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2004 or 1991 Epiphone Texan? Anyone have any idea what I'm getting?

#21 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 11:52 PM

Congrats on at last getting the guitar! Here’s to you making great music and pick n’ grinnin’ with it!

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#22 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 03:51 AM

Glad it arrived safe & sound. Regarding the solid back & sides, another way to check for solid sides is to pull the endpin & look at the exposed edge of the wood.

Congrats & enjoy !!!
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean
'00 J-100 Xtra / '02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '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 / '15 J-50 CS
> Epiphones: '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton / '05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada)
'09 Elitist 1965 Casino / > Ibanez: '81 M-340 / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire / '14 Savoy A-150b
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood Dreadnought
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#23 User is offline   Campbell 

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:58 PM

As promised, I took a few pix of the Texan this weekend. I focused on the neck to body area and a bit more detail of the figured maple back and sides, since we already have seen the full front and back thanks to the pix from the CME site.

I did reach out to another collector of old and rare guitars for any advice or if he had seen any like this before. He sent me the same link I already have to that guy form several years ago on YouTube who was selling one (previously posted link to that here in this thread). Then he gave me advice, much like many of you have with regards to the "USED/2ND" stamp on head stocks. He did go on to tell me that it couldn't be solid back and sides because they only made a few select series with solid back and sides. He then offered a picture of an older guitar he had with solid back/sides and suggested that all made with solid woods would have these particular braces in them every so many inches. Mine didn't. Funny though, neither does my Gibson J15, which we all know IS solid back/sides. So much for that theory. He meant well, though. So I tried "bobouz's" advice about the end pin. Voila! Solid wood! Whaddya know!?! The argument that only certain models where made with the solid back/sides seems to be a bit moot when it comes to this particular guitar, when you think about it. After all, they never technically made any production models out of maple, either. So, using that logic, this one doesn't exist.

All this just adds an even bigger mystery to this guitar. It seems, at some point, Epiphone thought of making a Texan with maple back and sides. I'm guessing it would have cost a pretty penny since it has the solid back and sides and the maple is a lovely figured maple, at that. I can only imagine that there were more than just the two made (mine and the YouTube guy...or whomever he sold it to), but maybe not. This guitar is beautiful. She feels great, she's solid with a great weight, sounds great, is really well made. Aside from matching a sunburst mahogany neck on a natural body, everything about the build is flawless. Having never played a traditional mahogany bodied Texan, I can not properly compare it to this one for the sound quality/texture. I would guess, this having the maple, that she has a brighter tone. It is brighter than my J15, but the J15 has a much richer overall tone. Perhaps the tonal quality was thought too radically different from a traditional and that is why Epiphone decided not to mass produce more like this? At this point, I'm done playing Columbo and will just stick to playing guitars. Enjoy the pix, kids and have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwazy Kwanzaa and a Joyous Festivus!

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image
That's my cat, JoJo.
He thinks it's cool but,
preferred the packing paper it came in more.



One brief note: On one of my previous post: I inadvertently referred to the maple as "birds eye" rather than "figured". I was tired and a bit excited at the time of it's publishing. The guy in the YouTube vid wrongly calls it birds eye, too. I know some folks are sticklers for those type of things.

This post has been edited by Campbell: 16 December 2017 - 03:01 PM

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#24 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 04:04 PM

Your Texan is quite the odd duck!

Just noticed that there's no adjustable truss rod access at the peghead. I would assume it has one, with access through the soundhole.

To my knowledge, this is unlike what any of Epiphone's typical Korean suppliers were building in the '90s. Every Epiphone I've come across from the Samick, Peerless, Saien, and Unsong Korean-made factories have a truss rod cavity with access at the peghead.

So once again, this guitar does not neatly plug into the most common categories for that era. Regardless of all that, it looks like a very nice find, and one that will provide some interesting tonal variations.
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean
'00 J-100 Xtra / '02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '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 / '15 J-50 CS
> Epiphones: '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton / '05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada)
'09 Elitist 1965 Casino / > Ibanez: '81 M-340 / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire / '14 Savoy A-150b
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood Dreadnought
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#25 User is offline   Campbell 

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 04:22 PM

View Postbobouz, on 16 December 2017 - 04:04 PM, said:

Your Texan is quite the odd duck!

