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1952 Gibson J-185

1952 Gibson J-185

Regular price $17,950.00
Regular price Sale price $17,950.00
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1952 Gibson J-185 - A rare and fabled Gibson acoustic with less than 1000 produced! This J-185 features a Sitka spruce top, figured maple back and sides, and split parallelogram/Maltese cross mother-of-pearl inlays. Plays great with a comfy medium-C neck profile and sounds fantastic with tight low-end, pristine high-end clarity, and fantastic projection. In good overall shape with finish checking and vibey wear from a life well lived. A rare, incredible-sounding vintage Gibson with an impeccable vibe! Includes original hardshell case.

Check out the feature from our luthier Tyler in the ECG Newsletter:

"If you know, you know. (And if you don’t know, we don’t blame you at all.) During its 8 years of production, less than 1000 J-185s were produced, only 648 of which were sunburst models. Technically speaking, you’re more than twice as likely to come across a ’58-’60 “Burst” Les Paul than you are one of these. 

In addition to its rarity, though, the J-185 is widely considered to be Gibson’s finest post-war flat-top ever produced. Often erroneously considered a “mini J-200”, its shape is actually identical to Gibson’s iconic and much more manageable 16” L-5. A simple belly bridge was used in place of the ostentatious and structurally suspect mustache variety. The 185’s light build and scalloped bracing remained immune from the constant anatomical experimentation that plagued many 200s of the era. A standard 24 3/4” scale even managed to tone down the boominess and accentuate a clearer midrange. So why did the 185 fail to reach the same production numbers as many of its cousins? My best guess is because it aimed for a strange niche in the marketplace. The everyman in need of a workhorse was covered by the J-45 or J-50. The big spender looking for flash went with the top-of-the-line J-200. I’d consider the thousand or so who fell in the middle to be some of the luckiest Gibson customers of their generation." - Tyler Geske

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