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'63 J-45 clean!

#1 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 10:29 AM

Here's a beauty........cherry burst J-45 ADJ from 1963 in near-new condition. I don't follow vintage guitar pricing so I can't speak to that issue, but it sure is a pretty one!

1963 J-45 ADJ
J35 - J45 Vintage
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#2 User is offline   ThemisSal 

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 12:11 PM

I agree Buc - Yowsa....

So many guitars - so little time...
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#3 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 01:41 PM

View PostBuc McMaster, on 05 January 2019 - 10:29 AM, said:

Here's a beauty........cherry burst J-45 ADJ from 1963 in near-new condition. I don't follow vintage guitar pricing so I can't speak to that issue, but it sure is a pretty one!

A beauty, all right. A check of about 20 J-45 ADJs on reverb suggest this one is priced on the high end.

  • 2018 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string rosewood burst
  • 2011 Guild F50R burst
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#4 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 02:52 PM

Crazy condition. Getting interested in an ADJ, Buc? [biggrin]. The case, chord book, and Mel Bay books ($1.25/ea) in mint condish complete the time capsule appeal.

Funny how the Iced Tea fade didn't happen on this one. 'Won't soon forget the guitar that same seller Rockin' Robin had that vw1300 had linked to a few years back- listed as a 1930's J-35 with factory-looking re-top and re-spray (also a red '60's burst). . . one piece hog back, tapered headstock, but possibly no taper to the body. . . (hmm... refurb'ed Trojan??)

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#5 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 02:57 PM

Fine condition and hopefully sounds as good as it looks. If it's 2/3 as good a player as my '62 J-50 (which ain't near as pretty) it just might be a good'n. The price is pretty optimistic on the seller end, but how long it stays around will tell a lot about that.
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#6 User is offline   vw1300 

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 06:33 PM

View Post62burst, on 05 January 2019 - 02:52 PM, said:

Crazy condition. Getting interested in an ADJ, Buc? [biggrin]. The case, chord book, and Mel Bay books ($1.25/ea) in mint condish complete the time capsule appeal.

Funny how the Iced Tea fade didn't happen on this one. 'Won't soon forget the guitar that same seller Rockin' Robin had that vw1300 had linked to a few years back- listed as a 1930's J-35 with factory-looking re-top and re-spray (also a red '60's burst). . . one piece hog back, tapered headstock, but possibly no taper to the body. . . (hmm... refurb'ed Trojan??)



LOL, the one I linked wasn't a cherry burst but a '70s style burst respray. I wasn't convinced the neck and body were originally part of the same guitar either, since the neck was painted black. But they were asking $1600 and I still wonder if I should have bought it - super punchy and memorable. Would have been a good candidate for a refinish job.
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#7 User is offline   Leonard McCoy 

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 06:56 PM

Fishy.

This post has been edited by Leonard McCoy: 05 January 2019 - 07:19 PM

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#8 User is online   j45nick 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:21 AM

View PostCougar, on 05 January 2019 - 01:41 PM, said:

A beauty, all right. A check of about 20 J-45 ADJs on reverb suggest this one is priced on the high end.



Price is driven by condition in this case. It is stunningly clean.
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#9 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:27 AM

View PostLeonard McCoy, on 05 January 2019 - 06:56 PM, said:

Fishy.



Donít just say fishy Leonard !
Tell us what you see 😩
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#10 User is offline   Boyd 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:30 AM

Looks too perfect for a 1963 guitar, but of course it's hard to tell without seeing it in person.
1965 Gibson J-50 ADJ
1974 GIbson J-50 Deluxe
2008 Gibson J-50 Modern Classic
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#11 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:51 AM

View Postvw1300, on 05 January 2019 - 06:33 PM, said:

LOL, the one I linked wasn't a cherry burst but a '70s style burst respray. I wasn't convinced the neck and body were originally part of the same guitar either, since the neck was painted black. But they were asking $1600 and I still wonder if I should have bought it - super punchy and memorable. Would have been a good candidate for a refinish job.


ah, correct, you are, sir- 'guess they all just fade into one big burst after a while. Glad you actually got to play it. Photobucket might be holding my photos ransom, but I managed to find this in the busy box:

Posted Image

sorry for the detour; now back to your regularly scheduled Cherryburst.