Just noticed that there's no adjustable truss rod access at the peghead. I would assume it has one, with access through the soundhole.

To my knowledge, this is unlike what any of Epiphone's typical Korean suppliers were building in the '90s. Every Epiphone I've come across from the Samick, Peerless, Saien, and Unsong Korean-made factories have a truss rod cavity with access at the peghead.

So once again, this guitar does not neatly plug into the most common categories for that era. Regardless of all that, it looks like a very nice find, and one that will provide some interesting tonal variations.

I had not noticed that either, until you mentioned it. Yes, it's in the sound hole. It is a Korean build but, I've yet to try peeling off the white "new" serial number sticker from the blue label on the inside to see what the other serial number is which may help to identify the year built.

Thanks for giving me yet another odd dimension to this unique guitar [crying].
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#26 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:09 AM

"[Guitars] made with solid woods would have these particular braces in them every so many inches."

The presence or lack of reinforcing braces or cloth strips on the sides of acoustic guitars is no sure indication of whether the sides are solid or not. Gibson hasn't used them on their solid-sided guitars in decades, for instance. Maybe a half-century or more. On the other hand, Epiphone uses them on their solid-sided modern day Masterbilts. They are present on my Elitist J-200 (not 100% positive on whether this has solid or laminated sides), but not on my Elitist Texan (solid sides) or Elitist McCartney Texan (solid sides). Since the Texans strive to be accurate repros of sixties-era Gibsons (the McCartney in particular, the regular Elitist is a looser interpretation), that just makes sense, as Gibson did not use them then.

I would think it would be more likely that a guitar with reinforcing side braces has solid sides (to prevent cracks), but solid-sided guitars have long been commonly built without them.

Red 333

This post has been edited by Red 333: 18 December 2017 - 10:23 AM

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#27 User is offline   Gralst 

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 02:36 AM

OK...I don't know what questions have been answered and which haven't and most of the information is all over the place with little definitive information and a whole lot of speculation and wishful thinking. To begin with I own this same model "Texan" albeit with a sunburst finish (on the neck as well...they all are this way). I bought mine in 2003 for $150 on a scratch and dent deal from "Music 123" The first quality examples were selling for ~$250 in 2003. The guitar in question is not a first quality example. The white paper overlay on the interior label indicates that it was sold to a third party that refurbished what ever issue it originally had and was then resold by the third party. The purpose of the white paper overlay is to deface the serial number so warranty claims can't be made against Epiphone.

Back to the guitar. Between 1996 and 1999 Epiphone sold a Korean-(Peerless) made guitar that vaguely resembled an Epiphone Texan (As I have come to know one) and funnily enough they named it "The Texan". 1. "AJ" shaped fully laminated body-Laminated flame maple back and sides, Laminated Spruce top. 2. Three piece mahogany neck, 25 1/2" scale, rosewood fretboard with trapezoid markers and rosewood bridge. 3 3+3 Schaller M6 knock off machine heads.

I think the original list price on them c.1997 was around $399 and as I said, they streeted first quality around $250. Mine, as I also said was bought as a damaged guitar (Something put a nice ding in the headstock) for $150. My serial number is R98F 027 indicating a guitar made by-"R" (Peerless) in "98" (1998) "F" (June) and it was the "027" (27th) guitar made that month.Not that it really matters but if you wanted you might be able to peel back the white tape that's concealing the original serial number on the interior label and see when yours was made. It's very easy to decode. The first character will be an R (I've never seen one of these Texans that wasn't made by Peerless) the next two numerals will be the year (and they were only made in '96, '97, '98 and '99 so that will be easy enough. The next alpha character will be the most confusing but not that much. A= January B= February C= March D= April and so on but skip the letter I for September and make J= September K=October...The "I" too closely resembles a "1" so they changed up the format a little.

