Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 65
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I have been searching for a nice clean Gibson Johnny Smith for a long time. They don’t seem to come up very often here in Canada, but I finally found one. This guitar belonged to a good friend of mine for many years, and I always told him to call me if he ever decided to part with it. Well, I got that call a few days ago and I went on a road trip today to pick it up. It’s a 1969 sunburst, in mint condition. It is truly an amazing guitar, the model that has inspired so many modern archtops. I feel very fortunate to have finally acquired one of these.
    Keith
    Gibson Johnny Smith-288a4af1-c654-40eb-b88c-f35f5813bba9-jpgGibson Johnny Smith-f61f7cfa-91a9-43bd-a436-484c94a9a124-jpg

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Congrats. An iconic archtop. May she inspire your playing for many years to come.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Congrats. An iconic archtop. May she inspire your playing for many years to come.
    Thanks SS. I agree. This really is an iconic archtop, endorsed by one of my all time favorite guitarists. I’m pretty excited to be the new caretaker of this fine instrument.
    Keith

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Gibson Johnny Smith-362ac2fa-667a-404b-9f55-e5301992b783-jpeg

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Congrats - what a beautiful guitar.The Gibson Johnny Smiths are a terrific design. Very focused tone with bell like clarity to the last frets - due (in part) to to the internal fingerboard support block. The Johnny Smith and LeGrands are my favorite Gibson’s .

    Wishing you many years of enjoyment- a very smart buy !

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Nice one Keith, looks real clean too.
    A friend just scored a blonde '69, maybe the best one I've ever played.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by QAman
    Congrats - what a beautiful guitar.The Gibson Johnny Smiths are a terrific design. Very focused tone with bell like clarity to the last frets - due (in part) to to the internal fingerboard support block. The Johnny Smith and LeGrands are my favorite Gibson’s .

    Wishing you many years of enjoyment- a very smart buy !
    Thanks QAman. The fingerboard support block seems to have a positive effect on the tone/sustain in the upper register.
    Keith

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Nice one Keith, looks real clean too.
    A friend just scored a blonde '69, maybe the best one I've ever played.
    Blonde! Wow, that’s a rare one.
    Keith

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    What a gorgeous instrument! Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    Blonde! Wow, that’s a rare one.
    Keith
    Yeah, it's all beat up but original.
    I'm usually not crazy about shorter scale thinner archtops but his plays and sounds as good as any full depth long scale guitar.
    Are you certain yours is a '69? The color looks more like a '68, alot of '67-'68s are tobacco burst but '69s are usually more cherry reddish color until around '73.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Yeah, it's all beat up but original.
    I'm usually not crazy about shorter scale thinner archtops but his plays and sounds as good as any full depth long scale guitar.
    Are you certain yours is a '69? The color looks more like a '68, alot of '67-'68s are tobacco burst but '69s are usually more cherry reddish color until around '73.
    The darker sunburst was what really appealed to me about this guitar. I also thought it was typical of a ‘67-68, but the s/n seems to be ‘69 (533442).
    Gibson Johnny Smith-0c7a29bb-55ca-4f29-8553-857673bcc066-jpg

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    One of the all time greatest guitars! Welcome to the club. Enjoy!

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by skiboyny
    One of the all time greatest guitars! Welcome to the club. Enjoy!
    Thanks!

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Congratulations !

    "I will not covet my neighbor's goods!"

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Nice guitar! I mean, it's no Hofner Chancellor, but, still, nice guitar.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Keith, I am so happy for you man.
    The GJS was No doubt the best guitar I ever had. The bank vault like build, the playability and the tight sound that sustains for days are just a few points that make your new guitar the best ever. The pickup sounds unbelievably good. The best of all pickups in my book.
    Your guitar looks absolutely beautiful. It is so cool that it ended up your hands, where it will be played right and appreciated by a guy who has played the best of the best.
    Congratulations Keith. I am pumped for you.
    JD

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Your serial number is very close to mine which I think is a '68Gibson Johnny Smith-106_0669-jpg

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mrichman
    Your serial number is very close to mine which I think is a '68
    MR:
    That’s a beauty. I like your added tone control. I had this actual guitar at my house many years ago, and I always thought it was a ‘68. Now, when I look at the s/n it comes up as a ‘69, which is surprising to me. I have other Gibson’s where the s/n is clearly not right for the year, so perhaps that is the case here as well. Either way, I love the guitar. It’s just like yours!
    Keith

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Keith, I am so happy for you man.
    The GJS was No doubt the best guitar I ever had. The bank vault like build, the playability and the tight sound that sustains for days are just a few points that make your new guitar the best ever. The pickup sounds unbelievably good. The best of all pickups in my book.
    Your guitar looks absolutely beautiful. It is so cool that it ended up your hands, where it will be played right and appreciated by a guy who has played the best of the best.
    Congratulations Keith. I am pumped for you.
    JD
    Joe:
    Thanks for your kind comments. You are always such a positive person. You are really enjoying that new Wes, so we are both happy campers.
    Keith

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Nice guitar! I mean, it's no Hofner Chancellor, but, still, nice guitar.
    Maybe I’ll find that special Chancellor some day too!

