For most of us, Gibson probably isn't the first name that comes to mind when we think of classical guitars. Nevertheless, Gibson has always been a leading innovator—first with the mandolin, then the archtop guitar, then the banjo, and then the electric guitar. So it's no surprise some of their classical guitars are worth checking out, too.
The Gibson C-4 was made from 1962 to 1967, and even though all of the C-Series classical were produced in limited quantities, this model is particularly rare. Its body is 14-1/4" across the lower bout, and its shape is very similar to the LG body. The C-4 features a solid Spruce top and Flame Maple back and sides. Some of the C-Series had the same ladder-bracing you'd find on an LG-0 or LG-1, but the C-4 has proper fan bracing that gives it the right sound and feel for a Classical guitar. It has a 2"-wide Ebony nut, and like the rest of the C-Series, the C-4 has a zero fret that eliminates nut issues. It also has a Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
This 1964 Gibson C-4 is in excellent condition for its age. It shows the expected finish checking of a seasoned vintage guitar (especially on the top), but it has no history of structural repairs or issues. There is one ding worth mentioning on the top (see photos). When it came to us, the gear on the low E tuning machine was so worn that it wouldn't tune properly, so we installed brand new Gotoh 15:1 ratio machines. It was a clean installation that allows this lovely classical to play and tune properly. The original machines are included, but of course, they won't be much help without a working gear on the 6th string.
This 1964 Gibson C-4 is a great player with nice action. The saddle may have been replaced at some point, but it's hard to say for sure. Regardless, we can tell it has been filed to accommodate lower action. As for tone, this C-4 produces sweet nylon sound. It's a great fit for guitarists wanting the softer, folkier sound of nylon strings, but it would also hold its own for intricate classical chops.
This 1964 Gibson C-4 includes a durable molded-plastic case from TKL.