As a teenager I was fortunate to be able to drive to New York for guitar lessons with Reverend Gary Davis, one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century. Rev. Davis favored guitar was the Gibson J-200.
Over the years I owned several of these instruments, including a late ’30’s one of Brazilian rosewood. For over a decade my main working guitar was a 1937 J-100. This was the only guitar of that design I ever really fell in love with. How the Reverend found the few good ones he did, I will never know. I always loved their appearance, and often theirs necks and playability, but never the sound. When I became a builder in my twenties, making a fine sounding guitar of that shape became a personal goal. Today my main guitar is a shallow-bodied Froggy Model G, of fiddleback mahogany with an Adi top.
This Model G is of awesomely figured German maple (the back and side material traditionally preferred for the finest archtop jazz guitars) and Adirondack spruce. Although it handles both light and medium gauge strings, with true mediums (.056-.013) is where it shines. This guitar roars; it has headroom to spare. It is also clear and articulate through the entire range of the fretboard with overtones galore. It’s been described as “a grand piano with six strings”.
July 2020 update: This guitar has been sold.
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