The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

SS Stewart Flat Top Acoustic Guitar Sunburst, 1932

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Built around 1932, this SS Stewart flat top acoustic guitar was one of thousands made in Chicago as players moved away from banjos and towards guitars. The venerable SS Stewart brand started before the turn of the century as a premiere banjo maker. Following Stewart’s death, the brand changed hands and by the 1930s was built by Chicago Musical Instruments, who also made Harmony and Kay guitars.

Roughly corresponding to a Martin-style 00 body size, this SS Stewart flat top is in great working order. Its sunburst finish has been wet sanded and polished, so it looks quite a bit newer than it is, and the finish has been removed from the back of the neck. There are a couple of scratches in the top. The tuners are recent Grover Sta-Tite open-gear models, and a reproduction pickguard has been installed. Screwing the pickguard on was common practice at the time.

The body is laminate throughout, so it has resisted cracking. The neck is likely maple with rosewood used for the fingerboard, headplate, and pyramid-style bridge. It appears that the neck has been reset, as the action is quite playable, and probably at that time fingerboard cracks were repaired as part of a refret.

The top is ladder braced, typical of guitars from the late 1920s and early 1930s. X bracing dates to Martin guitars of the mid-19th century, but did not offer much benefit until metal strings started increasing in gauge and tension in the late 1920s. This was part of the pursuit of volume.

Overall, this is a nice guitar to play, with a nice, warm tone, a comfortable body size, and a great vintage vibe.

This guitar is sold without case.


 

Price: $1150 CAD
  • Model: Flat Top Steel String
  • Year: 1932 | Approximate year
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 097
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 19/11/2018

  • Consignment Item

  • Instrument Weight: 4lbs 1.82kg
  • Scale Length: 648mm 25.5in
  • Nut Width: 45mm 1.77in

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