As has been previously discussed, a "used" stamp indicates there was an issue with the guitar that could be anything from a neck twist to a bubble in the finish. Whatever it was Epiphone didn't want to deal with it and they sold your guitar (along with a LOT of other guitars) to a refurb company who buys them and makes the repairs and then re-sells on auction and Internet sites. Often when a guitar is stamped "used" it could have been used at a product demonstration or music convention and has maybe slight use at most on it. You can get good deals buying seconds but you do have to be careful. Though not 100% every time, "Used" usually means a repairable structural/mechanical defect, "2nd" or "Blem" is a cosmetic deficiency and "Reject" just stay away from.

Now, about the selections of wood species used on your guitar. The Epiphone Texan started out about 1942 as the Epiphone FT-79 which was a walnut-bodied J-185-sized (16" lower bout)and shaped guitar that evolved into an AJ (Advanced Jumbo) sized and shaped, maple-bodied instrument about 1954 until 1956. The first "Texans" came about after Gibson bought Epiphone in 1957 and Gibson was consolidating its product line. Gibson wanted a long scaled (25.5") compliment to its J-45 and J-50 and the Epiphone FT-79 Texan was born. The previous run ('54-'56) made by the Philadelphia incarnation of Epiphone had maple bodies and mahogany necks and this was continued on the Gibson version. The sloped shouldered Texan lasted until 1970 and with exception of some really vague interpretations and the use of the "Texan" name on some really non-related models in the 70s (Ft-145) there wasn't a very accurate replication of an FT-79 Texan until 2004 or so and the McCartney "No More Land Mines" Texan.

So, I think I've answered every question you had in your original post if there's anything else post and if I can I'll try to answer you. As far as the use of a mahogany neck on a maple body One of my all-time favorite Gibsons J-185s come that way. One of my current 12 strings, a Tacoma JF-1912 is a maple bodied/mahogany necked guitar with very vivid flame on the body and nicely figured mahogany for the neck. Enjoy your guitar and while I don't get here very often I have peeked in here and I've noticed there are some really knowledgeable members from way back still here who can answer about anything question you can come up with. Good luck.
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#28 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 08:48 AM

View PostGralst, on 16 February 2018 - 02:36 AM, said:

The previous run ('54-'56) made by the Philadelphia incarnation of Epiphone had maple bodies and mahogany necks and this was continued on the Gibson version.


Let me expand on what I think you are saying here, which is that Gibson-made Epiphone FT-79 Texans at first used the necks of the maple bodied FT-79 model made by the Philadelphia-based Epiphone Company.

The FT-79's early history is this, in a nutshell: The FT-79 was introduced in 1942 as a traditional Martin-esque square shoulder, wide waist design with a walnut body. By 1949, the body shape changed to a more Martin OM shape, with square shoulders and a narrow waist and maple body. To my knowledge, it was never shaped like a J-185, which has round shoulders and a lower bought much wider than the shoulders, like a headless snowman (though the J-185 does have a very narrow waist so I can see why you might make that comparison to post-1949 FT-79s). The FT-79 became a round-shoulder dreadnaught after Gibson first began manufacturing the Texan in 1958 or so, after buying the assets of the bankrupt Philadephia-based Epiphone Company the year before.

Gibson (then in Kalamazoo, MI) mated leftover three-piece mahogany/maple laminated necks from the Philadelphia-based Epiphone Company's production of the FT-79 to the traditional slope shouldered mahogany body of the J-45/J-50 and called this new model the FT-79 Texan. This is the first time the FT-79 was called "Texan." Once the three-piece were used up, Gibson used an all-mahogany neck and changed the headstock shape from the Philly-based Epiphone Company's Gibsonesque open book shape (sometimes also called the dove's wing )to the now-familiar elongated paddle shape. As you pointed out, this was a long-scale neck, in contrast to the Gibson's typical short-scale.

Really, aside from the early use of the left-over necks to the continued use of the single parallelogram inlay and large pickguard, the original Epiphone Company FT-79 and the Gibson Company's Epiphone FT-79 Texan have little common.

