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Posts posted by E-minor7

  1. Regarding the J-50 : Believe the factory narrowed the nut width around 1965, then brought it back to 1 11/16 in 68. This year they for some reason also introduced the screwed in pickguard. Heavier bracing came around 69, if I'm not mistaken. The adjustable low-belly bridge is common for that period, in fact everything about you guitar seems to be normal. What many people would recommend, is to remove as much metal as possible – including the 2 bolts under the bridge inside the box. Some would exchange the whole thing - not too expensive - others would prefer to have a wooden block with an ordinary sized bone saddle made, and then slip it down the adj. bridge slot. That's what I did to my 68 (maybe early 69) Southern Jumbo. The pro is that you have all the original parts intact in case you wanna pass it on – the con is the top might vibrate a step freer, therefor sound better if the entire thing was renewed.

    Before deciding on the rosewood/bone solution, I tried the available tusq version and even had one carved in old ivory. To these ears the tusq was the loudest, but had a slighty artificial top. The ivory – though deliciously creamy - got too 'spitz', thin or core-less.

    This was an attempt to draw some kind of map. Now every move is yours. Look forward to read posts.


    Could by the way describe the difference between the 69 and the early 70ties models. . . I tried a 71 so called Norlin era J-50 this Friday and frankly it sounded better than mine.

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  2. Thank you, appreciate the test a lot. Must say though, that we sure get a rather hard strumming - on what seem to be new strings. To me the acoustic guitar is a relationship between wood and steel. Here the steel is very much favored. To nuance my thought a little, I'd say the steel has to serve the wood (not the other way around), if the instrument have to serve it's player the best. Would have liked to hear a similar experiment with a palette of different dynamics, done on slightly older strings. But, , , first impression : The J 200 had richest most 'fountainious' expression. Down the same path came the L4-A and J185, not quite so loud. The J-45 went on in comparable style, but clearly had the woody hog-trademark hidden behind the splash. The Eggle and the Goodall sounded to me another degree less volumed.

    Will now listen one more time and see what happens. . . . . . . Well, the 3 first are much alike. 200 might have the most 'meat' inside. 45 still stands out, as if with some grams of earth in it, especially on the 5'th and 6'th chord. Mister Eggle is thinner and Mister Goodall rises pretty close to J-200.


    That's the best I can do – Now all I need is you to come tellin' it was all the same guitar (smile)

  3. My humble opinion is that blindfolded, I am guessing most folks would not be able to tell a guitar with a rosewood body from one with a mahogany or maple back and sides never mind something like a guitar with a walnut neck as opposed to one with a mahogany neck. I have been playing some 50 years and I sure as heck can't.


    Dear zombywoof - If you are a player in the vein of your sub-quote "I play so rough - I stomp 'em - I don't peddle 'em" there might be an explanation.

    But why on earth go Gibson - why go mahogany or SJ, if you can't tell the difference. Have a look, these might work as some guidance.

    Best to you. . .

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  4. Always liked Weller. Remember when I heard that Taxman-like bass-figure tune on Sound Affects in 1980 - Whau ! The Jam - Strong, angry, savage real rock, yeah. Got the In the City and Setting Sons. They are spendid. Ten years ago a friend gave me Heavy Soul. A good album too. Not the biggest fan, but wouldn't be sad not to have his motor running out there. And then there is the hairdo of course ^. Keep cuttin' it Paul. . .

  5. Vilyfool - You bring up a big question. Vilyfool - The question might be of some importance. Vilyfool - It's may not be the most original question in this world. Vilyfool - That could be a good thing as some people therefor have their reactions in stock allready. Here's a humble attempt : If we go back 4 decades, there sure was a lot of extraordinary music and musicians. Joni M. is right, and yes, Janis J. was definitely one of them. However, if we rewind, it must also be remembered how the first-60'ties groups were recieved by a lot of people, just a bit older than teenagers. Many of them - already established in jazz or folk music - found the new pop-bands simple and cheesy, , , too lousy playing.

    Beatles did almost okay, Stones were fighting with it, Byrds used hired cats like The Monkees ! ! , , and Dylan as other solo artist, enjoyed the possibility to pick the best from here and there (even The Hawks/The Band were struggling to get that rock-circle together). Soon after, circa 65, bands with real good players like The Who, Yardbirds etc, appeared, and only little by little, with the help of improved lyrics, the jazz-snobs, beatnicks and folkies began to accept. As well known, things grew fast and developed very steep during the later half towards 1970. An explosion was happening and not least the guitarists were blazing like dragons, when suddenly Hendrix and Santana paralyzed them all, setting everything in new perspective. In reality some kind of race was raging - as if the drive of competition had been laid in the DNA of that generation long before they found out to rebel against everything that same drive represented. (A paradox rather hard for themselves to X-ray, which in the end might have resulted in all that fantastic music).

