The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson Country Western Model Natural, 1957

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The Gibson Country Western Model debuted in 1955 as a miracle of rebranding – it is the classic Gibson SJ-N, Southern Jumbo Natural, with a new label! The SJ-N appeared in 1942, became the Country Western in 1955,  was again renamed the SJ-N in 1960,  and  finally dubbed the SJ Country Western in 1962.   The model was discontinued in 1977.

The Gibson Country Western model, like the SJ-N, pairs a Sitka Spruce top with Mahogany for the sides, back, body blocks and neck. The bound fingerboard is Rosewood, and until the mid 1960’s that meant Brazilian Rosewood.   The Gibson logo is Mother of Pearl, and the split-parallelogram position markers are faux pearl.

This Country Western Model dates to 1957 and is in decent, original playing condition. It’s been played so it has expected wear and tear to the finish plus natural lacquer checking. There is a repaired, cleated crack in the back and a couple of scratches in the top above the bass side of the soundhole. The longer mark visible in the top photo, running parallel to the strings, is not visible on the inside of the top, so it is a scratch, not a crack. A typical crack between the soundhole and fingerboard tag has been glued and cleated.

The top shows signs of being well played and there’s some wear between the lower edge of the pickguard and the bridge – either from an anchored little finger or a pick.

Importantly, this Gibson Country Western Model example has recently had a neck reset, and now has plenty of saddle height at an easily playable action. Fret wear is light to moderate, and this guitar may have been re-fretted with a narrow wire.   The neck profile is somewhat full, though not as much as some Gibson electrics of the period, and with a 1.71 inch (43.4mm) nut width is more generously spaced than 1960’s models.

This guitar delivers a classic Gibson sound, with a rich warm tone and lots of high-end sparkle. It sounds really quite good.

The original brown Gibson hard shell case is included.

Until 1964, the Country Western  Model – like other Gibson dreadnoughts – was a round or ‘Slope Shoulder’ body design. At that point, it’s likely that market pressures like the popularity of the Martin style changed the shape to square shoulders.

Gibson offers a modern version of this guitar, the SJ, in sunburst and it can be seen at this link to the Gibson Guitars site.


Price: $6,250.00 CAD
  • Model: Country Western (SJ-N)
  • Year: 1957
  • Finish Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: U3286 21 (FON) Built 1957 in Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 29/07/2021

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.312lbs 1.96kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43.40mm 1.711in
Gibson Website

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