The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson SJ Steel String Acoustic Refinish Sunburst, 1957


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Introduced in 1942 and produced until 1977, the sunburst Gibson SJ (Southern Jumbo) was a fancier J-45, apparently aimed at the Southern US market. In 1954, a Natural finish top was offered as the SJN – Southern Jumbo Natural – but in 1955 that became the Country Western model until 1960, and then was the SJN again. Gibson re-issued the SJ in 1991 and it is still a production model.

The Gibson SJ, and the iconic Gibson J-45 are very closely related instruments – the SJ is a bit fancier with more binding, split parallelogram position markers and a larger pickguard, while both are built with spruce tops, mahogany back and sides and neck, and rosewood for the fingerboard and bridge. Both guitar versions were rapidly accepted by musicians of all levels. While these guitars don’t have hyper-detailed frequency output, they do a great job in the frequency space that goes with the human voice.

This Gibson SJ was built at Kalamazoo, Michigan during 1957, as shown by the ‘U’ at the start of the FON (Factory Order Number) on the neck block. The ‘Gibson’ and Crown peghead logos are Mother of Pearl from 1955, replacing the previous gold silk-screened markings. In the same batch of changes, the pickguard took the long form with a point at the treble bout as seen here, and the 20th fret was added.

Immediately apparent is that this guitar has been refinished, and very well. It looks like an actual Gibson finish, and has light wear. The bridge is not original, and is made from Cocobolo. The tuners are modern Gibson Deluxe models with metal buttons. As this Gibson SJ was built during 1957, the original bridge was Brazilian Rosewood, as is the bound fingerboard.

This lovely Gibson SJ is sold with a newer hard shell case.


Price: $5,500.00 CAD
  • Model: SJ
  • Year: 1957
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: FON U841114, U indicating 1957, at Kalamazoo Michigan
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Brand New
  • Date Posted: 31/10/2023

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.4lbs 2kg
  • Scale Length: 24.6in 625mm
  • Nut Width: 1.663in 42.52mm
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