Gibson Guitar Board: AJ vs. J-45 TV - Gibson Guitar Board

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AJ vs. J-45 TV last minute decisions...

#1 User is offline   thejtl 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:43 PM

Hi all,

Some may have been following my travails in purchasing in other threads and rather than tack this onto the end of an aging thread, I thought I'd start fresh. I bought a 2005 AJ a few weeks back. I have really been enjoying it. Love the sound, love the look, etc., but when I was out shopping I was really in the market for a J-45, but the examples they had in the local--and even not-so-local--stores were not the best. I played the AJ and really was blown away.
Now as I reach the end of my 30-day return window, I'm going through my last gasp of deciding; I have until Saturday to decide to keep the AJ or go with something else. I guess I'm still jonesing for a J-45. This is a big decision for me. I can only afford to get a guitar like this every couple years and I want to be sure get what I want.

I just saw a 2011 J-45TV advertised used for slightly less than I paid for the AJ. I haven't had a chance to play a J-45TV and was wondering if any out there had thoughts on a comparison between the two. I know they won't sound the same. I'm thinking more playability, desirableness, etc.
Available now: The Fourteenth Colony: a novel with music www.sadironpress.com

#2 User is offline   JuanCarlosVejar 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:53 PM

View Postthejtl, on 06 February 2012 - 02:43 PM, said:

Hi all,

Some may have been following my travails in purchasing in other threads and rather than tack this onto the end of an aging thread, I thought I'd start fresh. I bought a 2005 AJ a few weeks back. I have really been enjoying it. Love the sound, love the look, etc., but when I was out shopping I was really in the market for a J-45, but the examples they had in the local--and even not-so-local--stores were not the best. I played the AJ and really was blown away.
Now as I reach the end of my 30-day return window, I'm going through my last gasp of deciding; I have until Saturday to decide to keep the AJ or go with something else. I guess I'm still jonesing for a J-45. This is a big decision for me. I can only afford to get a guitar like this every couple years and I want to be sure get what I want.

I just saw a 2011 J-45TV advertised used for slightly less than I paid for the AJ. I haven't had a chance to play a J-45TV and was wondering if any out there had thoughts on a comparison between the two. I know they won't sound the same. I'm thinking more playability, desirableness, etc.

if it's new try it out ... it won't have the logo messed up by climate changes either so give it a try if you are really not sure :D.


JC
2000 Yamaha FG720SL
2007 True Vintage SJ 200 (Andrea)
2011 Hummingbird TV

#3 User is offline   Guth 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:07 PM

I'd say that it really depends on your personal preferences.

If you're truly satisfied with the AJ, then I would advise you to think twice before returning
it. On the other hand if the mahogany tone and short scale are what you are really after then you might never bond with the AJ .

I own an example of each and appreciate both for what they are. In general, I've found the tone of the AJs I've played to be much more consistent than the J-45s (as you've already experienced), including the TVs . It might take a while to find a J-45 that blows you away. On the other hand, if you do return the AJ I'm guessing you'll have an easier time finding another one that you like.

All of the above IMHO and all that

#4 User is offline   Jeremy Morton 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:07 PM

Play the J 45 TV and if you really like it go for it. i really like the 45 TV, but i also like the AJ. The 45 is a bit more versatile IMHO. Bring a set of strings with you when you try the 45 as the strings may be dead, you can change them out and get an idea for what it really sounds like. Good luck! Keep us up to date.
JM

#5 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:27 PM

Face it, youre going to have to get that plastic out and have both ... but if push comes to shove, Id go for the J-45TV, as Jeremy said, more versatile, more woody, just the quintessential Gibson tone.
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The Slopeys 11' Gibson SJ (Aaron Lewis), 02' AJ
The Pickers 43' Gibson LG-2, 09' Furch OM 32SM (custom) , 02' Martin J-40
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http://www.reverbnat...oubleshotprague

#6 User is offline   thejtl 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

The one big problem I have is that the TV is in California and to get it here(Iowa), I have to put $$ down. The only way I have the $$ to put down is to return the AJ.

