The Gibson C-1 was one of a series of classical guitars Gibson introduced in 1957 and discontinued in 1971.
Like most classical guitars it’s smaller than its dreadnought or jumbo counterparts measuring 39” in overall length 19” in body length 11” at the upper bout 9 5/8” at the waist 14 ¼” at the lower bout and tapers from 3 ½” to 4 ½” deep. While it may have been designed more for the coffee houses of the 1960s folk scene than for the bluegrass stage it still has a rich tone and is a nice example of Gibson craftsmanship.
This C-1 features a solid spruce top with mahogany back sides and neck in a light natural finish a rosewood wrap-around bridge and a 12/19-fret (including a zero fret) rosewood fingerboard with a 25 ½” scale.
It has the wide patterned rosette and the slotted classical headstock has the Gibson script logo decal which were added in 1964 and the serial number dates it as 1966.
After 52 years of making music there are a few cosmetic issues – there are scratches scrapes dings and dents and lots of obvious player wear on this instrument. But that could be taken as a good thing as it’s obviously been a player’s guitar and used a lot …. which is usually the sign of a good instrument.
But there are no structural issues – the neck is straight & true the frets are in good shape. The neck set is good and no bellying of the top. Bracing seems strong and the top and back are nicely intact. Some marks and wear for sure but no splits or cracks in the wood.
The action is fine and the sound is good – mellow gut string tones but harmonically rich. It plays well and it’s certainly a player’s guitar. In fact this one was purchased second hand in Nashville in the 90s by a prominent pro Aussie musician. And he has clearly used it a lot – for good reason.
The case is period correct but definitely not original. It is a classic “alligator” semi-hard case from the 60s in OK condition, but with a broken handle.