Steve Swan Guitars
High Quality New and Used Acoustic Guitars

(650) 515-1014


Gibson really started to put together nice flat top guitars around 1930. My favorite Gibson guitars are from the 1930-35 period when the build style was quite light, making the guitars exceptionally responsive. I’ll feature all flat top Gibson models made during this period, particularly the magical 12 fret L-1, L-2, and Roy Smeck jumbo hawaiian models. From 1936 until the wartime years, the build grew steadily heavier, with sharper clearer tone and great volume when pushed. I’ll feature all flat top jumbo models from this period as well as L-OOs, L-Os, and HG-OOs. Some of my favorite Gibson flat top guitars were made during the “Bannerhead” wartime and just postwar years of 1942-46. Some of these guitars have Mahogany tops that ring with more of a midrange tone than Adirondack or Sitka Spruce from this time. The 1947-54 era post-bannerhead flat top guitars all have scalloped brace voicing except for the ladder braced LG-1. I like the flat top guitars from the era quite a bit and try to stock them when they are available. Gibson guitars made after 1955 can be hit or miss, so I have to audition them before I will take them in. Archtops are kind of a hard sell for me, so from now on I will only take super clean archtops from any era.

Coming soon: 1937 Roy Smeck Stage De Luxe, 1946 J-45, 1939 J-3, 1935 Roy Smeck Stage De Luxe

1951 Gibson Southerner Jumbo (Batch # 9734 14)

This beast of a 1951 Gibson Southerner Jumbo (Batch number 9734 14) led a full musical life as a fiddle tune backup guitar. It has a very strong and complex voice. A recent neck reset and refret by ace guitar luthier Alan Perlman has put the instrument back into “as new” playing condition, without overdoing […]

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Price: $4250

1954 Gibson L 7-C with added 1958 P-90 harness (A-17961)

This responsive and lightly built 1954 Gibson L 7-C (A-17961) long ago received a performance modification with the addition of a complete 1958 P-90 pickup harness. Now useable as an electric jazz archtop (or perhaps a country guitar) this instrument was also equipped with a 1950s era Cord Loop attachment bracket at the bass side […]

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Price: $3950

1931 Gibson TG-1 (FN 40)

TEMPORARY PHOTO SET ____________________________________ This closet queen 1931 Gibson TG-1 (FON 40) is cleaner than your grandmother’s kitchen floor! This guitar features the enlarged body (14 3/8″ lower bout, 19 1/8″ body width) that premiered about 1930. This guitar shows hardly any signs of having been handled or played at all. Medium grain width Adirondack […]

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Price: $4950

Late 1928 Gibson TG-1 (small body form) (FON 9215)

TEMPORARY PHOTO SET ______________________________________________________ This great sounding very late 1928 Gibson TG-1 (FON 9215) was one of the last Gibson guitars of that year. The small body style (12 5/8″ lower bout, 17 1/8″ body length) gives a 15 fret body joint and a loud, bright, penetrating voice that is not unlike the banjo style […]

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Price: $2950

1957 Gibson J-50 (U2593-2)

This fine sounding 1957 Gibson J-50 (Batch Number U2593-2) is about as close to mint condition as one could expect to find. The few repair procedures are: replaced tuner buttons, compensated bone bridge saddle, and removal of decal monogram letters from the top. The voice is surprisingly rich and full for having so little playing […]

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Price: $7500

1930 Gibson L-1 (Batch Number 9756)

This consignment 1930 L-1 (Batch Number 9756) is a very lively example of the then new 14 3/4″ shape that defined the middle size Gibson models all through the 1930s. These guitars were at their very lightest during 1930 and they are celebrated for both the modern slim neck profile and extremely responsive voice. The […]

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Price: Sold

1953 Gibson J-45 (Batch Number Y6824 33)

This consignment 1953 Gibson J-45 (Batch Number Y6824 33) is a well played and great sounding example from near the end of the scallop-voiced era for Gibson. The medium grain width Sitka spruce top helps to provide a rich and resonant voice and has only a single repaired crack at the extreme bass-side edge of […]

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Price: $4500

1934 Gibson Roy Smeck Stage De Luxe (Batch Number 1010)

Memory is a funny thing. My previous all-time favorite converted Gibson Roy Smeck Stage De Luxe was also a 1934 scallop-voiced model from this same batch, 1010. Though I sold that one 4-5 years ago, the strong emotional impressions that it made on me were vivid and lasting. I think that I like this one […]

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Price: Sold

Early 1935 Gibson Roy Smeck Stage De Luxe (No Batch Number)

This early 1935 Gibson Roy Smeck Stage De Luxe has no readable Batch Number, but the characteristic small sunburst pattern and 3 3/4″ soundhole diameter date it to the early part of the year. The consigning owner purchased this guitar in 1978 from Vintage Instruments of Philadephia and has played it ever since then. After […]

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Price: $8500

1939 Recording King Ray Whitley rosewood Model 1027 (EW-314)

This very powerful sounding consignment Gibson-made Recording King Ray Whitley rosewood Model 1027 (EW-314) is one of only 171 guitars made in 1939, with the remaining production run of 9 shipped in early 1940. We can think of this guitar as a Montgomery Wards distributed rosewood version of the Gibson J-55 model, with the wide […]

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Price: $18,000