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J50 Deluxe

#41 User is offline   TellyzGuitars 

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:10 PM

View PostE-minor7, on 06 October 2017 - 04:12 PM, said:


Btw. the was a stage before goin' XX. As soon as 1968 Kalamazoo introduced the bulkier braces, but waited 2 years before seeing double.
My square Southern Jumbo from that year is a heavy sweetie, but has developed a good vintage voice in its own right.
My Gibson-trip btw. started with 2 70's squares around 1980. Both fortified with XX and thicker sticks (and some would add stuffed with socks).
Wonder where they are today.



I have a lot of guitars pass through my hands and I'm glad I can safely say I don't think I'm ever going to see a belly buldge on this thing....
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#42 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 03:22 AM

 TellyzGuitars, on 06 October 2017 - 04:48 PM, said:

I've seen heaps with these cracks. Mine has a cleat underneath.


Although this kind of crack CAN be due to a shifting neck block (although usually that would put the strings out of alignment with the neck visibly, and is much more of a problem on the ‘70s Epi FT79 and similar than Gibsons), a luthier friend explained to me that it’s largely down to pickguard shrinkage.

Apparently the ‘70s guards with the mottled/swirled pattern have a different shrinkage rate to the largely plain red/brown celluloid that was widely used up until the end of the ‘60s by Gibson. They also switched to a more tenacious pickguard adhesive around that time to prevent warranty claims for peeling pickguards, so the combo of the two tended to result in the notorious “pickguard crack” right there between the neck and soundhole. If the rosette looks out of alignment, it’s largely due to the top being tugged out of shape by the guard.
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#43 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:18 AM

View PostJinder, on 07 October 2017 - 03:22 AM, said:

Apparently the ‘70s guards with the mottled/swirled pattern have a different shrinkage rate to the largely plain red/brown celluloid that was widely used up until the end of the ‘60s by Gibson. They also switched to a more tenacious pickguard adhesive around that time to prevent warranty claims for peeling pickguards, so the combo of the two tended to result in the notorious “pickguard crack” right there between the neck and soundhole. If the rosette looks out of alignment, it’s largely due to the top being tugged out of shape by the guard.



Gibson stopped using celluloid scratchplates in the early 1960s. They switched to styrene which was probably the least durable of any plastic out there so probably the reason Gibson compensated by making their pickguards incredibly thick. I am not sure whether Gibson was attaching pickguards to bare wood or the finished top. Normally though, I would only expect to see that kind of damage when the pickguard was attached directly to the wood. Gibson was using Weldwood Cement to put guitars together in the 1970s. Not sure if this is what they used to slap the pickguards on but the stuff became brittle fairly quickly. I am still thinking the stiffness of the top (which had not only more but the heaviest bracing Gibson had ever used) with its lack of flexibility at the least made the guitar more susceptible to damage caused by say a shrinking pickguard.
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#44 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:21 AM

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/252906204198
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#45 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 01:56 PM

View Postzombywoof, on 07 October 2017 - 08:18 AM, said:

Gibson stopped using celluloid scratchplates in the early 1960s. They switched to styrene which was probably the least durable of any plastic out there so probably the reason Gibson compensated by making their pickguards incredibly thick. I am not sure whether Gibson was attaching pickguards to bare wood or the finished top.

The super thick pickguards as seen on B-25s from the mid '60 were attached to a finished top. But interestingly, some of Gibson's instruments from the same period received a very thin pickguard, such as my (B-25 clone) '66 FT45n Epi Cortez. Again in this case, the pickguard is attached to a finished top.

In fact, I've never come across a thick pickguard on any Epiphone Cortez or Texan from this period, while at the exact same time Gibson was employing the thick batwing guard on B-25s and J-50s.

Rather puzzling sometimes to peer into the corporate mind & logic of Gibson!
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
> Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada-Elitist) / '09 Elitist 1965 Casino
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood D / > Ibanez: '81 M-340
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire
'14 Savoy A-150b / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#46 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 02:35 PM

View Postbobouz, on 07 October 2017 - 01:56 PM, said:

The super thick pickguards as seen on B-25s from the mid '60 were attached to a finished top. But interestingly, some of Gibson's instruments from the same period received a very thin pickguard, such as my (B-25 clone) '66 FT45n Epi Cortez. Again in this case, the pickguard is attached to a finished top.

