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  1. #1
    As per title.I am tryning to find the JS specs through the various decades. Anyone got a link to enlighten me?
    I am seeing 25" scale, 25.5" solid backs, all solid, various depths etc Thks in advance

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    25" scale, 1.75" nut, 3 1/8" depth.
    Carved spruce top, carved maple back.
    Ebony board w split block pearl inlay.
    Ebony bridge w pearl inlay.
    Early models w 3 piece maple/walnut neck, later w 5 piece.
    Floating mini humbucker, w jack and volume knob attached to guard, D model w 2 pu's
    L5 style t.p. w his name inlaid vertically, later models will oettinger style t.p.
    Large Super 400 style headstock and pearl inlay
    Etc......

  4. #3
    Thanks wintermoon
    So there were no major deviations on standard models from this spec?
    Laminated sides?

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence3090
    Thanks wintermoon
    So there were no major deviations on standard models from this spec?
    Laminated sides?
    solid sides
    unless I missed something I think that's it, well Kluson Sealfast tuners of course.
    you might come across one w/ a 3" depth

  6. #5
    Thanks I have spent the last 4 decades just thinking the JS was just an L5 with a floater.

  7. #6

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    No one has mentioned the unique neck joint. Solid - no overhang. Lots of info in the JS biography by Lin Flanagan.I

    Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith: Amazon.co.uk: Lin Flanagan: 0888680090364: Books

    Johnny's personal blonde finish version reputedly has a Citation body.

    DG

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveg
    No one has mentioned the unique neck joint. Solid - no overhang. Lots of info in the JS biography by Lin Flanagan.I

    Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith: Amazon.co.uk: Lin Flanagan: 0888680090364: Books

    Johnny's personal blonde finish version reputedly has a Citation body.

    DG
    correct, and X braced top

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    solid sides
    unless I missed something I think that's it, well Kluson Sealfast tuners of course.
    you might come across one w/ a 3" depth
    Mine is 3” deep. I always thought that was normal for a JS.
    Keith

  10. #9

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    There are a few other unique features on the Johnny Smith model. The f-holes are a slightly different shape than and L5. Also, the body of a Johnny Smith is shorter than an L5. It is about 20 3/8” from the tail to where the neck joins the body. An L5 is 21”. This makes the body shape actually look a little different. I attached a picture of my L5C and Johnny Smith side by side. You can see that the lower bout of the L5 is quite round and JS looks a little flattened by comparison.
    Keith
    Gibson Johnny Smith Specs?-d27af6df-6be1-4564-9f54-ed301803090f-jpeg

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    There are a few other unique features on the Johnny Smith model. The f-holes are a slightly different shape than and L5. Also, the body of a Johnny Smith is shorter than an L5. It is about 20 3/8” from the tail to where the neck joins the body. An L5 is 21”. This makes the body shape actually look a little different. I attached a picture of my L5C and Johnny Smith side by side. You can see that the lower bout of the L5 is quite round and JS looks a little flattened by comparison.
    Keith
    Gibson Johnny Smith Specs?-d27af6df-6be1-4564-9f54-ed301803090f-jpeg
    Which one sounds better acoustically. And which one sounds better amplified?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    Which one sounds better acoustically. And which one sounds better amplified?
    They are quite different. Acoustically, the Johnny is warmer and has a more prominent mid-range sound than the L5C. The L5 is brighter in comparison. Plugged in, they are a little closer in sound. The L5 has the very early design of the JS pickup, without adjustable pole pieces, and I think that pickup may sound a little better than the later version. As we all know, every guitar is different and I’m not sure if my experiences are typical of these models. If I had to choose between the two examples that I own, maybe the acoustic properties of the Johnny has a bit of an edge. My L5, however, is a very special guitar that I purchased from the original owner, who ordered it back in 1963 with a factory JS pickup.
    Keith
    Last edited by floatingpickup; 07-24-2021 at 07:16 AM.

  13. #12

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    Here are the specs as found in the A.R. Duchossoir book. Gibson Johnny Smith Specs?-b3c538e1-a2ea-4a4f-88f0-805f7c5a180e-jpg

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveg
    No one has mentioned the unique neck joint. Solid - no overhang. Lots of info in the JS biography by Lin Flanagan.I

    Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith: Amazon.co.uk: Lin Flanagan: 0888680090364: Books

    Johnny's personal blonde finish version reputedly has a Citation body.
    Lin's book is really interesting if a bit of a hagiography, but it does have some eye openers. Very interesting discussions of his various instruments, also his complete lack of regret for leaving the New York jazz scene.

    That was apparently his second Gibson JS. His first one, a sunburst, was sent to Gibson for repairs and went missing. That's on the cover of the Phase II album, IIRC. A Citation in natural finish, which was already in progress, was diverted and converted into a JS and sent to him.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by daveg
    No one has mentioned the unique neck joint. Solid - no overhang. DG
    Thanks for all the great info thus far. Can anyone explain the quote above.

  16. #15

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    Johnny wanted the neck extension from the 14th fret to the 20th (he also specified 20 frets, the prototypes had 22 and he sent 'em back) to be solidly connected to the neck block, as he believed this would improve the tonal response on the higher frets. So if you look from the side, the neck is in full contact to the top all the way to the end- unlike most archtops in which the end of the neck floats above the top.

  17. #16

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    My 1939 Gibson L5P has that very feature where the end of neck is in full contact with the top
    it was the only year Gibson Did that with an arch top until the Johnny smith model

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crm114
    My 1939 Gibson L5P has that very feature where the end of neck is in full contact with the top
    it was the only year Gibson Did that with an arch top until the Johnny smith model
    Actually not quite Big, prewar electric 150s and 250s have the board flush. Some L50's too and a couple other models. But yes, '39 is the only year the high end models like the L-5 and Super 400 were flush until the J.S.

  19. #18

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    Winteemoon
    thanks for setting me straight on that one if anybody would know it sure you sir
    And I never forgot what a great help you were when I found that dog gone thing
    thank you again
    Big

  20. #19

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    I had no idea that Johnny's personal guitar actually started out as a Citation. I wonder what differences there were between a JS and a Citation body.

  21. #20

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    There were no significant differences between a JS and a Citation body, other than the sexy wood tab that extended over the heel to become the heel cap. The Citation body was a fancier version. It's possible that one of the factory workers spent a few more minutes on the Citation body to make it more acoustically responsive - perhaps someone here who has played a few Citations as well as a few Johnny Smiths can comment on that.