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Important Note
: Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully somebody will help.

Gibson Johnny Smith Guitar ( 1961-1989 )

gibson johnny smith During the 50s Johnny Smith used d'angelico guitars then became a guild endorser , however he did not like the guitar, in 1960 johnny smith turned his loyalty to gibson and offered an

ultimatum so to speak , he told gibson that he would be delighted to sign a contract to use his name but if the guitar does not meet his standards the deal is off .

In late 1960 two sample guitars were built according to johnny smiths' specs , he wanted a fully acoustic archtop with a suspended floating pickup . Gibson decided to use the mini humbucker (PU-120) .

The johnny smith guitar was the first gibson guitar to be fitted with this pick up , it was mounted at the very end of the neck .

In early 1961 one of the 2 sample guitars were sent to johnny smith , he made few minor changes and immediatly approved them . In 1961 the Gibson johnny smith guitar was introduced at $795 ( Gibson's most expensive guitar at the time ) along side with the popular barney kessel guitar .

johnny smith The guitar was an archtop guitar , had a single rounded cutaway ,one floating mini humbucking pickup, gold hardware , multiple binding front and back , L-5 style tailpiece with model name , split-block fingerboard inlays and were made in natural or sunburst finishes .

In 1963 to 1989 they also introduced the gibson johnny smith double ( basically the same guitar but with 2 humbucking pickups , all johnny smith guitars were discontinued in 1989 . ( Known also as the Gibson JS model )

Vintage Price Value For 2009 :
1961 - 1962 > $9000 to $9400 ( Johnny Smith )
1963 - 1969 > $6500 to $8900
1970 - 1989 > $5800 to $6800
1961 - 1969 > $6700 to $10300 ( Johnny Smith Double )
1970 - 1989 > $6000 to $7000

Avg Upward Trend Of 9% a Year since 2000 ( for both )

Buying Advice For Used & Vintage Gibson Johnny Smith Guitars

If you want to buy a Gibson Johnny Smith guitar, you can find used & vintage Gibson Johnny Smith guitars for sale on Ebay.


16 Comments

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Does anyone know, or know where I can find the serial numbers of the two original sample Johnny Smith guitars?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Stebro

Look on the inside of the guitar body through the f-hole. You should be able to see a number ink stamped on the inside of the back. Mine is stamped in red ink.

Do you have one of them?

Steve

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I don't find a number in the body, just a tag that says the model is a Johnny Smith. On the other hand, there's a faint number on back of the head.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

The Johnny Smith has the serial number embedded behind the head.
There is a small sticker inside the body that can be seen through the F holes as you mentioned.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Hi All , I have a J.S. that I purchased in 1970 or 71 . Still in excellent condition although some of the plating has worn off or corroded but it still plays like a dream.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

The bracing and top with no holes give this guitar a better acoustic sound than most other Gibsons. Old ones in good condition play like a dream and sound awesome! The guitar is somewhat overlooked by collectors but players love them.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

When I met Johnny Smith in his shop in 1978 he pulled out and played one of his D'Angelicos from the back. While the Gibson bore his name his favorite playing guitars were the D'Angelicos.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Sasha

very nice information. gibson guitar lover must love it. :D

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I taught in Johnny's store for five years. He rarely played the D'Angelico and always preferred his blond JS. Not to take anything away from the D'Angelico. An interesting tidbit is that John D gave him the guitar for free to replace one that had been burned in an apartment fire.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

He told me D'Angelico made three for him. One he had sold and bought back in the '70s, then had D'Aquisto change the tailpiece. Around that time he traveled some with Bing Crosby and I'm pretty sure he told me the D'Angelico was what he used (I think you can see it on an old Tonight Show clip).

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

MY DAD HAS A GIBSON 400.HE PLAYED IN 1938.WHEN HE WAS 12.THIS GUITAR HAS NO GIBSON INLAY ON ITS HEAD.IN THIS PLASE IS A BRASS PLAT THAT HAS GIBSON.IS THER ANY WAY TO LEARN THE YEAR IT WAS MADE.IT WAS A USE GUITAR IN 38. THE PLATE IS 1''X 2''

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

to get acurate serial number info. on your J.S. guitar, write to Gibson. Thats where I got mine. They keep all the records, just give them any numbers that are on the instument. J.S.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I know its a long shot but my dad had a Johnny Smith gibson that my brother lost in a pawn shop after my dad passed away in the eighties. It is a one of a kind because the head piece was broken, we had it fixed but there were bolts in it. If anyone has seen it please let me know I desperatly would like to get it back

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I own one and am interested in value for insuring. Has single pickup. Also have the four speaker fender amp and more. All original from early 60's. 2818027801.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Question for the person who asked about the sample guitars ...

How do you know there were only two of them made? I have one of them.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a Johnny Smith D guitar from 1969/1970. I am looking for a serious collector/musician. Please post if you are, or know someone... thanks

 

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