    I read a contemporary review of Alvin Lee's/Ten Years After's classic performance at Woodstock some time ago, and the critic knocked him for being too egocentric and and old-school macho. Such an opinion/kind of intellect would have been the exception - everybody else loved it, , , even sage J. Garcia - though knowing the difference between deep and fast – probably would have smiled happily, had he been listening from the wing.

    In many ways the race for faster, better, louder, bigger went on deep into the 70'ties. Walls of amps like buildings, larger drum-kits maybe two at the same time, lights, stages, halls, arenas, stadiums, and f.x. prestige in mountains of studio-hours or cooperating with classical ensembles seemed to define the game. If we concentrate on the guitarists, extreme players like Mclaughlin, Coryell, Al Di Meola and Metheny - heaven bless them - entered the film.

    I'm not sure if people of today know or are aware of this scenery, and many of those who were there may have forgotten. (A reminder could be needed).

    Anyway – as we approached the 80'ties, 2 things changed the course of the highway. One was punk, second was the increasing possibility to make music by machinery. The first didn't give a damn – the other made it kind of absurd to spend a whole youth trying to achieve monstrous skills if the same level could be reached by pushing a button. Something was happening and we wondered what it was. Ugly became cute – bad was now best. Waves of totally banal bands over-floated shops and venues. Of course there were good ones too, but it was as if it didn't matter. It simply wasn't the clue. A whole new society of youngsters embraced this revolt as a liberation. Dylan had seen it comin' on the opening track of Street Legal from 78 - the rest of us turned around the bend, and woke up in another world. My friend who had been dreaming of conquering the B-3 organ with Lesley, now drowning in tiny plastic synths, packed his things and moved to Brazil. Things had fundamentally changed and it meant heavy weather - Some of the mighty icons didn't make it. They walked out like old elephants. The proudest went straight under. Others tried to adapt by cutting their hair with scissors of techno or overdistorted guitars. Former champs, great acts and founders of modern music released absolutely confused records. Two of my heroes went each their way. David Crosby hated the new scene and found it false and hollow. It betrayed everything he praised and stood for, and left him no path to follow. His good pal Neil Young thought twice and asked himself if 'playing crazy, untamed electric instruments in a boiling garage' wasn't the original idea of rock'n'roll music. Reality answered, yes. My heart and soul went with the Croz – my brains had to stick with Neil.

    I guess you older guys and girls have versions of this 'Big Shift of Paradigm' too – and why not deliver your story. Does anyone f.x. recall the first time they heard Pistols or Laurie Andersons. . . “Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah ~ Oh Superman”. (Sure wasn't much wooden Gibson there) - C'mon let's hear how it went down in your boots.

    Finally I'd like to deliver the following : A while ago one of the old bigband leaders of this country was interviewed on television. At some point he had a chance to speak about Lennon/McCartney and revealed how he didn't give much. “They were nothing compared to G.Miller, D. Ellington and C. Basie”, he said without complications. Funny to see the reaction of some of the younger band-members in the background as the camera zoomed in. (Faces attacked by uncontrollable tics)

    Well, he could be right with one pair of glasses over his nose – and he definitely would be wrong if he took them off. Guess he didn't know apples form pears.


    As for this Gaga-person. Could somebody please recommend a worthy track from the Tube.


    And then let us not be too afraid of loosing the real talent out there vilyfool. Just look at the 'Great Morning Pickers' from some threads back. As long as they keep doin' it, there will be hope.




  6. As fate would have it, while writing a cover story for an upcoming issue of Fretboard Journal, I've been semi-embedded with Jackson on his current tour.



    Must have been an intriguing experience. And a great chance to learn some 'fifs'. (After all they reside in the tallest lounge). Could you f.x. tell us the string filosofy of Mister Browne himself, , , and do they warm up ? ?

  7. Her first LP really floored me (it is still me favorite). The first time I got to see her was with Arlo Guthrie at the Schafer Music Fest in NYC in 1968. I liked her so much I went to see her someplace else a few weeks later - maybe the Bitter End or someplace like that.


