Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

1954 Gibson J-185


Recommended Posts

Hello all. I just bought a 1954 J-185, and I have a couple of questions for the more knowledgable among you. First of all, is the top made of spruce? I mean, obviously I assume so, but I'm having a hard time verifying it. Also, if anyone knows what specific kind of spruce, that would be great to know. Second, this guitar has a slight 'bump' beneath the bridge. Looking around online, I have read that many old Gibsons have this sort of swell in that area due to the radius of the wood they used in the fifties ... any thoughts on the veracity of that information? Finally, does anyone know if J185's were ever produced with a double pickguard? If not, someone added one to this particular guitar.


Bear in mind that I am not a collector, just a player, so I'm not really worried about the collectability or anything. I bought it because it sounded amazing, and the price - about $1500 Canadian - seemed reasonable for the tone and the sense of history. So basically, anything you know about these guitars would be great information, and don't worry about sugar-coating it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kinda hope this helps.



1955 J-185


  • J-185 Flattop
    Available: 1951 to present
    Collectibility Rating: B+.
    This is an amazing jumbo guitar by Gibson. Though they didn't make a ton of these in the 1950s, it's a great guitar. The feel, size and sound is very punchy, but not as dry sounding as a J-200. Also the look of the bridge and maple back and sides is very impressive. The mahogany neck seems to smooth out the maple, making the J-185 a better sounding guitar than the J-200. A great model!
    1951 J-185 introduction specs: 16" wide jumbo body shape, maple back and sides, 2 pearl Maltese cross inlays on the top belly (belly towards soundhole) bridge, triple bound top and back, mahagony neck, tortoise shell pickguard with a point, 24.75" scale length, tall scaloped braces, single bound rosewood fingerboard with 19 frets, double parallelagram fingerboard inlays, pearl logo, crown peghead inlay, gold plated parts, individual "tulip" button Kluson tuners, natural or sunburst finish.
    1955 J-185 specs: shorter non-scaloped braces used, an additional 20th fret added to the fingerboard.
    J-185 discontinued 1958. Re-introduced with different specs in 1990.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...