Red 333

This post has been edited by Red 333: 16 February 2018 - 03:18 PM

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#29 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 03:19 AM

View PostGralst, on 16 February 2018 - 02:36 AM, said:

The previous run ('54-'56) made by the Philadelphia incarnation of Epiphone had maple bodies and mahogany necks and this was continued on the Gibson version.

Just want to make sure we're all clear on this point. As Red touches on above, Kalamazoo produced Texans were speced with mahogany back & sides, not maple.

Also, just to expand a bit, the McCartney fundraiser was called Adopt-A-Minefield, and the Texans produced for the fundraiser were made in both Montana and Japan (by Terada). These were released in 2005, but a few examples were manufactured in late 2004.
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean
'00 J-100 Xtra / '02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '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 / '15 J-50 CS
> Epiphones: '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton / '05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada)
'09 Elitist 1965 Casino / > Ibanez: '81 M-340 / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire / '14 Savoy A-150b
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood Dreadnought
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#30 User is offline   Gralst 

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 02:43 AM

View PostRed 333, on 16 February 2018 - 08:48 AM, said:

Let me expand on what I think you are saying here, which is that Gibson-made Epiphone FT-79 Texans at first used the necks of the maple bodied FT-79 model made by the Philadelphia-based Epiphone Company.

The FT-79's early history is this, in a nutshell: The FT-79 was introduced in 1942 as a traditional Martin-esque square shoulder, wide waist design with a walnut body. By 1949, the body shape changed to a more Martin OM shape, with square shoulders and a narrow waist and maple body. To my knowledge, it was never shaped like a J-185, which has round shoulders and a lower bought much wider than the shoulders, like a headless snowman (though the J-185 does have a very narrow waist so I can see why you might make that comparison to post-1949 FT-79s). The FT-79 became a round-shoulder dreadnaught after Gibson first began manufacturing the Texan in 1958 or so, after buying the assets of the bankrupt Philadephia-based Epiphone Company the year before.

Gibson (then in Kalamazoo, MI) mated leftover three-piece mahogany/maple laminated necks from the Philadelphia-based Epiphone Company's production of the FT-79 to the traditional slope shouldered mahogany body of the J-45/J-50 and called this new model the FT-79 Texan. This is the first time the FT-79 was called "Texan." Once the three-piece were used up, Gibson used an all-mahogany neck and changed the headstock shape from the Philly-based Epiphone Company's Gibsonesque open book shape (sometimes also called the dove's wing )to the now-familiar elongated paddle shape. As you pointed out, this was a long-scale neck, in contrast to the Gibson's typical short-scale.

Really, aside from the early use of the left-over necks to the continued use of the single parallelogram inlay and large pickguard, the original Epiphone Company FT-79 and the Gibson Company's Epiphone FT-79 Texan have little common.

Red 333



Red, you're absolutely correct about the first FT-79 being that dreadnought shape. I'd forgotten them. But the subsequent FT-79 (c.1948) was absolutely the general shape of a J-185 (Headless snowman lol) with a 16" lower bout (I can't get the photo posting to work since it's only been about ten years since I was last here I can't imagine why)

https://www.bing.com...x=18&ajaxhist=0

https://www.bing.com...ex=5&ajaxhist=0

The FT-79 didn't get the (mahogany) AJ body until 1958 when it also started being called a "Texan". War time was a mess for all of the guitar manufacturers and those dread FT-79s are exceedingly rare. Eppie Stathopoulo died in '43 and along with the war going on Epiphone was pretty much in a shambles and never recovered. In 1952 when Al Dronge raided the Epiphone talent pool to form Guild and Conn took over much of the distribution they moved the show to Philly things got even worse. When Orphie got Epiphone back in 1954 things didn't get any better so Orphie decided to blow off Epiphone. The rest, as they say, is history but no, due to some cranial flatulence I'd completely forgotten about those dreads.
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#31 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 03:16 AM

Gotta say, I've always considered the pre-'58 FT-79 to have more of a Martin profile than anything else. To be even more specific, it's probably a little closer to Martin's 0000 body shape, which is quite similar to the 000/OM shape, but with a 16" lower bout.

What it absolutely does not look like, imho, is a J-185.

