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Gibson U Harp Guitar #39004


manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1917 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Harp Guitar, Style U
Serial 39004
Factory order number unknown


Red finish. The ten "sub-bass" strings were tuned generally in half-steps and rang sympathetically or were struck for a sustaining bass note.

This instrument has birch back and sides, spruce top, mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard.

Here are some things to look for:

  • The external turnbuckle neck stabilizing rod (an "external" truss rod? the world's first?)
  • A really big fat celluloid tailpiece that uses bridge pins to hold the ball end strings in place.
  • The friction pegs for the harp section. They're reworked "Grover Champion" friction pegs, should you care.
  • The neck pillar, which actually runs entirely through the body.


Categories this instrument is a member of

  • Superb condition
  • Red Sunburst


From Gryphon Strings.
Frank Ford is on of the founders of Gryphon Strings. Frank is world-renowned as a master repairman and an expert on vintage mandolins. Gryphon often carries very nice vintage mandolins. Frank is also the author of, a website well worth the visit for instrument fans, luthiers, and repairmen

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