X-braced with floating humbucking pickups
Excellent acoustic tone
17" body - only 31/8" deep
1" 3/4 nut width
High-grade maple back and sides
Carved spruce top
20 fret ebony fingerboard
In 1961, Gibson's Johnny Smith model not only associated Gibson with one of the most popular guitar stylists of the day,
it also brought high-quality amplification and high-quality acoustic sound together for the first time.
The Gibson Johnny Smith had a 17" body modeled after Smith's D'Angelico, which was slightly but significantly different from Gibson's L-5. With body depth of 3 1/8", the Smith was a 1/4" shallower than the L-5 and Super 400.
The Smith was different under the top, too, with an X brace instead of the tone bars Gibson introduced along with f-holes in 1922. (The X brace was not exactly foreign to Gibson, as the L-5 had been X-braced from 1934-38.)
The neck of the Smith was also slightly wider than that of the L-5. The Smith had a floating pickup that set it apart from all the DeArmond equipped guitars. Gibson had developed the double-coil humbucking pickup in 1957, and humbuckers were standard on high-end electrics.