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Gibson Banner J-45? Beat to Hell What's it worth?

#1 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 05:22 PM

Hello All!

New to the forums. I apologize in advance if there is a similar post, please point me in the right direction if so. I'm hoping you all can help!

I recently picked up a Gibson Banner Logo Acoustic Guitar (completely beat to hell), at an estate sale. Despite its worn down look, its absolutely gorgeous and I imagine it might make a good project guitar for someone looking to restore it to its original glory. I paid $7 for it, and I'm not going to be greedy about what I can flip it for - I'm sure curious if its worth $8 or up! Or if I should just hang it on the wall and admire its history.

Pictures say a thousand words, but here's what I know about it just from my own research:
  • Gibson Banner Logo "Only A Gibson Is Good Enough"
  • Serial number appears to be 2111 or 2117 (Factory Order Numbers (FON) in the 2100s to 2500s are common for 1943 from what I've read)
  • Red Pencil # 27 (Rack Number)
  • Guessing 1943 J-45?
  • Colors are different from what I've seen or maybe the entire front is missing, either way the front is a light wood color and the back, sides, neck, and head are black looking. Laminated I believe.


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Thanks!
- Row

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: back-body.JPG
  • Attached Image: body.JPG
  • Attached Image: head.JPG
  • Attached Image: headstock.JPG
  • Attached Image: inside.JPG
  • Attached Image: neck.JPG

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#2 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 09:18 PM

Check to see whether the top is X-braced. If so, it's an LG-2. Hard to tell what sorts of issues are lurking in there that won't show in the photos. PM sent.
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#3 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 11:42 PM

View PostOldCowboy, on 19 February 2017 - 09:18 PM, said:

Check to see whether the top is X-braced. If so, it's an LG-2. Hard to tell what sorts of issues are lurking in there that won't show in the photos. PM sent.


Confirmed. Appears to be X-braced. Does that make it a 43,44?
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#4 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 12:39 AM

 somedharmabum, on 19 February 2017 - 11:42 PM, said:

Confirmed. Appears to be X-braced. Does that make it a 43,44?

Doesn't help with the date, just the model. PM sent....
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#5 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 04:17 AM

Looks to me like you have a winner there, from my experience with rescuing old x-braced guitars. We can't see the guts but once the top is properly stripped to the extent that the rest of it looks like the area beneath where the pick guard was and a rectangular rosewood (I'd buy a Brazilian blank for the luthier) is installed, you could be on the way to a real nice small bod player. One other potentially expensive issue...neck angle. If it needs to be reset you're already in for $3-500. It deserves to be shown to a competent guitar guy for assessment. If you live far from a good shop it could be tricky finding someone to do a restoration without risking further diminishing the already compromised vintage value.

That top looks funny in the photo. I'd like to see a couple more pics at different angles and lighting. If you're thinking of a flip send me a PM.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
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#6 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 07:18 AM

View Postjedzep, on 20 February 2017 - 04:17 AM, said:

Looks to me like you have a winner there, from my experience with rescuing old x-braced guitars. We can't see the guts but once the top is properly stripped to the extent that the rest of it looks like the area beneath where the pick guard was and a rectangular rosewood (I'd buy a Brazilian blank for the luthier) is installed, you could be on the way to a real nice small bod player. One other potentially expensive issue...neck angle. If it needs to be reset you're already in for $3-500. It deserves to be shown to a competent guitar guy for assessment. If you live far from a good shop it could be tricky finding someone to do a restoration without risking further diminishing the already compromised vintage value.

That top looks funny in the photo. I'd like to see a couple more pics at different angles and lighting. If you're thinking of a flip send me a PM.


Thanks! There are a few repair shops in town I plan to contact today. I'll also post more photos later today. If you want to see anything specific let me know!
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#7 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:29 AM

 OldCowboy, on 20 February 2017 - 12:39 AM, said:

Doesn't help with the date, just the model. PM sent....

