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N (to me) GD - 1991 Gibson Southern Jumbo

#1 User is offline   Dash_Starkiller 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:41 PM

Hey all, so I came across this guitar on my local craigslist, for an excellent price. So I immediately jumped up, sold my '63 F25 Folksinger, and went to meet. Then suddenly finances got in the way and I wasn't able to buy. I was severely bummed. So a few months pass and I can't stop thinking about the guitar so on a whim I emailed him again and just asked if he still had it. He did. We talked and I traded him my '96 Martin D18 which was in excellent condition. Great guitar but I have come to the realization that I am a "Gibson Guy." Now it has a repaired top horn crack and a crack repair near the bottom but who cares! Adds so much more to the character. From what I understand these were made in limited runs in '91 and '92 and copy the '43 SJ. I looked up the page in my Fabulous Flattops book and it describes how they apparently tried to make faithful copies of the original SJ's. All I can say is wow. A few notes, the neck is very thick as are the frets, I love it as I once had a Yamaha L5a that had a very fat neck. It is heavier than my J45 adj however. By 7oz. Might be due to the extra cleats but I am not sure. Also the neck block is carved a way I have never seen before. It sure does thump though!

Here are some pics of the guitar along with some interior shots and a sound clip!

https://imgur.com/a/uUX8aLV

https://soundcloud.c...rkiller/sj-demo
2012 Gibson J45 "68" Ebony
1991 Gibson Southern Jumbo
1977 Ventura V 1588
Homebuilt Tele-monster
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#2 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:03 PM

Congrats - it's the W. Guthrie model, isn't it. With a little wider wings seen from here (could be wrong).
The 2 look terrific together.
You should elaborate on the sonic differences when you get to know the SJ better.
Highly fascinated by almost similar guitars which when it comes down to it are sovereign individuals.

Enjoy that privilege
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#3 User is offline   Dash_Starkiller 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:06 PM

 E-minor7, on 16 May 2018 - 09:03 PM, said:

Congrats - it's the W. Guthrie model, isn't it. With a little wider wings seen from here (could be wrong).
The 2 look terrific together.
You should elaborate on the sonic differences when you get to know the SJ better.
Highly fascinated by almost similar guitars which when it comes down to it are sovereign individuals.

Enjoy that privilege


Thank you! Right off the bat the sound is much much deeper than the 45. But I attribute that to the adj saddle. But itís nice. Two distinct sounds.
2012 Gibson J45 "68" Ebony
1991 Gibson Southern Jumbo
1977 Ventura V 1588
Homebuilt Tele-monster
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#4 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:10 PM

View PostDash_Starkiller, on 16 May 2018 - 09:06 PM, said:

Thank you! Right off the bat the sound is much much deeper than the 45. But I attribute that to the adj saddle. But it's nice. Two distinct sounds.



You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#5 User is offline   PickitPaul 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:59 PM

Looks nice, lucky you it was so close by. Not many of these were built. Yours is a copy of a '43, well mine must be a copy of the late 40's - I have a '91 also, but a bit different - although also a Mahogany back/sides, it has no banner logo but a gold block letter, label says SJ-45. I replaced the green Schaller Keystone tuners w/Waverly and installed firestripe pickguard. It is light, at around 4.2 or so lbs.

Wonder why the variation in the same year?

Sound has also very deep bass and neck is round / thicker than any current J45 or J35.
Here are some pics I took to compare

https://imgur.com/a/N7vCljQ

This post has been edited by PickitPaul: 16 May 2018 - 10:10 PM

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#6 User is offline   george wooden 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:41 PM

View PostDash_Starkiller, on 16 May 2018 - 08:41 PM, said:

Hey all, so I came across this guitar on my local craigslist, for an excellent price. So I immediately jumped up, sold my '63 F25 Folksinger, and went to meet. Then suddenly finances got in the way and I wasn't able to buy. I was severely bummed. So a few months pass and I can't stop thinking about the guitar so on a whim I emailed him again and just asked if he still had it. He did. We talked and I traded him my '96 Martin D18 which was in excellent condition. Great guitar but I have come to the realization that I am a "Gibson Guy." Now it has a repaired top horn crack and a crack repair near the bottom but who cares! Adds so much more to the character. From what I understand these were made in limited runs in '91 and '92 and copy the '43 SJ. I looked up the page in my Fabulous Flattops book and it describes how they apparently tried to make faithful copies of the original SJ's. All I can say is wow. A few notes, the neck is very thick as are the frets, I love it as I once had a Yamaha L5a that had a very fat neck. It is heavier than my J45 adj, however. By 7oz. Might be due to the extra cleats but I am not sure. Also, the neck block is carved a way I have never seen before. It sure does thump though!

