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The Recording King brand of acoustic guitars and banjos was founded in the 1930s as a house brand for Montgomery Ward, one of the largest retailers in the United States. The instruments were built by Gibson, which was at the time one of the leading manufacturers of acoustic guitars.

Recording King guitars were known for their high quality and affordable prices. They were popular with both professional musicians and amateur players. Many of the top entertainers of the day, including Nick Lucas, Ray Whitley, Carson Robison, and Roy Smeck, played Recording King guitars.


The archtop guitars, such as this one featured solid, carved and graduated spruce tops.  The neck is 5-ply maple with a generally rounded C-shape with just a hint of V in the lower registers.  The back is made of laminated, flamed maple.  The fingerboard and bridge are made of Brazilian rosewood.  This example features all original hardware, all functioning well, except for the tailpiece which appears to be a later replacement.


The bridge has room to adjust either up or down as the player prefers.  The guitar plays beautifully with all notes ringing out clearly.  The voice is bold with plenty of volume on tap.  The guitar features the punch one would hope for in a pre-war 16-inch archtop guitar made by Gibson.  These remain among the most affordable way to get a fully voiced Gibson made, quality, vintage acoustic archtop which is why we strive to keep these other branded Gibson archtops in stock.


The finish is all original, displaying checking and an area in the upper bout where it appears that someone set their paper down to take some notes very long ago causing some light scratching and flaking of the finish, as seen in the photos. Also note the screw hole in the back of the guitar near the heel where a prior strap button had been placed.


Weight - 4.36 pounds

Nut width - 1.72 inches


The pictured gig bag is included with the guitar.


Ships free in the United States.  We can also ship for very reasonable rates worldwide.  Please contact us for international shipping quotes.

SOLD - 1939 Recording King M-3 Acoustic Archtop - made by Gibson

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