What I really want to do it have an example of both and play them for a bit before deciding, but I can't afford that.
Available now: The Fourteenth Colony: a novel with music www.sadironpress.com

#7 User is offline   thejtl 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:38 PM

I also just thought that it might help folks with more knowledge of the 2 guitars if you had some of my material to check out for an idea of my sound. Here's a link to the sample/order page for my novel/album project. The Fourteenth Colony: a novel with music.
Available now: The Fourteenth Colony: a novel with music www.sadironpress.com

#8 User is offline   sternfan 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:25 PM

I think your answer lies in your initial post: you're blown away by the AJ. Be satisfied with this. Make great music with it and enjoy the craft instead of thinking about being with another guitar.

The good news with this strategy is that you can always get a 45 in a few years (God knows Gibson will never stop making them).

Hone the craft of making great music, not the craft of buying great guitars, and you'll be much happier.

#9 User is offline   dchristo 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:12 PM

View Poststernfan, on 06 February 2012 - 04:25 PM, said:

I think your answer lies in your initial post: you're blown away by the AJ. Be satisfied with this. Make great music with it and enjoy the craft instead of thinking about being with another guitar.

The good news with this strategy is that you can always get a 45 in a few years (God knows Gibson will never stop making them).

Hone the craft of making great music, not the craft of buying great guitars, and you'll be much happier.


I agree with sternfan
just think if you give the AJ back and cant find another that you like as well [scared]
In GOD we trust

Dave

#10 User is offline   Rambler 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

About the 'blown away' aspect of this. That may or may not mean anything. We can play something in the store and be impressed by it but get home and find it doesnt wear well. Like that pair of snake skin Tony Lamas in the back of our closet that you never put on because you really like your nikes......

..which is really no help because Im not sure if you know if either a J45 or an AJ will 'wear well.' Do you have the experience that says, "yeh J45, really that's it." Or was the original impulse a concept: "I think I shall have a J45." Was the AJ-blown away experience for real or momentary infatuation? We here cant answer those questions. You will have to, or try.

Having been there before, I recognize a fellow suffer. It's about the state of wanting and it may not be all about the guitar.
"As through this world you ramble, you meet some funny men. Some rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen"
Woodrow WIlson Guthrie.

"Aint no easy job to sit down and play guitar!" Rev. Gary Davis

#11 User is offline   CrazyHeart 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

I have owned both (great guitars in their own way). I still have one of them that I never will sell......................The AJ

#12 User is offline   Stubee 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:44 PM

It is of course an entirely personal decision, nobody anywhere can decide for you.

I've owned a number of J-45/SJ's/J-50s over the years and it is one of my favorite models of any make. I think I've had three or four SJ's ranging from a '44 to mid-'60s, four or five J-45/J-50s from a '51 to the modern models, maybe more than that. Also a few vintage Gibson Hummingbirds, L-series etc. Never owned a True Vintage reissue J-45 though have played some.

All that said, I have a 2003 AJRI that I bought new and it is my main flattop and I still have a '52 J-45 that's been with me for at least ten years. A good AJ is, in my book, like a good J-45 on steroids. It does sound a bit different but has a huge amount of Gibson tone, sounds like a good Gibson, and though it perhaps is a bit tougher to play than a J-45 due to the longer scale that is a non-issue to me as I've also owned a few Martin dreads over the years. Nobody complains much about their long scale. Any guitar set up correctly should be fun to play.

I love J-45s but if I had to have just one Gibson guitar I'd do the AJ. It's just a bit more versatile in my book, more power but sings sweetly when you throttle it back.

Gotta add here that though I used to buy/sell a bunch of guitars I never did the '30 day try out period' and maybe am glad I didn't. That is a long time to allow indecision to creep in. The guitars I've had that I were not quite 'right' usually spent a year with me messing with strings etc. a little bit before deciding they really were not what I wanted.

Good luck and hope you find something you can enjoy w/o doubting your choice. It is a very good thing to just have a good guitar and play it.

#13 User is offline   GotTheSilver 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

View Poststernfan, on 06 February 2012 - 04:25 PM, said:

I think your answer lies in your initial post: you're blown away by the AJ. Be satisfied with this. Make great music with it and enjoy the craft instead of thinking about being with another guitar.