Here are some pics of the guitar along with some interior shots and a sound clip!

https://imgur.com/a/uUX8aLV

https://soundcloud.c...rkiller/sj-demo


Based on the above information, and the repairs were done by a qualified luthier after properly humidifying your guitar, I think your guitar will outlive you and provide you a lifetime of joy. The photos show a guitar which has for most of its' life has been well cared for and sounds even better than it looks. Enjoy it Sir and I look forward to hearing more recordings with this wonderful new addition.
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#7 User is offline   Proclaimer888 

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:31 AM

Nice guitars!! Like the SJ w/out the fretboard binding!! Play on.. [thumbup]
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#8 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:40 AM

Congrats!

Some of my favorite modern Gibsons were built in the late 1980s and early 1980s. If yours was built in 1991, it will have that paddle neck joint (Bozeman did away with the Fullpelast finish the year before) rather than the traditional dove tail. Gibson, however, abandoned it in 1992. It did not impact sound though although some say it made repairs a pain in the butt. An interesting part of Bozeman's early history.

I do have a question for you guys with Bozeman-built guitars from this period. Guitars like that the OP owns which are said to be based on guitars from past catalogs seem to come with the single or three on a plate enclosed Kluson-type tuners rather than the three on a plate, riveted open gear tuners which is what you got with Gibsons built up to 1948. Was this simply because nobody at the time was producing a good quality repro open gear tuner?

This post has been edited by zombywoof: 17 May 2018 - 06:51 AM

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#9 User is offline   Dash_Starkiller 

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:44 AM

 zombywoof, on 17 May 2018 - 06:40 AM, said:

Congrats!

Some of my favorite modern Gibsons were built in the late 1980s and early 1980s. If yours was built in 1991, it will have that paddle neck joint (Bozeman did away with the Fullpelast finish the year before) rather than the traditional dove tail. Gibson, however, abandoned it in 1992. It did not impact sound though although some say it made repairs a pain in the butt. Not very 1943-ish but an interesting part of Bozeman's early history.

I do have a question for you guys with Bozeman-built guitars from this period. Guitars like that the OP owns which are said to be based on guitars from past catalogs seem to come with the single or three on a plate enclosed Kluson-type tuners rather than the three on a plate, riveted open gear tuners which is what you got with Gibsons built up to 1948. Was this simply because nobody at the time was producing a good quality repro open gear tuner?


Funny you say that because I was wondering the same thing. Modern true vintages and the like come with the open back tuners and they seem to be very nice. I was too young to know what was being produced back then but I think your guess is probably closest to the the truth.
2012 Gibson J45 "68" Ebony
1991 Gibson Southern Jumbo
1977 Ventura V 1588
Homebuilt Tele-monster
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#10 User is offline   Dash_Starkiller 

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:46 AM

 PickitPaul, on 16 May 2018 - 09:59 PM, said:

Looks nice, lucky you it was so close by. Not many of these were built. Yours is a copy of a '43, well mine must be a copy of the late 40's - I have a '91 also, but a bit different - although also a Mahogany back/sides, it has no banner logo but a gold block letter, label says SJ-45. I replaced the green Schaller Keystone tuners w/Waverly and installed firestripe pickguard. It is light, at around 4.2 or so lbs.

Wonder why the variation in the same year?

Sound has also very deep bass and neck is round / thicker than any current J45 or J35.
Here are some pics I took to compare

https://imgur.com/a/N7vCljQ


Oh that is a nice looking example. I love the case. When I have a J45 TV it came with the tan/pink case. For sure my favorite.
2012 Gibson J45 "68" Ebony
1991 Gibson Southern Jumbo
1977 Ventura V 1588
Homebuilt Tele-monster
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#11 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:42 AM

I think part of the confusion here is the belief that Gibson was actually faithful to the originals they were based on. Many are more, to borrow an Epi designation, "inspired by" combining features from guitars from past catalogs with a few modern twists thrown in. Why though Gibson cannot properly angle a Banner logo though remains one of the great mysteries of life. They even got it wrong with that 2013 run of guitars copied from originals loaned to them by JT. Not a biggie but just annoying.
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#12 User is offline   Hall 

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:49 AM

Well Done!
"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound." w.s.
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