The Gibson GS-85 is an extremely rare classical guitar that Gibson only manufactured from 1938-1942. In total, they built sixty GS-85s; twenty-seven with Indian Rosewood back and sides and thirty-three with Mahogany back and sides. The Gibson GS-85 is a classical flattop guitar, which is slightly different from the acoustic guitars typically seen in country, folk, and rock music. While this guitar was not very popular in its own time, Gibson classical guitars are an important part of the company’s history.
Gibson is known for their electric and steel-string acoustic guitars. Their name rarely comes to mind when thinking of nylon-string classical guitars. However, Gibson’s forays into classical instruments exhibit the same attention to detail and craftsmanship that characterizes their other creations. Their classical guitars typically feature quality tonewoods, intricate bracing patterns, and traditional designs that aim to capture the rich tonal nuances of nylon-stringed instruments. While not as prominent in the classical guitar world as some dedicated classical guitar makers, Gibson’s offerings in this genre still showcase the brand’s commitment to producing instruments with distinctive character and musicality.
Features & Specs for the Gibson GS-85
- 14 ½” wide classical flattop body
- East Indian Rosewood back and sides
- Elaborate wood marquetry center back strip
- Tie-style East Indian rosewood bridge with ornamental ends and two mother-of-pearl dot inlays
- Mahogany neck
- Classic “open book” headstock shape
- Mother-of-pearl “crude-large” Gibson logo
- Fleur-de-lis peghead inlays
- Three-on-a-strip open back tuners with classical-style string posts and white buttons
- “Double-nut” (nut and zero-fret)
- 19 fret ebony fingerboard (12 frets clear of the body)
- White & black binding on body top and back edges