Note that the J-185 has a very rounded lower body. The pre-'58 FT-79 flattens out a bit on the bottom.

Also note that the J-185's upper bouts are much smaller than the lower bouts, with a very narrow waist. The pre-'58 FT-79 has wider upper bouts & a wider waist by comparison (when assessing the overall profile of the instrument).

Not that any of this matters much in the grander scheme of things, but I do think being as accurate as possible is a worthwhile endeavor.

This post has been edited by bobouz: 19 February 2018 - 03:20 AM

> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean
'00 J-100 Xtra / '02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '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 / '15 J-50 CS
> Epiphones: '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton / '05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada)
'09 Elitist 1965 Casino / > Ibanez: '81 M-340 / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire / '14 Savoy A-150b
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood Dreadnought
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#32 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:37 AM

Here are two same-size examples straight on, without any angles to distort the view.

Epihone FT-79 (1942)
https://www.bing.com...x=14&ajaxhist=0

Gibson J-185
https://www.bing.com...ex=7&ajaxhist=0

Open them in seperate tabs if you can and click back and forth.

Red 333

This post has been edited by Red 333: 19 February 2018 - 11:41 AM

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#33 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:48 AM

And another:

Martin OM (This one's a 000)
https://www.bing.com...x=80&ajaxhist=0

Red 333

This post has been edited by Red 333: 19 February 2018 - 12:35 PM

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#34 User is offline   Gralst 

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:49 PM

View PostRed 333, on 19 February 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

Here are two same-size examples straight on, without any angles to distort the view.

Epihone FT-79 (1942)
https://www.bing.com...x=14&ajaxhist=0

Gibson J-185
https://www.bing.com...ex=7&ajaxhist=0

Open them in seperate tabs if you can and click back and forth.

Red 333

I spent over an hour last night trying to get two photos to post without success. The two guitars you posted are the two examples I was trying to post. I'm not interested enough in this topic to continue but I'll leave by asking: What is the body width of the 1940s grand auditorium FT-79....and the body width of the J-185? ...and the body depth of the same two guitars? and now what is the lower bout width of a Martin OM or a Martin 000?...and the Martin's body depth? OK...now which dimensions are more similar? Have a good one, guys.

This post has been edited by Gralst: 19 February 2018 - 11:24 PM

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#35 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:06 AM

Gralst - As I mentioned above, Martin's 0000 size has a 16" lower bout, and gets very close to both the shape and size of the pre-'58 FT-79.

The J-185 does indeed have the 16" width, but otherwise follows the very figure-8ish jumbo shape of the J-200.

If you get a chance, check out Martin's 0000 size. They're rather rare compared to the smaller sizes, but very cool. The shape is virtually identical to Martin's J size (same 16" lower bout), but the Js are 4-7/8" deep, while the 0000 is 4-1/8" deep.

This post has been edited by bobouz: 20 February 2018 - 03:11 AM

> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean
'00 J-100 Xtra / '02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '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 / '15 J-50 CS
> Epiphones: '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton / '05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada)
'09 Elitist 1965 Casino / > Ibanez: '81 M-340 / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire / '14 Savoy A-150b
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood Dreadnought
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#36 User is offline   Gralst 

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 04:15 AM

View Postbobouz, on 20 February 2018 - 03:06 AM, said:

Gralst - As I mentioned above, Martin's 0000 size has a 16" lower bout, and gets very close to both the shape and size of the pre-'58 FT-79.

The J-185 does indeed have the 16" width, but otherwise follows the very figure-8ish jumbo shape of the J-200.

If you get a chance, check out Martin's 0000 size. They're rather rare compared to the smaller sizes, but very cool. The shape is virtually identical to Martin's J size (same 16" lower bout), but the Js are 4-7/8" deep, while the 0000 is 4-1/8" deep.