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#12 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:54 AM

View PostBoyd, on 06 January 2019 - 08:30 AM, said:

Looks too perfect for a 1963 guitar, but of course it's hard to tell without seeing it in person.


The incredible condition of the case, and the chord books (which seem to have been stored in a vacuum), should lessen some doubt.

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#13 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:04 AM

'Chunky wide neck ' .. for 1963, I have my doubts
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#14 User is offline   Leonard McCoy 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:41 AM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 06 January 2019 - 08:27 AM, said:

Don’t just say fishy Leonard !
Tell us what you see ��

Fair enough.

To my ignorant eyes, this looks like a new ca. 2016 Custom Shop J-45 1960's reissue sold as a J-45ADJ from the actual 1960s with some chord books thrown in to further throw you off. The s/n mentioned in the text of the offer doesn't match the headstock's s/n which itself seems to be obscured to a larger degree. By the way, the s/n on the headstock matches that of a guitar from the Gibson Custom Shop. The Alligator case—according to the offer, apparently original—is another point of contention...

The condition of the guitar is not only clean, it's pristine across the board.

  • Sparkly white ceramic bridge and tuner buttons.
  • A perfectly sprayed, unaged sunburst finish.
  • Lacquer that is in perfect condition across the board and thickly applied and perfectly leveled on the front plate of the headstock.
  • A pristine pickguard tinged in bordeaux red made out fine new-age plastic and superbly rounded off.
  • A complicated, finely detailed rosette, perfectly sprayed around, that I don't think was made like that or even possible in the 1960s.

I'm sure afficionados more versed in vintage Gibsons could go on.

This post has been edited by Leonard McCoy: 06 January 2019 - 09:54 AM

2018 Gibson J-180 (Everly)
2009 Gibson Les Paul Standard Ebony
2004 Fender 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Stratocaster
2002 Gibson "Goldtone" GA-15RV
1990 Ovation Legend L717 (A-bracing)

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."óJol Dantzig, founder of Hamer Guitars
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#15 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:13 AM

Indeed, this does appear to be a nearly perfect example of a vintage J-45. I know the owner of this establishment very well and trying to pull a fast one in such a manner is not in his character......at all. I intend to make a visit and take a look at this piece and am seriously considering buying it.......the price shown is high but, being a very good friend of the family, I reckon I can wrangle a much better deal. Yes, it is a right handed guitar and I am a southpaw, but if this is as advertised it's a piece to just hold on to for the future......leave it for the heirs as a serious piece of Gibson history and, to a lesser extent, an investment. Will advise.......
J35 - J45 Vintage
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#16 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 11:12 AM

The skinny neck carve makes 1960s Gibsons a no starter for me. Baby aint got no back. While not a deal killer, I am not a big fan of the cherry bursts.
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#17 User is offline   vw1300 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 11:40 AM

View PostBuc McMaster, on 06 January 2019 - 10:13 AM, said:

Indeed, this does appear to be a nearly perfect example of a vintage J-45. I know the owner of this establishment very well and trying to pull a fast one in such a manner is not in his character......at all.


+1 on the owner's character - I've dealt with him a little bit. We eagerly await your report!
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Elllicott City, MD


2009 Fender '69 Thinline Telecaster
2006 Gibson Advanced Jumbo
2001 Gibson J-50
1960s Baldwin/Ode Style C Banjo
1940s Harmony Patrician archtop
1940 Harmony resonator guitar
1938-ish Kalamazoo KG-11
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#18 User is offline   Boyd 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:32 PM

View PostEuroAussie, on 06 January 2019 - 09:04 AM, said:

'Chunky wide neck ' .. for 1963, I have my doubts


I thought the exact same thing. My 1965 J-50 has a very skinny neck (which I like). But I know there were a lot of variations during the 60's.
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2008 Gibson J-50 Modern Classic
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#19 User is online   j45nick 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:35 PM

View PostLeonard McCoy, on 06 January 2019 - 09:41 AM, said:

Fair enough.

To my ignorant eyes, this looks like a new ca. 2016 Custom Shop J-45 1960's reissue sold as a J-45ADJ from the actual 1960s with some chord books thrown in to further throw you off. The s/n mentioned in the text of the offer doesn't match the headstock's s/n which itself seems to be obscured to a larger degree. By the way, the s/n on the headstock matches that of a guitar from the Gibson Custom Shop. The Alligator case—according to the offer, apparently original—is another point of contention...

