The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson SJ Round Shoulder Dreadnought Sunburst, 1957

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Making their appearances in 1942, the Gibson SJ Round Shoulder Dreadnought, and the classic J-45 share much and their differences are largely cosmetic.

Responding to the increasing demand for larger and louder guitars at the close of the Depression and start of WW2, the Gibson SJ Round Shoulder dreadnought – the Southern Jumbo – and the J-45 immediately met a positive reaction. While originally built with Adirondack Red Spruce tops, demand for war materiel quickly claimed basically all available supplies of Adirondack Spruce, mostly for airframe components. Sitka Spruce became the standard substitute well into the 2000’s when forestry stocks had recovered enough to provide Adirondack in sizes large enough for guitars. The rest of the guitar is typically Mahogany with Rosewood for the fingerboard; until the mid 1960’s that meant Brazilian Rosewood. The nitrocellulose lacquer sunburst finish was one of two options, the other being Natural; when that was specified, visually higher grades of Spruce were used, and the guitar was identified as the ‘SJN’ until 1956, when it was renamed the ‘Country Western’ model. That name change was reversed in 1960, and in 1962 renamed again to ‘SJN Country Western’. In 1963, facing competitive pressure from Martin models, the Round-Shoulder design of these guitars was changed to a square shoulder.

Here we are looking at a very nice Gibson SJ Round Shoulder model built during 1957 at the historic Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Owned from new by one family, it is in good original condition and has been recently serviced at The Twelfth Fret Repair Shop. The bridge was removed and reglued, a brace reglued, the frets dressed and then set up. It still plays well with the original neck set. This guitar feels and sounds much like a J-45 of the period, but has more elaborate body binding, a bound fingerboard, and split-parallelogram position markers. Its finish shows wear expected of a now 65-year old guitar that’s been used as intended. The frets appear to be original and following the fret dress and set up, the guitar plays smoothly and cleanly.

Most importantly, this Gibson SJ Round Shoulder has that warm, rich sound that goes so well with a voice.

The original arched top hard shell case is included.


  • Model: SJ
  • Year: 1957
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: FON: U1896 2, built during 1957 at Kalamazoo MI
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 22/07/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.312lbs 1.96kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43.28mm 1.704in

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THE TWELFTH FRET

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Toronto, Ontario  M4C 1J9 CANADA
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