In fact, I've never come across a thick pickguard on any Epiphone Cortez or Texan from this period, while at the exact same time Gibson was employing the thick batwing guard on B-25s and J-50s.

Rather puzzling sometimes to peer into the corporate mind & logic of Gibson!



The pickguard on my 1956 Epiphone FT-79 was not only attached to bare wood but was actually set into the top. Interesting though that Epiphones would be spared those thick pickguards. Maybe it was just a cost cutting decision - get two pickguards for the cost of one or something.
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#47 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 03:11 PM

 zombywoof, on 07 October 2017 - 02:35 PM, said:

The pickguard on my 1956 Epiphone FT-79 was not only attached to bare wood but was actually set into the top. Interesting though that Epiphones would be spared those thick pickguards. Maybe it was just a cost cutting decision - get two pickguards for the cost of one or something.


A 1956 Epiphone would have been manufactured by the original Epiphone Company, headquartered in NY, before Gibson purchased Epiphone and started making them side by side with Gibsons in Kalamazoo 2-3 years later. Their processes and materials would have differed from Gibsons' in 1956.

I have a 1956 (or 1955, not sure) Epiphone F79 also and it has its pickguard attached in a way that I can't really describe. It kinda looks molded or glued into the guitar, but it might just be that it has some shrinkage to it and now looks that way a bit. Either way, very cool guitar, am sure you agree.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#48 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 04:31 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 07 October 2017 - 03:11 PM, said:

A 1956 Epiphone would have been manufactured by the original Epiphone Company, headquartered in NY, before Gibson purchased Epiphone and started making them side by side with Gibsons in Kalamazoo 2-3 years later. Their processes and materials would have differed from Gibsons' in 1956.




The story of Epiphone between 1953 and 1960 is tough to piece together. My guitar and, I am sure yours, was probably built in Philadelphia. If I recall the 69XXX serial number guitars could have been built in 1954, 1955 or 1956. I figured mine was built in 1956 as it is a dot neck which I always believed were the last ones to be put together.

Gibson apparently bought Epiphone on the cheap, Ted McCarty once joking he could give Orphie the money he wanted out of his pocket. As best as I have been able to figure out, the earliest Gibson period Epiphones were not built side by side with Gibsons but first at a rented facility with its own manager and then in 1959 at a start up plant on Eleanor Street. I believe some of the low end solid body Gibsons may also have been built there. With the expansion of Parsons Street facility in 1960, the Eleanor Street facility was closed and Epiphone production moved over. I used to own a 1958 Epiphone Texan which I was a leftover Epi French Heel neck slapped on a J-50 body. This would mean though that Gibson kept a stock of bodies with uncut neck blocks which seems to be verified by the fact they were also selling bodies to National at roughly the same time.
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#49 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 07:46 PM

Great Epiphone history stuff. Thanks for sharing it. FYI, Mitch 1956 F79 also has a dot neck. Figured it was one of the last F79s, also when Epi used whatever remaining parts to put together their final instruments.

Cool stuff...

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#50 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 07:14 AM

View PostQuestionMark, on 07 October 2017 - 07:46 PM, said:

Great Epiphone history stuff. Thanks for sharing it. FYI, Mitch 1956 F79 also has a dot neck. Figured it was one of the last F79s, also when Epi used whatever remaining parts to put together their final instruments.

Cool stuff...

QM aka Jazzman Jeff


You have to forgive me. I spent decades working as a research historian. I guess it is in my blood.

I always wondered the same thing though - after the move to Philly was Epiphone actually building instruments or just putting guitars together from parts on hand and did they attempt to kick start the business in '55 and move back to NY.
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#51 User is offline   Mickthemiller 

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 12:19 PM

View PostE-minor7, on 06 October 2017 - 04:12 PM, said:

2012 ~




I've not heard this song in over 45 years. At that time South Yorkshire was full of coal mines. All gone now and the pit tips are now green hills with trees. I think the original song is from the Durham mining area in the North East of England. Certainly not Irish.
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#52 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:03 PM

View PostMickthemiller, on 08 October 2017 - 12:19 PM, said:

I've not heard this song in over 45 years. At that time South Yorkshire was full of coal mines. All gone now and the pit tips are now green hills with trees. I think the original song is from the Durham mining area in the North East of England. Certainly not Irish.



