1997 Gibson Le Grand Archtop with Sunrise Orange Finish ID-9249
1997 Gibson Le Grand Archtop with Sunrise Orange Finish
The archetypal high-end instrument for the professional jazz artist or collector, the Le Grand model from Gibson Custom is the pinnacle of achievement in archtop guitar production. The Le Grand has always been a select model manufactured in limited numbers, and only 963 of the original Johnny Smith version (identical in all but name) were produced between 1962 and 1979. Introduced in 1993, the Gibson Le Grand model draws inspiration from the two most highly prized archtops of the 20th century. The direct successor to the legendary Johnny Smith model, the LeGrande features the comfy, slightly slimmed 3" body, and warm, X-braced soundboard of its famed predecessor. And from the classic L-5, the Le Grand borrows the long 25 1/2" scale for snap and projection, as well as the nimble 1 11/16" fingerboard. The result is an instrument that combines the best of Gibson's most influential acoustic archtop guitars.
The core of the LeGrand is formed by an instrument that is crafted as a top-flight acoustic archtop guitar in its own right. Its soundboard is carved from a solid piece of high-grade spruce, and its back and sides are carved of high-grade maple. At Johnny Smith’s request, the guitar’s top was given the X-bracing pattern preferred by many players in a fully acoustic instrument.
The mini-humbucking pickup — known as a floating BJB pickup that was originally borrowed from a Seth Lover design for Epiphone — was mounted to the end of the fingerboard, with no contact with the body at all to avoid impeding the free resonance of the soundboard. Likewise, the single volume control and input jack were mounted to the floating pickguard. This arrangement was so revolutionary at the time that the suspended, neck-end-mounted pickup has been known ever since as “a Johnny Smith pickup”.
This 1997 Gibson Le Grand with Sunrise Orange Finish SKU-9249 is in excellent condition with just a few areas of minor finish separation and checking which we have attempted to capture in the detailed photos. It has very minor fretwear and includes a hardshell case.
- Serial: 91917004
- Top Wood: Spruce
- Back Wood: Maple
- Nut Width: 1 3/4"
- Scale: 25 1/2"
- Year: 1997
- Bracing: X-bracing pattern
- Inlays: Abalone split-block fingerboard inlays
- Neck Wood: Maple
- Fretboard: Ebony
- Nut Material: Synthetic Bone
- Bridge: ABR-1 bridge mounted atop an ebony base
- Tuners: Gold Gibson
- Purfling: B/W
- Body Binding: Multi-ply binding
- Fretboard Binding: Multi-ply binding
- Headstock Binding: Multi-ply binding
- Pickguard: Tortoise with Multi-ply binding
- Headstock Shape: Super 400
- Headstock Overlay: Ebony
- Headstock Inlay: Gibson logo and block-and-wedges
- Neck Profile: C Shape
- Body Depth: 3"
- Pickup(s): Floating BJB
- Pickup Controls: Single Volume Control
- Case: Hardshell Case Included