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J50 Deluxe

#1 User is offline   TellyzGuitars 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 05:10 AM

Hi folks..

New to the forum and thought I'd give the lowdown on my J50, 1970'ish.

The J50 Deluxe...

Looks like a dogs breakfast but plays like a gem....As you can see it's had a lot of play and heavily gigged for many years apparently. The neck was snapped and re-glued 30 odd years ago.

When I got it the setup was all wrong everywhere. Somebody, in an attempt to widen the saddle slot by hand maybe with a knife, I guess to fit a bigger saddle, but did it unevenly both in the width and the depth, consequently the saddle was loosely fitted. With continuous heavy use the slot widened, the saddle getting a good slant on it while the bridge started to crack either side of the slot with string pressure pushing the saddle forward in the slot. Had to make up a jig to re-route the saddle slot evenly, glue the splits either side of the bridge and custom make a saddle from a blank that ended up being 3.6mm wide. The nut was a mess, a new one custom made from camel bone and set up. The bridge pin holes inside on the bridge plate were chewed out, the ball end of the strings pulling half way up the pin holes under string tension, a plate mate fabricated out of brass sorted this out. Relief set, cleaned, polished (wouldn't know to look at it) a good oiling on the fretboard and bridge, new Elixir PB 12's and bob's your uncle....I did say the setup was all wrong in every way!

I swapped out the Gibson tuners in favour of new Gotoh open back and the bridge pins for Camel bone. The exposed spruce on the top I touched up with a few coats of gun oil.

When I got it you could tell the tone was there but just seriously restrained. The work was fairly simple but made a huge transformation on the way this guitar played with a very light playing feel. It is up there as one of the nicest guitars to play and especially responds well to blues/folky/bluegrass flavours....

Playing this guitar, and the Gospel I have, review to follow, just makes me shake my head in disbelief at the negative attention the Double X bracing gets. This guitar is fantastic.

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