For sure it's a '43, '44, or '45. That's as close as my references will get me.
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#8 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:35 AM

The FON number looks like it puts it in the year 1943 but those aren't always exact. How wide is the lower bout?
The luthier I use had an old L00 that had house paint on it that looked like this. It was tedious but he was able to remove it all without disturbing the original finish below which helped to maintain its value. I cannot tell if this is a small body or jumbo from the pictures but it sounds like some of the other members believe it's a small body. That will determine its value more than anything.
Just the Gibson's
'29 Uke1
'94 Centennial 1934 Jumbo RI
'94 1933 Century of Progress
'04 Chet Atkins CG
'04 Dwight Yoakam Honky Tonk Duece
'07 J200 CUSTOM KOA
'07 CJ165 RW
'10 J45 Legend
'10 Jackson Browne
'11 Kristofferson SJ
'12 J200 Custom RW
'13 ES 175
'13 J185 Wildwood Modern Vintage
'13 LG-2 Banner RI (All Hog)
'14 F5L Fern Mandolin
'14 Stage Deluxe LTD
'14 1932 L00 RI
'14 Les Paul Std
'14 L5 Premier
'15 Stage Deluxe RW
'16 Nick Lucas Mystic Rosewood
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#9 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 11:18 AM

View PostDave F, on 20 February 2017 - 10:35 AM, said:



The FON number looks like it puts it in the year 1943 but those aren't always exact. How wide is the lower bout?
The luthier I use had an old L00 that had house paint on it that looked like this. It was tedious but he was able to remove it all without disturbing the original finish below which helped to maintain its value. I cannot tell if this is a small body or jumbo from the pictures but it sounds like some of the other members believe it's a small body. That will determine its value more than anything.


I came to the same conclusion about the year based on the FON, and my research, but also heard it may not be exact.

The lower bout is approx. 14 1/4"
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#10 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 01:09 PM

Definitely a small body. We have some very sharp members. You probably already did your research and found out these are no where near the value of the jumbos so you have to watch out how much you put into them. I saw a basket case jumbo banner on eBay a couple weeks ago go for 2400. I'm not sure what the LG2 would bring. Personally I would try to flip it before I soaked anything into it. A skilled luthier can afford to put his time into it and then sell it to pay for his work but if you pay someone skilled to do the work you could get burned. Good luck with it.
Just the Gibson's
'29 Uke1
'94 Centennial 1934 Jumbo RI
'94 1933 Century of Progress
'04 Chet Atkins CG
'04 Dwight Yoakam Honky Tonk Duece
'07 J200 CUSTOM KOA
'07 CJ165 RW
'10 J45 Legend
'10 Jackson Browne
'11 Kristofferson SJ
'12 J200 Custom RW
'13 ES 175
'13 J185 Wildwood Modern Vintage
'13 LG-2 Banner RI (All Hog)
'14 F5L Fern Mandolin
'14 Stage Deluxe LTD
'14 1932 L00 RI
'14 Les Paul Std
'14 L5 Premier
'15 Stage Deluxe RW
'16 Nick Lucas Mystic Rosewood
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#11 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 02:18 PM

View PostDave F, on 20 February 2017 - 01:09 PM, said:



Definitely a small body. We have some very sharp members. You probably already did your research and found out these are no where near the value of the jumbos so you have to watch out how much you put into them. I saw a basket case jumbo banner on eBay a couple weeks ago go for 2400. I'm not sure what the LG2 would bring. Personally I would try to flip it before I soaked anything into it. A skilled luthier can afford to put his time into it and then sell it to pay for his work but if you pay someone skilled to do the work you could get burned. Good luck with it.


Thanks Dave!


Interesting stuff. I'd definitely rather sell it to someone interested in restoring it to sell, or to keep for themselves. I'm trying to fund a move across country, so I've been hitting up estate sales trying to flip what I found. Just got lucky with this one! I'm cleaning the dust as we speak, more photos coming soon!

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#12 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:06 PM

Hey all,

Thanks for all the great information and advice!

