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J-45 vs j-45 Vintage

#1 User is offline   Dallon426 

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 12:47 AM

have two guitars that I wanted to do a review on. I have gone back and forth in the last couple days trying to determine which one actually sounds better.
The standard has had some mods to it and those mods could have potentially changed the sound ever so slightly.
My 2014 standard - I lightly sanded down the finish and it actually looks pretty similar to the Hand rubbed VOS finish on the 2016 Vintage
I also pulled off the rotomatics and added Klusons
The Vintage 2016 is setup a bit better with a touch higher action, but overall it plays with ease.




Initially, I was not impressed with the Vintage. I went back and forth with the two guitars and felt that the standard was more rich. Deeper.
I recorded the guitars and sure enough I felt the same.
I changed the string on the 2016 to Martin Authentic lights Phosphor bronze. Previous owner had an affinity for elixirs.
After the string change, I felt the same. It was disappointing because I was expecting a huge rich clear tone.
The Vintage did sound more clear, each note rang out a bit more, but lacked the punch I really prefer.
So, I went back and forth for a few days. Preferring the standard
That being said, last night I pulled out my thicker jazz pick, and sat with the Vintage.
Either it was the mood I was in or my perception, but the Vintage started to reveal itself as quite pleasant sounding. I dropped the pick and began with my fingers, powerful, but controlled. This is a pretty great guitar, I thought.
I suspect it needed a few days to settle in, the strings as well. But now it sounds fat and lovely. Whereas the standard also sounds great albeit slightly muted and muffled in comparison.
I really would love to play more of these Vintage models and even compare with a TV. I think I got a good one, but not a GREAT one. I suspect there are some out there that are fantastic guitars. However, this model does not have a Vintage tone and that is what I am after.
All in all, it is good sounding but not the same as a HUGE open sounding vintage model. This is my first time owning a torrified adirondack top. Perhaps it will open up a bit. I am hoping so, because this will probably be my main guitar until I come across a vintage model, a Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner or a Pre-war Slope Shoulder.


Sound test here

https://umgf.com/j-4...ge-t196563.html
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#2 User is offline   Dallon426 

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:45 AM

BTW I sold the J-45 Vintage and kept my Standard. To me the standard had more meat. I could not justify the price difference.
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#3 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 05:39 AM

Thx for report - always exciting to hear stories like that.

I have a 2010 Std. and it hasn't the vintage flav. known from the TVs at all.

However it's so fat and 'deep-projecting' that it really comes across as special.
Sometimes it absolutely overrules the contemporary same-era Birds and others it's simply necessary to fetch a Bird to steer clear of all that rich room.
An ever mystifying/alluring back'n'forth.

There is a vague connection to the real-deal-vintage 45's here, but the way a person echoes his or her grandparent.

In reality this black nut Standard stands alone - and apparently likes to do so.
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#4 User is offline   bscha 

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 12:19 PM

I have a 2006 standard J45 and used to own a J45 TV. I had a similar opinion as the original poster. I found my standard to be more warm to my ears. The TV seemed more refined, but in the end I kept the standard. It just had more of the sound that works for me.
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#5 User is offline   jjrpilot 

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 02:29 PM

Good review Dallon! I've never had the opportunity to play a TV model. I have a 2017 Standard that I absolutely love. It's a lifer for me. I did just recently have the stock LR Baggs Element taken out and a KK Pure Mini installed (mainly bc I hate to always have to replace used batteries).

One of the perks of having the LR Baggs taken out was having the under-saddle pickup removed. To start, I loved the sound of my J45 to begin with and was hesitant about any type of change.

I purchased a bone saddle from MacNichol Guitar and the replacement was just about right. My luthier had to shave just a smidge here and there to get it to fit perfectly. The old saddle was removed and tossed out and the under saddle pickup removed.

With nothing between the bone saddle and the bridge the J45 which was awesome to begin with...sounded like it was on steroids. EVERYTHING that I loved about the guitar, the tone, punch, warmth, and volume basically doubled. To my ears, the J45 just sings now. I couldn't believe what a little change would do to it.

It might be worth it to experiment a bit, and try a bone saddle.
2017 Gibson J45 Standard
2016 Taylor 324
2014 Gibson AE LG2
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#6 User is offline   Dallon426 

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 04:46 PM

I'm actually having a luthier install a bone nut and saddle. I personally do not think bone will make a significant difference. I am changing it out of mere tradition and to have a decent setup. It played great before but did need a minor setup.
My standard is fantastic. In fact the only thing I'm not a fan of is the Pearl Gibson signature. I love the gold look.
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#7 User is offline   MissouriPicker 

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 09:16 PM

I had a J45 Standard about five years ago. Got a really good offer for it, so I sold it and then bought a used J45TV. Both are really great acoustic guitars. Don't know if one is better than the other. The Standard had a real mellow and warm tone. Don't know how loud it could be. My music is almost always on the soft side. The J45TV also sounds real mellow and warm to me. I never played them against each other or any other J45 model. So long as I like a guitar, I don't really care about what another example of that model sounds or feels like. I could live with either of the two J-45s I've had. If I hadn't received such a good offer for my Standard, I very likely would still have it and never bought the TV, but I'm real happy with the TV.