The good news with this strategy is that you can always get a 45 in a few years (God knows Gibson will never stop making them).

Hone the craft of making great music, not the craft of buying great guitars, and you'll be much happier.


This is the answer!!!!!!!!

#14 User is offline   sboiir 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

Maybe the J-45's you played were the best. They just didn't “blow you away”.......(ever have to choose one and leave the other behind) Best of luck in your decision. Either way, you're lucky to be an owner of a Fine Instrument.

#15 User is offline   gotomsdos 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:56 PM

View PostGuth, on 06 February 2012 - 03:07 PM, said:



Great job Guth did !
1st time I've listened to your soundclips
What model guitar did you record them on ?
They sound like martin OM42 ? or just J45 TV ?

#16 User is offline   Guth 

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:35 PM

View Postgotomsdos, on 06 February 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

Great job Guth did !
1st time I've listened to your soundclips
What model guitar did you record them on ?
They sound like martin OM42 ? or just J45 TV ?


Hi gotomsdos,

Are you referring to the sound clips accessible via my signature line?

If so, the guitars used are as follows:

Backcountry - Advanced Jumbo
Corn On The Cob - J-45 TV (Open D tuning)
Percolation - Martin 000-18GE
Rumble Seat - Advanced Jumbo
View From Tabor - Martin 000-18GE
Walking Nick - J-45 TV

#17 User is offline   gotomsdos 

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:12 AM

View PostGuth, on 06 February 2012 - 11:35 PM, said:

Hi gotomsdos,

Are you referring to the sound clips accessible via my signature line?

If so, the guitars used are as follows:

Backcountry - Advanced Jumbo
Corn On The Cob - J-45 TV (Open D tuning)
Percolation - Martin 000-18GE
Rumble Seat - Advanced Jumbo
View From Tabor - Martin 000-18GE
Walking Nick - J-45 TV

Yes, from your sig.
Glad to know 2 clips use J45 TV ... I'll take them down to my disk, can I ?
You know, I searched almost all of J45 TV vids on youtube, but only just a few out, most are J45 STD and vintage J45, so if you know anywhere with J45 TV clips, just let me know, thank you in advance...

#18 User is offline   Guth 

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:21 AM

View Postgotomsdos, on 07 February 2012 - 12:12 AM, said:

Glad to know 2 clips use J45 TV ... I'll take them down to my disk, can I ?
You know, I searched almost all of J45 TV vids on youtube, but only just a few out, most are J45 STD and vintage J45, so if you know anywhere with J45 TV clips, just let me know, thank you in advance...


Sure, feel free to download them. As far as other clips go, I don't really have any suggestions. You might try a Google Videos search to look for content beyond just YouTube.

#19 User is offline   thejtl 

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:38 AM

Guth,

Very nice stuff on your site. And helpful because you have the 2 guitars I'm talking about on there.

I'm curious, what's your signal chain on the recording. Might help me understand everything I'm hearing there.

Again, great playing, nice tunes. I'm interested in working up my fingerpicking chops to something similar. What'd you work on to learn?
Available now: The Fourteenth Colony: a novel with music www.sadironpress.com

#20 User is offline   Guth 

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:03 AM

View Postthejtl, on 07 February 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

Guth,

Very nice stuff on your site. And helpful because you have the 2 guitars I'm talking about on there.

I'm curious, what's your signal chain on the recording. Might help me understand everything I'm hearing there.

Again, great playing, nice tunes. I'm interested in working up my fingerpicking chops to something similar. What'd you work on to learn?


My signal chain is pretty simple. I use a Sony PCM-D50 flash-based field recorder with its built in mics. I dump the Sony's .WAV file to my Macbook and convert it to a lo-res .MP3 file via iTunes for posting to the web. Usually I'll open the .WAV file in Audacity (freeware) to clip off the extra dead space at the beginning and end of the track before the .MP3 conversion, but I don't apply any processing to speak of.

I originally started fingerpicking because I wanted to learn to play country blues style music. That turned out to be a wonderful genre to develop some basic fingerpicking chops.

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