I'm out of upload space on this forum, so please check out this flickr gallery I made for the guitar: Gibson Banner Logo Pics

I gave it a gentle cleaning, removing all the dusty that lay on it for, I dunno how many years. Cleaned up a lot nice than I thought. If anyone wants to see any other pictures, just request!

thanks!
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#13 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

UPDATE:

Took the guitar to a new boutique shop here in town. With the help of you great people I have them a good description of what I knew about the guitar and its history. Luthier nearly offered to buy it for 300-400, but held back, though still collected my info. I think he liked it the more he looked at it. I may get a call later! :-)

Confirmed its been painted over and adjusted quite a bit. Some patch work was done inside the guitar, below the bridge to the bottom left. He said any modifications to the guitar automatically takes about 50% away from its value. But as we both discussed, someone could take that paint off and make at all natural. Bracing was good. Bridge plate was good, but he said he would replace the bracing by the bridge if it was his.

His advice was to list it on ebay as a Gibson Project Guitar and hope to get what I can for it. He said I could probably get $1,000 for it. Not bad for an estate sale find!

I may go to another place in town for a 2nd opinion.

What do you guys think? Concur? Too high? Too low?
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#14 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:53 PM

I think $1000 would be a very good price for all the work that would be required.

A quick search on eBay shows these in good condition going around the $2300 range.

This one after fixed up may only go for 1400-1800

These are not high on the collectability list

You don't know what you're going to find underneath that paint.

Remove paint, make and install bridge, new pick guard, plane fret board, new fret job, new nut, new tuners, plus unknowns

If someone offered me $500, I'd run with it.





Just the Gibson's
'29 Uke1
'94 Centennial 1934 Jumbo RI
'94 1933 Century of Progress
'04 Chet Atkins CG
'04 Dwight Yoakam Honky Tonk Duece
'07 J200 CUSTOM KOA
'07 CJ165 RW
'10 J45 Legend
'10 Jackson Browne
'11 Kristofferson SJ
'12 J200 Custom RW
'13 ES 175
'13 J185 Wildwood Modern Vintage
'13 LG-2 Banner RI (All Hog)
'14 F5L Fern Mandolin
'14 Stage Deluxe LTD
'14 1932 L00 RI
'14 Les Paul Std
'14 L5 Premier
'15 Stage Deluxe RW
'16 Nick Lucas Mystic Rosewood
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#15 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:39 AM

The wise man's offer is usually in his question. 'The luthier almost offered $3-400', but didn't.
The allure of the banner is quickly lost when assessing the amount of work this one needs. It's a good find and a cool old guitar but I concur with Dave.
Good luck with whatever route you choose.
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#16 User is offline   somedharmabum 

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 08:36 AM

Thanks everyone for your invaluable help! I'll be listing this on ebay and reverb with an 'as-is, open to offers, project guitar'

If anyone would like a link once I have it listed, send me a PM!
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#17 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:15 PM

View PostOldCowboy, on 19 February 2017 - 09:18 PM, said:

Check to see whether the top is X-braced. If so, it's an LG-2. Hard to tell what sorts of issues are lurking in there that won't show in the photos. PM sent.



No need to even go through the trouble. Just look in the soundhole. If is has a backstrip it is an LG-2. If not it is an LG-1.
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#18 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:58 PM

Sold on eBay for $800
Just the Gibson's
'29 Uke1
'94 Centennial 1934 Jumbo RI
'94 1933 Century of Progress
'04 Chet Atkins CG
'04 Dwight Yoakam Honky Tonk Duece
'07 J200 CUSTOM KOA
'07 CJ165 RW
'10 J45 Legend
'10 Jackson Browne
'11 Kristofferson SJ
'12 J200 Custom RW
'13 ES 175
'13 J185 Wildwood Modern Vintage
'13 LG-2 Banner RI (All Hog)
'14 F5L Fern Mandolin
'14 Stage Deluxe LTD
'14 1932 L00 RI
'14 Les Paul Std
'14 L5 Premier
'15 Stage Deluxe RW
'16 Nick Lucas Mystic Rosewood
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#19 User is offline   tpbiii 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:49 PM

2111 has been documented as a batch of 1943 LG-2s.
Never criticize a musician until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Then you will be a mile away and you will have his shoes.
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