This post has been edited by MissouriPicker: 19 January 2019 - 09:17 PM

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#8 User is offline   Dallon426 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 05:14 AM

I think the point is. Just because the woods are superior and the guitars are modeled after a vintage J-45, doesn't mean it's guaranteed to sound incredible. Every guitar is different. But if you want to save some money then you're better off searching for a really good sounding J-45 standard. Then convert the guitar yourself if you prefer vintage looks. I love the look of mine now. It looks old and fantastic.
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#9 User is offline   Murph 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 06:02 AM

View PostDallon426, on 20 January 2019 - 05:14 AM, said:

I think the point is...……... Every guitar is different.



There ya go.
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#10 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 08:45 AM

View PostDallon426, on 20 January 2019 - 05:14 AM, said:

It looks old and fantastic.


What is the appeal of old, yellowed, beat up guitars? I like them myself.......I have a J45 Vintage that has that look, but I also have a new J-35 that is, for my purposes, a better instrument. When we go buy a car we don't want one all dented, scarred and rusty. A pair of shoes at the store shouldn't have the sole flopping and a split heel. But a faded, scratched up guitar is somehow cool, and not for its' sound but for its' appearance. I postulate that when wielded in a public place, a banged up guitar imparts an air of experience, of veteran-ship (?)......implies a been there, done that attitude and in doing so seems to lend credence to the player, perhaps undeservedly so. It's vanity, ain't it?
J35 - J45 Vintage
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#11 User is offline   Dallon426 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 09:23 AM

I do not like the way MOST guitar companies have their finish. It is caked on. The guitars look too new and shiny. The thinner aged finish is much more desirable in my opinion. Also, the guitar breathes more if the finish is thinner. Go ahead and research and see what Pre-war Guitars are doing. Look at the finish of most vintage instruments, the finish is usually much much thinner and it is not because of age. It was how it was done. You might like shiny new things. But that does not mean everyone does. Buc, different strokes for different folks. It is not to look cooler on stage. I like vintage guitars, primarily the way they sound. I like newer guitars mainly because of the way they play. It AIN'T vanity. It is a personal preference. I also prefer women with curly hair over straight hair. Is it VANITY to have a certain preference? Lol. Some people
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#12 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 10:35 AM

Oh man, you sure put me in my place, huh.

....but you missed the point.
J35 - J45 Vintage
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been.
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#13 User is online   Hall 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 11:01 AM

I have a J-45 Vintage with which I am happy.
"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound." w.s.
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#14 User is online   Paul14 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 11:32 AM

I have a 2001 J-50, & a 2005 J-45. Not only do the look different, they sound different, the play different, & they are 2 completely different guitars. Don’t ask me too choose though, I love them both.
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#15 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 11:51 AM

I've had a couple standards, liked them both and they seemed to be the same guitar. I had a True Vintage that was real nice but different from the standards.
I currently have a vintage Banner, a Legend, a Kristofferson and Yoakam. They are four completely different guitars.




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#16 User is offline   JuanCarlosVejar 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 12:35 PM

 Dave F, on 20 January 2019 - 11:51 AM, said:

I've had a couple standards, liked them both and they seemed to be the same guitar. I had a True Vintage that was real nice but different from the standards.
I currently have a vintage Banner, a Legend, a Kristofferson and Yoakam. They are four completely different guitars.

The Kristofferson and Yoakam models are 2 of my favorites !




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2000 Yamaha FG720SL
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#17 User is offline   Dallon426 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 01:22 PM

I'll take a Pre-war guitars co slope shoulder over anything else out there. Gibson included, I'm just waiting a bit for the right used one.
No Gibson made within the last 40 years I've ever heard can touch the tone of this one.
https://youtu.be/6A4eBsOtpOo
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#18 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 01:37 PM

That's nice. However, It is also good idea to not make a decision on a guitar based on a youtube recording. Some things to keep in mind:

-The room the guitar is in. . . hard surfaces, and hanging amidst many guitars contributing sympathetic vibrations, also present on other Carter youtube vids.

-Strings, how fresh?

-This is in an alternate tuning, yes? Makes similar comparisons kind of irrelevant.

-The guitar operator. . . could most likely coax great tone out of a lesser instrument.

among other things.

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#19 User is offline   Dallon426 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 02:31 PM

Yes, I'm well aware. I haven't gotten the chance to play one yet. But, even though it's from a YouTube video. Feel free to find a guitar that comes close.
Also the mic is mic's pretty close and I've listen to a lot of their videos with different guitars. The room isn't a huge factor if you're mic'ng so close. you can get an impression. Also, many many positive reviews about these guitars. It's basically the only new guitar that I'm really excited to play.

Currently I own
1934 00-17
1936 00-17
Custom shop 00 based off a 00-17
Custom shop 000 based off a 00-17
2014 J-45

I'm selling all except my Gibson. However, I'm pretty sure that will go once I'm able to get a Pre-war.
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#20 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 02:56 PM

From the reviews, I’m sure they’re very fine guitars and hope I get a chance to play one one day. I hope they start a forum where you can share you’re enthusiasm with others.
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