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is this worth the price?

#1 User is offline   Gibson Artist 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:53 PM

I saw this used J-45 the seller claims is from 59 or 60. The bottom of the neck has a crack or break repair, and there are tons of wear signs on this guitar. I know to collectors, this git is trash, but i would want it for the tone, not the looks. I personally love beat up old Gibsons. Can anyone tell just by looking at the pictures if this might be unstable? Would you fork over 1600 for this? Im not keen on thick necks either, i rather hate them so i was hoping it was a 60 rather than 59, chunky does not feel comfortable in my hands. What do you guys think, would you consider this git or pass? https://boston.craig...6784624066.html
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#2 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:52 PM

The guitar should have the FON ink-stamped on the neck block, if it's from the late 50's or early 60's. Call the guy and get that for starters. The double neck heel break means it probably had some serious trauma, which may have impacted on the internal structure as well.

Bridge is a replacement. All its edges are too crisp, and the dots are abalone rather than mother of pearl.

As far as the neck thickness goes, it's impossible to say much based on the photo.

If what you want is a player, that same money will buy you a fairly recent used J-45 in excellent shape, rather than a beater vintage one which may or may not play as well and sound as good as a modern J-45.

At the some time, the guitar is less than a two-hour drive from anywhere in RI, so if appeals to you, go take a look. Set the maximum you're willing to pay from what you can see, and be prepared to walk away if the seller doesn't take it. Cash talks, and it's unlikely you're going to get in a bidding war over this one.
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#3 User is offline   Gibson Artist 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:57 PM

View Postj45nick, on 11 January 2019 - 02:52 PM, said:

The guitar should have the FON ink-stamped on the neck block, if it's from the late 50's or early 60's. Call the guy and get that for starters. The double neck heel break means it probably had some serious trauma, which may have impacted on the internal structure as well.

Bridge is a replacement. All its edges are too crisp, and the dots are abalone rather than mother of pearl.

As far as the neck thickness goes, it's impossible to say much based on the photo.

If what you want is a player, that same money will buy you a fairly recent used J-45 in excellent shape, rather than a beater vintage one which may or may not play as well and sound as good as a modern J-45.

At the some time, the guitar is less than a two-hour drive from anywhere in RI, so if appeals to you, go take a look. Set the maximum you're willing to pay from what you can see, and be prepared to walk away if the seller doesn't take it. Cash talks, and it's unlikely you're going to get in a bidding war over this one.

Oh crap, i just noticed it had a re fret. to me, that kinda kills it. The old frets were almost all brazillian rosewood werent they? The new frets are probably not, sigh.
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#4 User is offline   ksdaddy 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:08 PM

Uh... frets are metal.
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#5 User is offline   JuanCarlosVejar 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:21 PM

View PostGibson Artist, on 11 January 2019 - 02:57 PM, said:

Oh crap, i just noticed it had a re fret. to me, that kinda kills it. The old frets were almost all brazillian rosewood werent they? The new frets are probably not, sigh.

As ksd said frets are metal.The fretboard is the brazilian rosewood you are talking about.



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#6 User is offline   jvi 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:29 PM

if it plays great and sounds great its a steel I say, (a lot of "players guitars are)
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#7 User is offline   Gibson Artist 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:44 PM

View Postksdaddy, on 11 January 2019 - 03:08 PM, said:

Uh... frets are metal.

I thought a re fret means they take the rosewood off piece by piece and replace it with new wood? i know the seperator of the frets is the metal wire, but isnt a refret replacing wood? am i missing something here?
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#8 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:22 PM

View PostGibson Artist, on 11 January 2019 - 05:44 PM, said:

I thought a re fret means they take the rosewood off piece by piece and replace it with new wood? i know the seperator of the frets is the metal wire, but isnt a refret replacing wood? am i missing something here?


You are missing something. The frets are the metal wire inserted into the rosewood fretboard. A re-fret means removing the worn metal wire, and replacing it with new metal wire. The rosewood fretboard is continuous from the nut at the headstock to just beyond the last fret over the body. The fretboard is about 1/4" deep, and is grooved to receive the frets.

You may want to consider sticking with newer guitars, rather than dipping into the vintage market. There are a lot of pitfalls to buying vintage guitars if you don't have a really good understanding of what you are looking at.
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#9 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:24 PM

Yes, you got it backwards.

The fretboard or fingerboard is wood.

The metal frets are set into the wood fretboard.

A refret replaces worn out metal frets.

<sorry, right on top of Nick>

This post has been edited by BigKahune: 11 January 2019 - 06:25 PM

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#10 User is offline   Gibson Artist 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:44 PM

View Postj45nick, on 11 January 2019 - 06:22 PM, said:

You are missing something. The frets are the metal wire inserted into the rosewood fretboard. A re-fret means removing the worn metal wire, and replacing it with new metal wire. The rosewood fretboard is continuous from the nut at the headstock to just beyond the last fret over the body. The fretboard is about 1/4" deep, and is grooved to receive the frets.

You may want to consider sticking with newer guitars, rather than dipping into the vintage market. There are a lot of pitfalls to buying vintage guitars if you don't have a really good understanding of what you are looking at.

Ive bought vintage gits before. i just try to stay away from electrics unless someone pulls the pickups, because there are many pitfalls to those. On fenders, you can have parts from 3 differet years even on a git thats never been modded. My last vintage was a Gibson j-50, it was totally unchanged other than a repaired crack, i mostly just like vintage gibsons and martins. I used to sell les pauls, i can tell fakes from the real, i just dont know the vintage les pauls. i wouldnt buy a vintage gibby for the collectible value, i buy for the tone and fun of owning an antique, so its ok if one thing here or there was replaced, a pickguard or a tuner etc.

If i have any doubts i usually send pics here or the gibson lounge and people can usually spot fakes, if its a toss up in the comments, i dont buy. i actually did see one gibson a guy was selling at an estate sale he labeled a j-45 and i could tell from pictures its clearly a smaller size body like a lg-1 or something.

This post has been edited by Gibson Artist: 11 January 2019 - 06:50 PM

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#11 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:47 PM

You've been given some really good information and advice by some folks who are straightforward and knowledgeable. My 2 cents worth is essentially nothing more than an echo - the break could signal issues you don't need, and vintage guitars are often best left to people with some experience in evaluating their negatives and positives. Personally, I might make a lowball offer, but I've been involved with vintage players for over 50 years.
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#12 User is offline   Gibson Artist 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:58 PM

View PostOldCowboy, on 11 January 2019 - 06:47 PM, said:

You've been given some really good information and advice by some folks who are straightforward and knowledgeable. My 2 cents worth is essentially nothing more than an echo - the break could signal issues you don't need, and vintage guitars are often best left to people with some experience in evaluating their negatives and positives. Personally, I might make a lowball offer, but I've been involved with vintage players for over 50 years.

Neck breaks/cracks scare the crap out of me, it could be a money pit. A great project for a luthier, but a luthier i am not.
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#13 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:19 PM

View PostGibson Artist, on 11 January 2019 - 06:58 PM, said:

Neck breaks/cracks scare the crap out of me, it could be a money pit. A great project for a luthier, but a luthier i am not.


That guitar has two breaks in the neck heel, as noted in the ad. Unless the neck was removed and those breaks properly documented and repaired, there is no way to know how well they were done.
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