Gibson's Advanced Jumbo


Gibson introduced the terms "advanced" and "jumbo" to the guitar world in 1934, but they wouldn't come together as one of the all time classic Gibson models until a few years later. "Advanced" referred to the body sizes of Gibson's archtop models, which were all "advanced" or increased by one inch in 1934. "Jumbo" was the new mahogany-bodied flat-top model, with 16-inch width and "round shouldered" dreadnought shape.

Late in 1936 "advanced" took on a different meaning with the debut of Gibson's Advanced Jumbo. This time the advancement was in the performance of the guitar. With the dreadnought shape, a Brazilian rosewood body and a 25 1/2-inch scale, the Advanced Jumbo was a powerful, booming flat-top - referred to in later Gibson literature as "the original acoustic cannon."

Gibson's catalog described the Advanced Jumbo as having "a bass so deep, rich and full that it can be 'felt' as well as heard - and a treble that response to the bass with harmonious singing brilliancy." Over half a century later, the excitement was still there in George Gruhn's comments to the authors of Gibson's Fabulous Flat-Top Guitars. "The Advanced Jumbo was probably the best flat-top in Gibosn's entire hiostory," George said. "A wonderful guitar."

The Advanced Jumbo didn't even make it to World War II - only an estimated 300 were produced. They were rediscovered by bluegrass musicians in the 1970s and soon gained a reputation as "bonecrushers," able to stand toe-to-toe with Martin's legendary prewar herringbone D-28.

Gruhn Guitars currently has two of these exceptional guitars:

AG5388 (pictured at right), 1936, VG+, set up with Waverly tuners, neck refinished (neck only), refretted, and reset by Gruhn Guitars, a great sounding instrument, OHC, $35,000.

This instrument is SOLD

Photos... Close of body | Fingerboard | Headstock | Back of headstock | Back of neck | Full back view | Back of body

AG5376, 1939, VG+, back of neck refinished from heel to middle of peghead, back of body oversprayed, exceptionally fine sound, OHC, $30,000.

This instrument is SOLD

Photos... Full view | Close of body | Fingerboard | Headstock | Back of headstock | Back of neck | Full back view | Back of body