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Here's a pair of them I used to own from '68/9:

    Gibson Johnny Smith-johnny-smith-69-jpg

    Outstanding guitars--enjoy yours!

    Danny W.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    @Danny W.: Dood, you need to buy the Anderson Little Archie!
    Andersen Little Archie Hybrid - 14" carved fully hollow archtop [$4995]

    @mrichman: Morey, that's clearly an old photo, based on the bridge base.

    @Keith: I have your Chancellor right here, waiting for you. We'll sort it out in October, eh? In the meantime, enjoy the JS!

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Gibson Johnny Smith-il_794xn_2434170619_2jlq-jpg

    ...Ok so I've never owned a real JS - -I've had to settle for the album !! I'll never forget the first time I saw this album. I'd never bought any album 'cause it had a Les Paul or a Strat on the cover - -and there were plenty !! But, I sure as **** bought this one and never regretted it for a second !

    Congrats and enjoy it for a long time in good health !

    Dennis

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Congratulations, Keith! A beautiful instrument that now resides in very capable hands. Enjoy!

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    What a stuning guitar! And '69 is considered a great year. Congrats !

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    +1 what Fred Archtop said

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop
    What a stuning guitar! And '69 is considered a great year. Congrats !
    They have great years? What are the great years for the JS model? Enlighten me Sir....

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W.
    Here's a pair of them I used to own from '68/9:

    Outstanding guitars--enjoy yours!

    Danny W.
    Danny:
    Those are a couple of beauties!
    Keith

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan
    Congratulations, Keith! A beautiful instrument that now resides in very capable hands. Enjoy!
    Not a D’Aquisto, but a great guitar anyway.
    Thanks,
    Keith

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    I've always admired the GJS. It was very thoughtfully designed in the bracing, neck block, scale length and nut width.

    Despite the specs, each instrument is a bit different. There were a few guys at Gibson who did the plate carving and the brace shaping. Each had a their own approach. As I recall there were four of them. One was Aaron Cowles and another was Marv Lamb. Jim Hutchins and Jim Deurloo may have been the other two. I don't recall. Wilbur Fuller was probably involved, too.

    All of them did many other things besides high end archtops and flattops. But only a few Gibson employees carved and braced the elite guitars.

    Aaron Cowles and Pete Moreno (who did not do the elite work) told me that these guys had different approaches to their builds of the body. They were small differences but ones they believed in. Despite those differences they respected each other while disagreeing.

    I have not heard of a bad or even mediocre GJS. It's a dream guitar.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    Joe:
    Thanks for your kind comments. You are always such a positive person. You are really enjoying that new Wes, so we are both happy campers.
    Keith
    Hi Keith, With all due respect, you NEVER bring about anything else other than positivity on this forum. Thats why I like you so much.
    The Gibson Johnny Smith, as MartyGrass puts it, is an absolutely elite instrument. In my book it has its place in the pantheon of the greatest guitars ever made. From the name of the endorsee, to the absolute perfection of it as an instrument - IMO, it doesn't get any better.
    And to see a perfect example of a 50 year old guitar is a treat. Your guitar looks new. A time capsule. A testiment to how it was cared for and the materials/expertise used in the build of it.
    You got a good one buddy.
    JD

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    A incredible score indeed. Even our good friend Mark Campellone would covet owning that one. A big Congrats Keith. A tough act to follow.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Johnny Smith designed the fingerboard extension design for the guitar. You can hear how good the results are on any of Smith's 60's records.

    Enjoy your guitar.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Johnny Smith designed the fingerboard extension design for the guitar. You can hear how good the results are on any of Smith's 60's records.

    Enjoy your guitar.
    I have a number of guitars that have single floating pickups, like the GJS. I agree with you, that the fingerboard extension defintely increases the sustain in the upper register. I grew up listening to those 1960’s Johnny Smith recordings and always loved his tone. Always wanted a JS but it never worked out until now.
    Keith

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    A incredible score indeed. Even our good friend Mark Campellone would covet owning that one. A big Congrats Keith. A tough act to follow.
    When I ordered my Campellone Special, I asked Mark to make me a guitar based on the same specs as the Gibson Johnny Smith. It is basically the same guitar - same body size, scale length and nut width. I would actually have trouble choosing one over the other. The Campellone is fantastic too.
    Keith
    Gibson Johnny Smith-3e7c9f84-34dc-4b12-9b54-c4b00eba0520-jpg

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    That’s one beautiful GJS Keith. You should feel honored to own it!

