Gibson Guitar Board: Franken 45 - Need More Advice, Please - Gibson Guitar Board

Jump to content

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Franken 45 - Need More Advice, Please

#1 User is offline   thegreatgumbino 

  • Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 25-June 16

Posted 10 November 2017 - 01:46 PM

Played an old J45 that had a replaced top today. The shop owner said someone brought it in 30 years ago after someone had sat on the top and destroyed it. He said it wasn't repairable at the time, so the owner donated it to the shop for parts. 15 years ago the shop owner decided to repair it with a new Martin soundboard and it's sat in a back room since. I have no idea what the bracing is. They put it on the floor recently to try and sell it. Sounded really good! He's thinking $1,000 for it, but said he needs to have his techs run through it and make sure it's up to snuff first. There was a crack in the back of the headstock that they said they can repair. Another crack in the soundboard near the end pin. I have no idea what year it is. Couldn't find a FON. What would you think is a fair price for this? Not sure I'm interested, but it did sound darn good.

Posted Image

Posted Image
0

#2 User is online   jedzep 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2217
  • Joined: 04-March 10
  • LocationCrankytown, NY

Posted 10 November 2017 - 01:54 PM

Unless the tech came up with a list of other problems I'd throw a grand at that any ol' time. I would have wished they left the big pick guard off.

Can't read the 3rd digit, but 50's era guard, which I assume they kept period correct. I wonder if they kept the orig bridge?
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
0

#3 User is offline   bobouz 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2878
  • Joined: 10-August 10

Posted 10 November 2017 - 02:13 PM

Personally, I think the light burst & pickguard look really nice.
> 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
0

#4 User is offline   zombywoof 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 6832
  • Joined: 24-January 08

Posted 10 November 2017 - 02:35 PM

View Postjedzep, on 10 November 2017 - 01:54 PM, said:

Unless the tech came up with a list of other problems I'd throw a grand at that any ol' time. I would have wished they left the big pick guard off.

Can't read the 3rd digit, but 50's era guard, which I assume they kept period correct. I wonder if they kept the orig bridge?


That large pointy pickguard was used from 1955 up to the end of the 1960s. The serial number would date the guitar as a 1962. The single line Kluson tuners date from before 1964 so are what I would expect to find.
__________________________________________________


"I play so rough - I stomp 'em"
Bukka White
0

#5 User is online   jedzep 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2217
  • Joined: 04-March 10
  • LocationCrankytown, NY

Posted 10 November 2017 - 02:41 PM

So maybe it had an adj bridge set up?
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
0

#6 User is offline   zombywoof 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 6832
  • Joined: 24-January 08

Posted 10 November 2017 - 02:58 PM

I want to say up to about 2010 Martin would sell you a top or just about any part you needed.

I do not really have a clue as to value. A lot would depend on the "crack" in the headstock. While these be fixed and never give you any worries or problems, there is usually a pretty good discount for any guitar with a repaired headstock alone never mind a replaced top. Assuming the guitar was built in the early 1960s, a $1K asking price is somewhere around 75% off what I see them going for in all good all-original condition. So my opinion would be the price seems very reasonable assuming the headstock is not an issue and you like the guitar.
__________________________________________________


"I play so rough - I stomp 'em"
Bukka White
0

#7 User is offline   62burst 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2165
  • Joined: 01-January 10

Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:00 PM

Nice find.… So just what Martin guitar would that be the soundboard to? Very nice go at a mid 60s Gibson burst. The swirly goo pickguard also suggests mid-60’s. The top is a little stripy for me,; suppose it could be worn with some horizontally striped bellbottoms?
0

#8 User is online   jedzep 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2217
  • Joined: 04-March 10
  • LocationCrankytown, NY

Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:04 PM

The key phrase..."Sounded really good".
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
0

#9 User is offline   Jalex 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 449
  • Joined: 21-April 13
  • LocationColumbus, Georgia

Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:07 PM

I like the pick guard and the burst. For a grand I would definitely go for it.
2012 Gibson J-50
1963 Gibson Hummingbird
2011 GIbson J-185 New Vintage
2014 Taylor 512ce 12-fret
2017 Taylor 150e 12 String
Martin DX1
0

#10 User is offline   j45nick 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 9903
  • Joined: 05-February 11
  • LocationSouth Florida

Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:12 PM

By that serial number, as zombie says, it's a 1962.