The condition of the guitar is not only clean, it's pristine across the board.

  • Sparkly white ceramic bridge and tuner buttons.
  • A perfectly sprayed, unaged sunburst finish.
  • Lacquer that is in perfect condition across the board and thickly applied and perfectly leveled on the front plate of the headstock.
  • A pristine pickguard tinged in bordeaux red made out fine new-age plastic and superbly rounded off.
  • A complicated, finely detailed rosette, perfectly sprayed around, that I don't think was made like that or even possible in the 1960s.

I'm sure afficionados more versed in vintage Gibsons could go on.


After downloading the photos and enlarging them, I have to disagree.

1. The tuners themselves have flecks of rust on them, consistent with the purported age of the guitar. This is not relic'ing. It is the natural tendency over time of the underlying steel of the tuners to begin to corrode when the thin nickel plating starts to fail. It is minimal, but it is clearly there. Those are single-line Kluson Deluxe tuners, which they stopped using in the early 1960's. There is no fixed date when they stopped using them. It was a matter of when the stock was all used up.

The ceramic of the adjustable saddle does not change color over time, in my experience.

2. Not all cherryburst finishes faded. Some red dye lots were defective, and faded almost completely under long-term UV exposure. Others from the mid-60's look just as good now as when they were new. If you look carefully under magnification, you can see some finish flaws around the pickguard near the neck. Gibson has been "perfectly spraying" nitro lacquer for almost 100 years. This is not a modern phenomenon.

2. The pickguard looks exactly like the ones from the mid-60's, and is a bit thicker I believe than the batwings from the late 1950's. If you download and enlarge the pickguard photos, it shows a fair number of pick scratches on the pickguard in the exact pattern you would expected from light strumming.

3. There is no lacquer checking obvious anywhere, but the guitar has to be photographed properly for that to show, unless it is pretty significant. The 1968 ES 335 I sold last year has an original lacquer finish that was in similar condition. The neck on my old J-45, which was re-sprayed by Gibson when they re-shaped the neck in 1968, is completely unchecked and still in like-new condition. Much depends on the conditions in which the guitar is stored over time, but a lot of it seems random. The lacquer job on the headstock is actually pretty lousy. It has a lot of orange peel in it. If someone got a new Bozeman guitar with that quality of finish on the headstock, they'd probably scream bloody murder here.

4. The plastic parts on the guitar, such as the binding and rosette, have yellowed quite a bit, which is more obvious in some photos than others. The double rosette shown (3-py outer, 7-ply inner) is exactly the same one that is on the 1968 top on my 1950 J-45 (re-topped by Gibson in 1968), and is the one Gibson started using on the J-45 in the early 1960's, I believe. With all due respect, the masking of rosettes for spraying is an old art. That is not a modern innovation. The people who did this type of work in Kalamazoo were artists, just like their counterparts in Bozeman today. Masking tape, Frisket, and the x-acto knife have been tools of the trade since at least the 1930's.

On the inside, the "J-45 ADJ BRIDGE" stamp is typical of the period. Sometimes it just said "J-45 ADJ".

Then there's the small matter of the serial number. After downloading the photos and enlarging carefully, the serial number on the headstock is quite clearly 186793. By the dater on guitarhq.com, one of the better ones around, that serial number unambiguously dates the guitar to early 1964.

Obviously, without seeing the guitar first-hand, you can't be sure. But what I see leads me to believe that the guitar is what is it represented to be.

This post has been edited by j45nick: 06 January 2019 - 02:35 PM

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#20 User is offline   Boyd 

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:35 PM

View Post62burst, on 06 January 2019 - 08:54 AM, said:

and the chord books (which seem to have been stored in a vacuum), should lessen some doubt.


That takes a leap of faith, doesn't it? They also look too good to be true. ;)

But I have no idea, certainly could be completely legitimate. Makes no difference to me either way, that price is way too high and I already have the '65 J-50 anyway.
1965 Gibson J-50 ADJ
1974 GIbson J-50 Deluxe
2008 Gibson J-50 Modern Classic
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