and payed for like that. 2200 and 2300 USD would be fair, , , IF ! the braces are tight and the bridge-plate is in good shape. The neck of course must be fine and play in tune - AND ! , , , the truss-rod under the SJN-cover should be working. 

It must be added that the second and third category don't necessarily mean bad. There are many well played in models from that era, but they will still be rather quiet.                                                                      A good share of these may have developed into something in their own right - but NOT like the clazzik legends beloved by so many. 

Complicated it is - but thrilling too. I started my second Gibson wave 12 years ago by buying a 1968er. Didn't have a clue. Ouh, , , the first back in 1980 included 2 from category 3.            What did I know - young and bold, , , apart from the fact they were blown out by Japanese copies and didn't answer my expectations of the real Gibson-sound.                                                                                                                Eehhh, compensated for that later. . 

                                                   Good Luck BennyBoy

Edited by E-minor7
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I know it's not what you asked, and that you and your daughter have probably already dismissed other alternatives,  but for that $2500 she could get a brand new Gibson acoustic with a warranty: a Hummingbird Studio, a J185 EC Walnut, an LG2 or a  J45 Studio Rosewood for example.  You get a warranty and the assurance it's not going to be a pig in a poke.  

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You cannot place the sole blame for some very unwise design decisions (dealing mostly with staving off warranty issues) and a decline in build quality on ECL Industries/Norlin because they did not acquire Gibson until December 1969.  It began in 1965 and continued to become   more noticeable though the remainder of the decade.  

The shame of it is that the Double X bracing Gibson went to in the 1970s was a viable pattern.  I owned a pre-War Regal 12 string jumbo with that bracing.  Amazing sounding instrument.  Gibson just gave it a bad name. 

In the end though I agree with some others that it would well be worth the OP's time to at least look into buying a Bozeman-made guitar for his daughter,

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On 8/30/2022 at 8:03 PM, BennyBoy said:

Should I be concern that the sticker is missing inside the guitar?

I would.. Without some kind of Documentation as to it’s authenticity you don’t know what you’re getting. Before I plunk down $2500.00 I’d want some kind of proof.. You can buy some pretty nice New Guitars for $2500.00 & know what you’re getting.. This is an age of Knockoff Copies which can be be had for a few hundred Bucks…

Edited by Larsongs
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4 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

I know it's not what you asked, and that you and your daughter have probably already dismissed other alternatives,  but for that $2500 she could get a brand new Gibson acoustic with a warranty: a Hummingbird Studio, a J185 EC Walnut, an LG2 or a  J45 Studio Rosewood for example.  You get a warranty and the assurance it's not going to be a pig in a poke.  

 

4 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

I know it's not what you asked, and that you and your daughter have probably already dismissed other alternatives,  but for that $2500 she could get a brand new Gibson acoustic with a warranty: a Hummingbird Studio, a J185 EC Walnut, an LG2 or a  J45 Studio Rosewood for example.  You get a warranty and the assurance it's not going to be a pig in a poke.  

If they can’t provide some kind of proof of Authenticity there are many new Gibsons you can buy & know what you’re getting for $2500.00.. Here’s a  List from a random Online Dealer.. With a little negotiating any of these New ones can be had for $2500.00 delivered or less….

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acoustic-guitars/gibson--new?N=100512

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1 hour ago, Larsongs said:

 

If they can’t provide some kind of proof of Authenticity there are many new Gibsons you can buy & know what you’re getting for $2500.00.. Here’s a  List from a random Online Dealer.. With a little negotiating any of these New ones can be had for $2500.00 delivered or less….

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acoustic-guitars/gibson--new?N=100512

Yeah, but come on Gibson sets the standard forgetting to glue in labels, or incorrect info on the labels, and also forgetting to include COA's, and of those many are genuine Gibson's.

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