Songs of the end of childhood, the end of innocence and into harsh reality.
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#53 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 05:19 AM

Congrats on a great Norlin era box. As others have said there are exceptions.
I played a '75 SJ the other day (Guitar Center in Cincinnati if anyone is interested) that was quite good. It was not the best guitar I have ever played,but if it was the only one I could have I wouldn't complain. I think they had it dated wrong but it was definitely Norlin. Also cracked between pickguard and fretboard. At $2k+ I wasn't interested.
Enjoy it!
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#54 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:33 AM

View PostMickthemiller, on 08 October 2017 - 12:19 PM, said:

I've not heard this song in over 45 years. At that time South Yorkshire was full of coal mines. All gone now and the pit tips are now green hills with trees. I think the original song is from the Durham mining area in the North East of England. Certainly not Irish.

The song was written by Englishman Ewan McColl and recorded by The Dubliners with Luke Kelly on lead (should we say over 40 years ago).


Guess the mid 70's ~

View Postj45nick, on 08 October 2017 - 01:03 PM, said:

Songs of the end of childhood, the end of innocence and into harsh reality.

Yea, , , and I been wondering who's the 1. person / the teller.
Even asked different guests when playing the Chieftains-album for them here.
Answers came like, a parent, a clever uncle, a sweet aunt, the teacher, maybe the village priest.


Actually have sung it a lot. It's a fine tune and a good exercise for traditional flat-picking.
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#55 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:38 AM

Luke Kelly
Now there’s a singer !!
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#56 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:08 AM

Oddly, I just got a chance to play a 1970s J-50 the other night that a friend owns. It was not a terrible sounding guitar. I actually thought it sounded better than I had remembered. The best I can describe it though would be the guitar had a subdued sound for a Gibson.
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#57 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 12:28 PM

View PostE-minor7, on 10 October 2017 - 07:33 AM, said:


Yea, , , and I been wondering who's the 1. person / the teller.
Even asked different guests when playing the Chieftains-album for them here.
Answers came like, a parent, a clever uncle, a sweet aunt, the teacher, maybe the village priest.




Maybe none of those, maybe all of those. Maybe just the voice in his head, based on everything he's seen in life to this point. His mates finish school (however far that meant), and head off to the pits, like their father and grandfathers did.

In mining villages, there was frequently no other life to pursue. We saw the same in coal-mining parts of West Virginia and Kentucky in this country, up until modern times. Some folks still see that as the only option for them, but it's a dying way to make a living, in more ways than one.

You used to see the same things on farms here, especially in the rural South. There was only one life path for you.

My father was the first and only one of his siblings to break away and go to college, probably to the disappointment of his father, since he was the only son out of many children. His sisters mostly married farmers, and carried it on.

And the beat goes on...
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#58 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:19 PM

View Postj45nick, on 10 October 2017 - 12:28 PM, said:

Maybe none of those, maybe all of those. Maybe just the voice in his head, based on everything he's seen in life to this point. His mates finish school (however far that meant), and head off to the pits, ,

A good take - and frankly no one came up with that, , , perhaps because of the several names. He could of course reflect for his buddies also.
We have to notice the gentle tone and the absence of reluctance, skepticism and rebellion.
This makes me think it is an authority, but obviously of the nice kind.
It's not the hard school-master or some officer-father-type giving orders.
We hear someone who has a softer line to the lads, which offers the tune a certain intimacy and in the same move breaks the cliche.
Thus the song shouldn't be bassooned out, but delivered with care. Though slightly melancholic the guy singing with Chieftains gets and nails that splendidly.

View Postj45nick, on 10 October 2017 - 12:28 PM, said:

And the beat goes on...

In many ways it does.
But then some people invented the concept 'social mobility' - which topped in the 70/80's, , ,
where some in my eyesight even moved the opposite way in solidarity with the so called working class.
I communicate with a couple of those guys to this day - they're doin' fine.
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#59 User is offline   TellyzGuitars 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 06:11 PM

The Dubliners...

Really nice tune and beautifully done. I couldn't imagine anyone not liking that! [thumbup]
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#60 User is offline   scriv58 

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:43 AM

did i miss the soundclip of this j50 deluxe?
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