Gibson Johnny Smith 1980 with parallel bracing!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by makam, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. makam

    makam Member

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    Hi.
    I bought recently a 1980 Gibson Johnny Smith that has parallel bracing instead of the normaly X.
    The previous owner don't have any clue about this.
    Does anybody know, if Gibson produced a number of parallel braced Johnny Smiths around 1980?
    I'm the owner of another Johnny Smith from 1983, that have the 'correct' X bracing, so I wonder if the 1980 model it's a rare bird or a custom?:huh
    Thanks
     
  2. zenitB

    zenitB Supporting Member

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    My Smith was a 60's model it was X braced but that said, you can't ever expect Gibson to be predictable, I have seen short scale 175's, a ES140 with a Byrdland neck, I had a 60's L7C with a CC pickup etc.
    I think it was Gruhn who said, "Gibson made at least one of everything" if he's right, your Smith is one of those!
     
  3. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Supporting Member

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    Does it also have wing bracing in front of the F holes? A short brace that touches the outside of the parallel brace and points toward the side of the guitar. I think that is the L5 style bracing.
     
  4. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    How does the tone of each compare? Noticeable difference because of the bracing?

    Pictures, of course, would be supercool.
     
  5. makam

    makam Member

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    Yes, I just notice it has wing bracing in front of the f holes.
    As for a tone compare between them, you can't have a real conclusion, as the sunburst 1980 Johnny is heavily modified by the former owner (unfortunately).
    He has put two PAF pickups, metal tuneomatic bridge, four knobs, and a toggle switch.
    Its electric tone is perfect but its acoustic sound is a bit dead compared with the blonde 1983 Johnny.
    My Wes Montgomery L5, is also louder, but it has a deeper body.
     
  6. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Supporting Member

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    Cool! With the Wing Bracing, it braced like a vintage L5. So it will have more in common with that model. (general statement coming up) The X bracing is often a bit louder of a guitar with a bit more explosive or percusive nature to it. The top is support in the middle transfering the vibrations to the edges. The Parallel will be a bit more mellow and even over the tonal range. In a pure accoustic nature, I like the X braced version for overall loudness and articulation. For Amplified, I prefer the Parallel bracing as it provides a nice even tone that can be adjusted a bit from the amp for clarity and brightness.

    Does both models you own have the floating pickup hanging off the fingerboard? I would think that the L5 bracing would lend itself better to pickups mounted directly to the body. That bracing helps reduce feedback etc.
     

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