[attachment=23720:62262_exhibit.jpg]

That doesn't look like a J-185? You are aware that an additional fret was added in 1955 which makes the post 1955 J-185s more square at the top. Going back to the beginning I told Red that he was correct and that I had forgotten about the two or three years of dread-shaped FT-79s (1942-1944) and that they more resembled J-185s after the dreads...and the FT-79 changed in 1948/1949 again in 1952 and again in 1954 and again in 1958 when they became long-scaled J-45s and J-50s. Now, if you don't see the resemblance as I have again stated then there's nothing I can do about you...please compare it with 1952-1954 J-185...and of course I'm aware of Martin "J" sizes. I ended up buying my Tacoma JF-1912 (Exact specs as an early version J-185 with a better neck profile and scalloped advanced X bracing for maximum punch) instead of the Martin because as much as I adore, love and worship Martins I got two guitars for less than the cost of one.
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#37 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 02:02 PM

Craist, I think you and I may be talking about different things. I am referring to the SHAPE of the FT-79, while you seem to be referring more to SIZE. Shape and size are different. A golf ball and a softball are the same shape but are different sizes. The same can be said for the Gibson J-185 and J-200. They are very similar in shape but different in size.

With this in mind, no, I don't think the FT-79 is the same SHAPE as the Gibson J-185. I contend the FT-79 is more similar in shape (or outline, or silhouette if that suits better) to the Martin OM. The various OM models, of course, differ by the width of their lower bout.

I made three pictures to try and clarify my point.

In this picture, I have made the three guitar SHAPES we have been discussing the same relative SIZE.

Posted Image



In this one, I put the maroon FT-79 behind the green Martin OM. The FT-79 creates an almost perfect outline (though the shoulders of the Martin are plainly straighter).

Posted Image



In this one, I put the maroon FT-79 behind the blue Gibson J-185. Both guitars have round shoulders, though the J-185's shoulders are a little less round. You can see the waist of the J-185 is narrower, and the lower bout is significantly rounder. The FT-79's lower bought is markedly more teardrop shaped compared to the more circular J-185.

Posted Image

Look too, at the white space between the guitars on the first picture. The space betwwen the Martin OM and the FT-79 is close to symmetrical, as the two body shapes are very close in shape. The space between the Martin OM and the Gibson J-185 is very different since their bodies are shaped much differently from one another.

Respectfully,

Red 333

This post has been edited by Red 333: 20 February 2018 - 09:12 PM

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#38 User is offline   Gralst 

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 11:03 PM

View PostRed 333, on 20 February 2018 - 02:02 PM, said:

Craist, I think you and I may be talking about different things. I am referring to the SHAPE of the FT-79, while you seem to be referring more to SIZE. Shape and size are different. A golf ball and a softball are the same shape but are different sizes. The same can be said for the Gibson J-185 and J-200. They are very similar in shape but different in size.

With this in mind, no, I don't think the FT-79 is the same SHAPE as the Gibson J-185. I contend the FT-79 is more similar in shape (or outline, or silhouette if that suits better) to the Martin OM. The various OM models, of course, differ by the width of their lower bout.

I made three pictures to try and clarify my point.

In this picture, I have made the three guitar SHAPES we have been discussing the same relative SIZE.

Posted Image



In this one, I put the maroon FT-79 behind the green Martin OM. The FT-79 creates an almost perfect outline (though the shoulders of the Martin are plainly straighter).

Posted Image



In this one, I put the maroon FT-79 behind the blue Gibson J-185. Both guitars have round shoulders, though the J-185's shoulders are a little less round. You can see the waist of the J-185 is narrower, and the lower bout is significantly rounder. The FT-79's lower bought is markedly more teardrop shaped compared to the more circular J-185.

Posted Image

Look too, at the white space between the guitars on the first picture. The space betwwen the Martin OM and the FT-79 is close to symmetrical, as the two body shapes are very close in shape. The space between the Martin OM and the Gibson J-185 is very different since their bodies are shaped much differently from one another.

