We try not to rave about a particular guitar sounding better than other models from the same period and by the same maker, but Fretboard Journal founder Michael Simmons here, perhaps one of the biggest fans of Gibson's original J-185s, proclaims this to be perhaps the best-sounding example he's played (and he's played a LOT of them). And don't forget to swoon over the highly figured maple back and sides!

OK, back to the Facts Dept. Center seam of the back opened up a bit down by the tailblock, so that's been repaired, as has the 3 1/2" hairline crack to back on the bass side. No cracks to top, sides, or neck. Original tuners, frets, pickguard, and bridge. All bracing is original, bridge plate was worn from string balls so Frank Ford here installed small maple plugs in the original bridge plate so the string balls are again seated where they belong (this means the bridge plate is the original thickness). Original lacquer on the body has been oversprayed, neck has original finish. The case is a Gibson case of the correct size and shape but is probably several years later than the guitar. A great playing and sounding Gibson acoustic.

stock no. 51369

ModelJ-185 Natural
Topspruce
Back and sidesflamed maple
Frets to body14
Nut width1 11/16"
Scale length24 3/4"
Bridge materialrosewood
Fretboard Materialrosewood
Neck materialmahgany
Total frets20
Bracingscalloped X
CaseHardshell
InlayPearl
Serial NoA20883
Finishlacquer
Neck profileC/D
Tunersoriginal Kluson
Bindingcelluloid