The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson J-185 Steel String Guitar Sunburst, 2007

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Making its debut in 1951, the Gibson J-185 is a spruce and maple jumbo body guitar, sharing materials with but smaller than the Super Jumbo J-200. The clarity and punch from the maple back and sides make it an excellent guitar for rhythm or fingerstyle, particularly in country or folk genres.

J-185 production first ran from 1951 to 1959, then from 1990 to 1995, and resumed in 1999 till today, with the current production at the Gibson Acoustic shop in Bozeman, Montana.

This example dates to June 8, 2007 in Bozeman, Montana, at that point under the direction of master luthier Ren Ferguson. It features the traditional J-185 construction, using a Sitka Spruce top, figured Maple back, sides and Mahogany neck, with rosewood for the bridge and bound fingerboard. The headstock logos and split-parallelogram position markers and the two bridge dots (which cover locating bolts) are Mother of Pearl. Tuners are nickel-plated Grover Roto-Matics and as a modern Gibson acoustic, it’s factory equipped with an L R Baggs pickup system, controls mounted discreetly in the soundhole.

It’s in overall good condition, with some light play wear from expressive strumming on the top, arcing down from the pickguard. There’s a practical reason these guitars have fairly large pickguards! It has recently been in our shop for service and plays very nicely.

I like this guitar a lot. For country-blues fingerstyle or rhythm, it delivers and projects a lot of punch and clarity but with warmth and depth. The smaller body size – 16 inches across at the lower bout – makes it more comfortable for me to get around compared to a 17 inch Super Jumbo J-200.

Here’s what Gibson has to say about the J-185:

“The first Gibson J-185 was introduced in 1951, giving players a broader choice of flat-top acoustic guitars. It quickly became a hit. With a slightly smaller body than Gibson’s fabled Super Jumbos, the J-185 offers an excellent alternative for players seeking a smaller body style without sacrificing acoustic power and projection.

Traditionally, the J-185 features a body length of 20 1/4 inches, a width of 16 inches, and a body depth of 4 7/8 inches, producing an big sound with clear acoustics, making it equally impressive for powerful strumming or delicate fingerpicking, and everything in between.”

Price: $2500 CAD
  • Model: J-185
  • Year: 2007
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 01597406
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 27/07/2018

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITIES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Scale Length: 628.65mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 44mm 1.73in
Gibson Website

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