One of only 7 Gibson Johnny Smith blonde two pickup guitars made in 1967. This is a beautiful example and once this goes, it will probably be some time before another comes our way...
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Here’s a guitar that we will probably only see once every decade or so. This is the rarest incarnation of the beautiful 60’s Gibson Johnny Smith archtop guitar being a blonde, double pickup variant. According to the shipping ledgers, this was one of just seven shipped in 1967 and one of only 20 made up to that point, since its introduction in 1963.
This is an early 1967 J. Smith with pots dated 43rd week of 1966. It is in excellent condition and is all correct with a slightly later hard case. It is a beautiful player and with its slick ebony fingerboard virtually plays itself. Low profile frets are in good condition and are original to the guitar and the stunning, dark black ebony fingerboard has no wear at all.
There are no cracks or repairs anywhere but there is an area just on the side, back and on the front under the pickguard that looks like something was spilt on it. Not sure what it was but it is purely cosmetic, it does not look too bad and you hardly notice it as it appears just on the clearcoat. There is also evidence of a previously filled strap button screw hole just by the neck joint on the side.
Top is beautiful, straight grained, piece of carved solid spruce. Back and sides are solid, highly figured maple and the back on this particular one is particularly nicely appointed - take a look at the pictures.
Pickups are the classic design mini humbuckers that Mr Smith and lots of other players seemed to love and they both work very well with a lovely balance and tone. I doubt that even the hardest to please Jazz guitar fanatic would be disappointed with this stunning guitar - both in the playability stakes and the amazing sound.
So there you have it. A very rare and desirable Jazz archtop that we will probably not see another example of for many years. We have quite a few L5’s here at ATB Guitars at the moment and this one rises to any challenge that any L5 can bring…
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