Respectfully,

Red 333


Red, What is the bottom bout width (size) of the post 1944 FT-79? What is the bout width of a J-185? and what is the lower bout width of an OM/000? Now we can split hairs here but for a generalization I think it's reasonable to call the FT-79 and J-185 "Grand Auditorium-sized" guitars as they each have bodies that are ~16" X ~20"X ~5"or of "Grand Auditorium" size (The J-185 started with a 5 1/4" and in 1955 went to a 4 15/16"-I haven't found the body depth of the mid-40s FT-79 but I was told by someone I believe it was ~4 3/4") . The OM/000 is CONSIDERABLY smaller with a ~15" lower bout 19 3/8" body length and 4 1/8" body depth..in other words, if you were in a complete dark room you couldn't as easily distinguish the J-185 from the FT=79 but the OM would be a no brainer so an analogy of a golf ball and a softball doesn't work unless you're talking about distinguishing the FT-79 from the OM. As I stated, the J-185 changed body shape slightly when they added a fret in 1955 an made the body shallower. If this doesn't work for you there's nothing more I can say about it. If you can't see the differences in size and don't think the FT-79 and J-185 are more alike than an OM and the FT-79 then we're just going to have to disagree. What would be more interesting is if your photo comparison was to actual scale. As it is all three guitars look alike. and if you think the minuscule difference shown with the FT-79 behind the J-185 proves anything you're mistaken...it does prove that the FT-79 is LARGER than the OM and since the J-185 and FT-79 are every bit as close as your out of scale OM over the FT-79 I'd have to say this is a draw.

This post has been edited by Gralst: 20 February 2018 - 11:18 PM

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#39 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 03:49 AM

If it's a comparison of shape, imho the outlines clearly demonstrate that the FT-79 more closely mirrors the Martin 0 family outline.

If it's a comparison of overall dimensions, just bump the OM/000 size up to the 0000/J size.

Gibson's jumbo shape is the odd man out. The family line of the J-165, J-185, and J-200 sizes are all comprised of the totally rounded bottom end.

Tonight I happen to have out my J-185 and 1974 Guild F-40. If there's a body out there that looks a lot like the J-185, it's the Guild F-40 from the '70s (later versions changed in shape). But even with these two, the Guild flattens out just a bit at the bottom, while the J-185 completely retains it's curve throughout the lower half of the body. It's a pretty subtle difference until you get the two guitars side by side, but it then becomes very obvious when they're sitting next to each other. The upper bodies are slightly different & the J-185's waist is just a tad bit narrower, but once again, the roundness of the J-185's lower body is in a class by itself.

I will add that the Gibson J-185 and Guild F-40 ('70s version) are my two all-time favorites in shape and overall size for playing (with the J-185's short scale giving it a very slight nod over the F-40's longer scale).
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean
'00 J-100 Xtra / '02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '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 / '15 J-50 CS
> Epiphones: '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton / '05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada)
'09 Elitist 1965 Casino / > Ibanez: '81 M-340 / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire / '14 Savoy A-150b
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood Dreadnought
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#40 User is offline   Gralst 

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 12:34 AM

View Postbobouz, on 21 February 2018 - 03:49 AM, said:

If it's a comparison of shape, imho the outlines clearly demonstrate that the FT-79 more closely mirrors the Martin 0 family outline.

If it's a comparison of overall dimensions, just bump the OM/000 size up to the 0000/J size.

Gibson's jumbo shape is the odd man out. The family line of the J-165, J-185, and J-200 sizes are all comprised of the totally rounded bottom end.

Tonight I happen to have out my J-185 and 1974 Guild F-40. If there's a body out there that looks a lot like the J-185, it's the Guild F-40 from the '70s (later versions changed in shape). But even with these two, the Guild flattens out just a bit at the bottom, while the J-185 completely retains it's curve throughout the lower half of the body. It's a pretty subtle difference until you get the two guitars side by side, but it then becomes very obvious when they're sitting next to each other. The upper bodies are slightly different & the J-185's waist is just a tad bit narrower, but once again, the roundness of the J-185's lower body is in a class by itself.

I will add that the Gibson J-185 and Guild F-40 ('70s version) are my two all-time favorites in shape and overall size for playing (with the J-185's short scale giving it a very slight nod over the F-40's longer scale).




Yeah, if you say so.

This post has been edited by Gralst: 22 February 2018 - 02:09 AM

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