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    That’s one beautiful GJS Keith. You should feel honored to own it!
    Thanks! Yes I am honored to own this guitar.
    Keith

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Congratulations! What a guitar! That is just stunning!

    Over 50 years old and clean as a whistle! What a find! Enjoy!

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    A incredible score indeed. Even our good friend Mark Campellone would covet owning that one. A big Congrats Keith. A tough act to follow.
    Correct!!!

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    A gorgeous instrument/work of art. Congrats!

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    I have owned 2 Johnny Smith Gibson's and sold them years ago. I have my Campy and while it is an 18 inch guitar it is far superior to the GJS's in sound department. One I had was a mint 1974 or so and a beauty, other than the pickguard started gassing bad it was fine. The Campy is just above and beyond but if you find the right GJS you have a winner of the first matter.

    I actually find the LeGrands to be even better the GJS's. I think when Gibson brought the Legrand out they wanted to make sure it was a superior guitar in all respects given they lost the right to Johnny Smith. In my estimation the Legrand maybe be the best Gibson for the money compared to Citations and even L5's.

    Clearly Keith you have a winner guitar and winners in the vault...............good work.

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    DM I must agree. I have many Gibson archtops but my 2 Campellone guitars just sound and play better and I am a Gibson boy more than Tal Farlow was, BUT.....when Gibson gets it right nobody can touch them.
    I bought a brand new GJS in 1979. So did a friend with monster chops.
    Mine was a turd and his was magical.

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    DM I must agree. I have many Gibson archtops but my 2 Campellone guitars just sound and play better and I am a Gibson boy more than Tal Farlow was, BUT.....when Gibson gets it right nobody can touch them.
    I bought a brand new GJS in 1979. So did a friend with monster chops.
    Mine was a turd and his was magical.
    My Campellone and my GJS are actually very close in terms of sound. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Mark Campellone’s guitars, but I like the GJS a lot too.
    Keith

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I have owned 2 Johnny Smith Gibson's and sold them years ago. I have my Campy and while it is an 18 inch guitar it is far superior to the GJS's in sound department. One I had was a mint 1974 or so and a beauty, other than the pickguard started gassing bad it was fine. The Campy is just above and beyond but if you find the right GJS you have a winner of the first matter.

    I actually find the LeGrands to be even better the GJS's. I think when Gibson brought the Legrand out they wanted to make sure it was a superior guitar in all respects given they lost the right to Johnny Smith. In my estimation the Legrand maybe be the best Gibson for the money compared to Citations and even L5's.

    Clearly Keith you have a winner guitar and winners in the vault...............good work.
    I have played a some amazing LeGrands too. The shorter scale and wider nut on the JS is pretty comfortable though. My problem, is that I like them all!
    Keith

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    I must say the GJS is one of best looking Gibson’s ever.
    I love the F holes, split inlays (my favorite) and big headstock.
    L5 style tail and simple 1pu 1knob.....beautiful.
    I hate the look of a archtop with a bunch of knobs, and a toggle on it. I always felt 2 pu’s on a archtop was a sin.....just IMO.
    The GJS is absolutely beautiful. More so than a LeGrand IMO.
    The L5 tail looks better than a finger IMO.
    I am a humbucker guy but still love the GJS.

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    As a PSA to all you Johnnyophiles an Ampeg FOUNTAIN OF SOUND just popped up on the Bay
    no affiliation.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Crm114
    As a PSA to all you Johnnyophiles an Ampeg FOUNTAIN OF SOUND just popped up on the Bay
    no affiliation.
    Also, unless you can convince the seller otherwise, it’s local pickup in Los Angeles only.

    Anyone want to pick it up and ship it to me?

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    Congrats on getting the GJS! Play it in good health for a long time.

    I own 2 GJS - a 74 sunburst and an 81 blonde. The 74 has a wonderful tone - just what I expect from a JS. The 81 is near mint and while it's not as resonant as the 74, it's still a wonderful guitar.

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    That is a thing of sublime beauty

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by FredH
    Congrats on getting the GJS! Play it in good health for a long time.

    I own 2 GJS - a 74 sunburst and an 81 blonde. The 74 has a wonderful tone - just what I expect from a JS. The 81 is near mint and while it's not as resonant as the 74, it's still a wonderful guitar.
    I guess I need a blonde one now!!!
    Keith