If they can do a good job of fixing the headstock crack as part of the deal, and if everything else is good (fret and fretboard wear, bracing, neck angle and saddle height), and if you like the way it plays and sounds, $1000 would probably be a really good value.

It will always be a player rather than a collectible, but so what? I even like the 'burst, which is pretty similar to a faded cherryburst from the mid/late 1960's.

Nut width in 1962 should be 1 11/16". The neck may have a fairly skinny profile, but if it feels good in your hands, that's what counts.
0

#11 User is offline   E-minor7 

  • Winger
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 7584
  • Joined: 09-June 10

Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:24 PM

Yeah, it is a bit odd, but it looks quite good and if the sound'n'feel are there, why not try it.

Regarding the bracing, it could be an idea to suggest the shop-guy to remove the strings and lower a small mirror and lite to checks things out.
Compare it with pics of the originals - pattern, X-position, brace-thickness etc.
It definitely will be in his interest too and maybe you could do it in a remote corner of the place.

Have fun
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
Posted Image
0

#12 User is offline   Murph 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 8393
  • Joined: 03-August 08
  • LocationIllinois

Posted 10 November 2017 - 10:02 PM

I'm in.

Do it....
0

#13 User is offline   OldCowboy 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2901
  • Joined: 06-February 16
  • LocationIndiana - Texas - sometimes Lost

Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:51 AM

All things considered, assuming any issues are taken care of prior to purchase, $1000 is a good deal. Make sure you like the sound and play the daylights out if it☺
0

#14 User is offline   thegreatgumbino 

  • Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 25-June 16

Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:24 PM

I'll have to check it out again when I go back this week. The dilemma is I've been looking for a J100/J150 (maple) and found two J100 xtra's (one maple, one bubinga) for a couple hundred dollars more. I can only swing one right now, unfortunately. I haven't been able to play the J100, yet, as they're out of town. Decisions, decisions.
0

#15 User is offline   thegreatgumbino 

  • Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 25-June 16

Posted 14 November 2017 - 03:43 PM

View Postthegreatgumbino, on 12 November 2017 - 08:24 PM, said:

I'll have to check it out again when I go back this week. The dilemma is I've been looking for a J100/J150 (maple) and found two J100 xtra's (one maple, one bubinga) for a couple hundred dollars more. I can only swing one right now, unfortunately. I haven't been able to play the J100, yet, as they're out of town. Decisions, decisions.



I haven't made it back in to check it out again, but I did speak with the shop owner. When asked about the top and bracing, he said it would have been a standard solid sitka Martin D28/D18 style top . He doesn't recall exactly which one. The bracing is unscalloped and the pattern would match whichever it style it was. He's going to run through it for issues and fix the headstock before next weekend so I can check it out again.
0

#16 User is offline   aliasphobias 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 683
  • Joined: 06-March 13

Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:58 AM

I like the look of that as well. As others have mentioned, appears early '60s w/mid '60s thicker pickguard. Starting in '61 would have the thin neck profile, argh. If its got the magic, $1k isn't bad.
G'luck, hope it works out for you!
0

#17 User is offline   thegreatgumbino 

  • Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 25-June 16

Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:12 PM

This post in the "Buying Guitars Back" thread made me realize I need some guidance/advice from those better versed in old guitars. First world problems.....

View Postzombywoof, on 16 November 2017 - 10:05 AM, said:

Bwahaha - On the lesson learned, more than 1/2 of the guitars I own do not have any neck reinforcement. But I know from experience a truss rod is not going to save you. While I will not name names, when you do not spend the time to do the dovetail right choosing rather to fill gaps with glue, no truss rod in the world is going to spare you the pain of a neck reset.


