This 1934 Gibson Roy Smeck Stage De Luxe (Batch number 109x, possibly 1092) was converted by Randy Wood, most likely in the early 1980s. The cosmetic and functional details of the replacement neck, bridge, and pickguard were most likely inspired by Norman Blake’s use of a sunburst 12 fret D-28 in the early 1980s. The soundhole diameter is the smaller 3 3/4″ size that was used through all of 1934.
The Randy Wood replacement neck is a Martin style slothead configuration with an ebony fingerboard, 1 7/8″ nut width, Gibson style 24 3/4″ string scale, and new Grover G-98 style tuners made by Waverly. The ebony belly bridge with a 2 1/4″ string spread and long bridge saddle is very Martin-like in conception. The Martin shaped added pickguard is made of dark brown turtle-oid plastic material.
This guitar was used as a performance instrument with a now-removed pickup that used a 1/4″ endpin jack. A black strap button was installed on the treble side of the neck heel. The two dryness cracks below the bridge from the dry conditions in Santa Fe, NM have been glued and have been stable for a very long time. The rear end of the original bridge plate was blasted out from the very common 1934 problem of improper placement at the time of the original build. Alan Perlman installed a new bridge plate of appropriate size and thickness. Unlike Martin, the Gibson bridge plates were not tucked into the X brace. Alan Perlman also installed some cream bridge pins, unproved, that will keep the new bridge plate nice and healthy.
The lighter top builds with scalloped brace voicing in many of these 1934 examples function at their best with light gauge strings, rather than medium gauge. The voice of this guitar is lively and very responsive, with a very musical tone. The current setup plays easily.
The provided case is from the 1990s and shows clear signs of use in its gigging life.