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Santa Cruz

2009 Vintage Jumbo

2009 Vintage Jumbo


“The Advanced Jumbo, J-45, and the iconic early 60’s Epiphone Texan were the coolest accessories that an aspiring cowboy singer could shoot for. Each one of these guitars was a favorite of several of SCGC’s veteran luthiers. As it is our style to interpret rather than copy, the Vintage Jumbo Model combines the essence of coolness possessed by its forbearers with built-in improvements from SCGC’s decades of lutherie.

The VJ’s Sitka Spruce top is braced and voiced for volume and the body is built with premium Mahogany for clarity of tone. The balance favors the bass to the degree found in the originals, not to the excess found in many from the golden era of the square-shouldered brand. What this really pretty face has over its predecessors is SCGC’s hallmark complexity of overtones, sustain and power. Look your best. Wear this guitar!

The Vintage Jumbo is the ideal Blues guitar. Inspired by the classic round-shouldered dreadnoughts of the 1940’s, we infused it with the characteristic Santa Cruz volume, balance and complexity to create a guitar that can cover a lot of different styles. The VJ is dripping with the kind of deep, rich bass and sweet trebles that really shine in chord-oriented work. You won’t find this one coming up short when you call on it for more!”  - From the Santa Cruz Website

Without elaborating too much on Santa Cruz’s remarks above, we will simply state that from an objective, non-Kool-Aid-induced standpoint, we can attest to the general veracity of the builder’s claims: the VJ (like the VS and RS) is very much a highly-refined reinterpretation of the classic slope shouldered Gibson design.  For decades, both we and our customers have been enamored with the VJ’s immediate response, low end bloom, and overall balance. When played delicately, one can readily appreciate the captivating spaciousness and airiness of the Santa Cruz voicing; but, when pushed, one finds that the projection of the guitar keeps up and produces a healthy amount there low end without readily distorting.  As a result of the longer scale (a la a Gibson Advanced Jumbo), the Vintage Jumbo has a crisper and more immediate response, as well as a slightly brighter edge to the note, when compared to its brother, the Vintage Southerner, or your typical J-45 of any vintage.  This snappier quality is particularly ideal for those who dabble in alternate tunings, those who like to tune to Eb or D standard, or those who might want to push the dynamic limitations of such a guitar (bluegrassers and country blues players, we’re looking at you!).  Given that almost every acoustic guitarist seems to have an inspiring slope-shouldered jumbo on their checklist of guitars to own, it is no surprise that we have observed many an unsuspecting customer (and more than one staff member!) fall under the spell of the highly evocative VJ! After all, it is exactly as advertised: all of the best of the vintage sound delivered with all the construction insights and voicing sensibilities of one of the modern era’s greatest guitar companies.

This particular VJ has a somewhat unusual background.  Years ago, a longtime customer and friend of our store acquired the guitar from Gibson while touring their facility in Nashville. Evidently, this VJ was among a number of competitor’s guitars that Gibson had purchased to “evaluate.” Having fulfilled whatever reverse engineering purposes required of it, VJ SN. 4342 was cast to the clearance pile as it were (“HOW COULD THEY?!,” we ask). Thankfully, it was recognized for the gem that it is by a man with a keen eye; and, after having spent many years in his good home, it is now gracing us with its presence. Of course, we are happy to have its company, if only for a brief while....



Knowing that the guitar was extremely well kept by its most recent owner, it seems that this VJ survived its trials as a Gibson test subject with little ill effect.  That said, it does have some signs of play wear worth noting. The most obvious points of wear include a very small but deeper ding spanning the center seam midway between the bridge and the bottom of the lower bout, a finish crack on the top near the edge of the bass-side lower bout, and another finish crack on the back also on the bass-side lower bout.  There are also a handful of points of shallow finish indentations or “worming” to point out: One of these is probably due to a good ol’ case of “keys-in-the-pocket,” as it is primarily situated along the back binding on the treble side at the waist. The other patches of this shallow “worming” are located on the back of the guitar at the lower bout. We note two patches near the center of the lower bout and one slightly further up the back on the bass side—all three of these measure approximately ½”long x 1/8” wide.  There are otherwise a handful of faint scuffs and scratches on the body of the guitar, including a minor finish crack on the back near the “worming” patches.  Finally, we note a section of irregular finish that might be described as a “ripple” or “bleed” on butt of the guitar near the top edge on center seam.  This area is not obvious but it is visible when viewed at an angle in direct light.  We suspect that this may well have been the result of prolonged contact with some surface, but it is impossible to say with any certainty. The lack of relief around the distortion, suggests that the effect of the contact was minimal; or, it is possible that there was some effort to level the finish in this area, though there are no obvious signs of such work.  Otherwise, there are no structural issues or repairs to note.  VERY GOOD+ condition.

  • Slope Shouldered Jumbo Body
  • Sitka Spruce Top
  • Mahogany Back and Sides
  • Ivoroid Binding
  • Single Violin Purfling
  • Gloss Body Finish
  • Sunburst Top
  • Tobacco Brown Back and Side Finish
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • Doppler Dot Fingerboard Inlay
  • Ebony Headstock Veneer
  • Round Neck Carve
  • Matte Tobacco Brown Neck Finish
  • Ebony Belly Bridge
  • Nickel Vintage Style Santa Cruz Tuners with Ivoroid Buttons
  • Faux Tortoiseshell Pickguard
  • Bone Nut
  • Bone Saddle
  • 1 11/16” Nut Width
  • 375” Scale Length
  • Ebony Bridge Pins
  • Original Hardshell Case
Serial Number(s) 4342