I'm planning on going into the shop to check out the Franken 45 this weekend, and I want to be prepared. When I played the guitar last week, there were a few issues with the Franken 45 that were obvious. Granted, they said their tech will run through the guitar and make sure everything is in order, but I don't want to walk out with a guitar that's going to have issues in the near future. I know it's a vintage guitar, and some are to be expected, but between the fact it sat unstrung for a minimum of 15 years, it was re-topped, and them running through to check everything I would hope it would not need anything in the foreseeable future.

1) The neck join had gaps at the connection to the body. At the time, I asked if the neck had been reset, and I don't recall them answering. They did say it just needed some glue worked into seal it. Obviously, this is the number one concern after reading the above mentioned post.

2) The first three frets had visible gaps under the fret wire. Comparing them to the other frets up the neck, it appeared to me the leg of the wire that sits in the neck was shorter on the first three frets than the others. Maybe they had to do a refret and used the wrong wire? I tried pressing on the frets to see if there was any play, but didn't visually witness any.

3) As mentioned, the headstock was cracked on the back side. It was in a V shape below the tuners and pointing toward the neck. The shop said they would work glue in to repair. I realize headstock cracks are not a deal breaker, just never seen one that looked like this.

4) I definitely need to inspect the bracing inside now that I know the Martin top already had the standard "X" non-scalloped bracing on it. I'm curious to see how they made this work since the Martin Dreadnaught is physically bigger/sized different than the J45. Surely they had to trim the bracing to make the top fit?

Anything there that screams run away? The gap at the neck join and Zombywoof's previous statement regarding this issue worry me. As previously mentioned, I've also been intrigued with the J100 xtra lately and found a maple backed one not too far away for a about the same price. It's a 2002 in what appears to be good shape, but I haven't been able to put my hands on it/play it as it's a 3 hour drive away. If they had recreated the J45 bracing on the Martin top, I think I would be more inclined to grab it. With the other issues I listed above, I'm thinking the J100 might be a safer bet. I currently own a Sheryl Crow Southern Jumbo, so the J100 would give me more diversity. FWIW, I'm a bedroom strummer/fingerpicker/wanna be singer, so no gigging needs.
0

#18 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

  • Follow your joy, grasshopper.
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2698
  • Joined: 03-March 09
  • LocationTexas!

Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:19 PM

Re-topped, suspect neck joint, wonky frets.............run away. Even at a grand it sounds like trouble.
J45 Vintage - J45 12 fret
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been. Buc, from Me & Eddie
ATLANTA: Bitter Tears An original account of Gen'l Sherman's march through Georgia in the winter of 1864
0

#19 User is offline   j45nick 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 9903
  • Joined: 05-February 11
  • LocationSouth Florida

Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:26 PM

The old J-45 may not be that good a deal with the problems you mention, but it's hard to know without seeing it. "Working some glue" into the cracked headstock--and that's what we're talking about, since your description fits that--may or may not be the correct repair.

That damage is typically from impact if the guitar is dropped or if you bang into something. If the headstock does not break clean off, one proper repair involves carefully prying the crack open enough to inject glue, followed by clamping, but it depends on a clan crack--no previous attempts at repairs--to be successful.

Fitting the Martin dread top to a J-45 could work, especially with non-scalloped braces. I don't have the differences in dimensions at hand, but if a J-45 outline fits within the dread outline, the braces can be properly shaped after cutting the top to the J-45 outline. The J-45 waist is a bit narrower than the Martin dread, and the upper bout of the J-45 is smaller. The Martin lower bout may or may not be as wide as a J-45, but we're talking pretty tiny differences as I recall.

The open neck joint and the headstock crack are the potential significant issues. As you point out, those may be replaced frets where they used a different wire. You would certainly want to check the fretboard for dead spots resulting from uneven fret height.
0

#20 User is offline   Leonard McCoy 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 241
  • Joined: 27-October 15

Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:51 PM

It's a pass. A remade top nullifies any vintage value whatsoever this guitar might have had otherwise apart from other obvious or hidden technical problem with the guitar itself.
1990 Ovation Legend L717 (A-bracing)
2009 Gibson Les Paul Standard Left-handed Ebony

Finely transcribed Cat Stevens Guitar Tabs (fan project)

"Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history
was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now."—Jol Dantzig, founder of Hamer Guitars
0

Share this topic:


  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users