    I do not recall what guitat she played as I did not give a hoot what guitar whomever was using back then so never paid attention but I associate her with Martin dreads. With Joni it was always more about the tunings she used.


    Found out she played 2 shows at The Schaefer Music festival 14'th Aug. 68 and 6 times 2 sets at The Bitter End during October. Neil Young opening for her on the 28'th. ! (It's more or less the period they put my SJ together in Kalamazoo.)

  8. As a young man I played a lot on the pedestrian-street of this town (approx. 1 mill. citizens). We’re talking 80 - 81 - 82. Often during the weekends from midnight to maybe 3 AM. It took place in a gate between two streets, a passage with a good reverb where the case for coins - as some kind of ‘stage-edge’ indicator - was opened on the pavement some meters in front of us. Repertoire - the ordinary bunch, so to say : C S N & Y, Donovan, Dylan, Beatles, B. Joel, P. Simon and so. Most of the times I was not alone. We had a whole band goin’ and called ourselves Street Tigers. The members varied. Sometimes three, four, five people joined up - even a bass player with a little Pignose amp, had his place in the line-up. One night a fantastic girl singer - younger than us - drifted by and without knowing the songs, she just threw herself into blend. Made the harmonies 3-part-blossom like wild – (and everyone fall in love with her on the spot). Of course she had to hop on board and though living in another town, she took the train in every weekend to meet us gypsies in the midnight gateway. Eventually we got closer and became friends. She later signed a contract, then moved to New Orleans, returned, but never stopped singing. In fact we still see each other from time to time and always bring up a few tunes when it happens.

    As you can imagine, this was very happy days. Guess none of us never ever got closer to ‘free zone’ and I look back at the period with a glowing heart and lots of smiles.

    Now, one evening only two of us were in there. Eddie with his 70’ties hot sounding Yamaha and me carrying my brand new Gibson J-45 Square Shouldered, , , , , little did I know – Norlin model. Having played a lot over the teacups at home, we were able to perform as a duo and had great fun from this (remember Ed sometimes featured a six-string banjo). At some point he put away his instrument, leaning it towards a jewel-shop window and sat down on the granite stairs to light a cigarette. I sat down too, but played on alone. Then suddenly three or four guys turned around the corner. They were not punks, more like south-town blue denim rough types. They walked straight up around us and began talking. Eddie smoked speechless as I kept playing like nothing. One bigger guy stood right behind me. I felt him above. Then in a flash he kicked the guitar out of my hands, hitting it on the lower bout. As if in slow-motion, it rotated away, , , a couple of meters, , , straight over in the arms of Ed. He simply grabbed it in midair. This scared me shitless (as Stephen Stills would have said), and I froze down. I’m sure Eddie was rather paralyzed too, but this strange ring of apparent invulnerability around us, must have shone some power that scared them even more. For without a sound they disappeared like wolfs back into the night, leaving the two minstrels intact right there on the granite steps. The guitar - totally unharmed too. Not a trace was found on the Gibson flyer and after a sip of wine and another smoke, we played on.

    This incident taught me a lesson : As your instinct tells, never bring your high end guitar into the savage zone.

    Soon bought a street player instead. A much cheeper, rather rich sounding, too blond Japanese western. Ooooh, has it served me well. And here it is after all these years. It should have been shown under vilyfools ‘Mojo’ thread, but I felt like telling the tale. This is my homage. The baton is passed.

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  9. JT had a video awhile back of 2 banner SJs;, one rose one hog. Tells you all you need to know.


    Found the test, it's fine. In my ears it confirms the common sayings :


    Rosewood - More edge, clearly sharper, slightly louder and with focused presence. Yang.


    Mahogany - Softer, rounder, fuller midrange and more dreamish in general expression. Yin.


    Could be funny to hear some more reactions as noone really knows whats behind all our abstract attempts to describe what we percieve.

  10. Look forward to hear more about your J-45 - and see pictures. It may be very simular to mine, which is from Jan. this year. I got it in midsummer and it's been a pleasure getting to know the instrument. Basicly a Martin-person, this guitar offers me something completely new - In a bold second I wouldn't hesitate to call it a bit weird (excuse me for slippin' a quiet laughter here). Back on the serious note, I'd like to repeat a statement mentioned in an earlier post a few weeks after I found it : This version of the J-45 just doesn't fit the term 'workhorse', if you ask me. In these ears and fingers it is much better as a lyrical player, especially on the first three frets. A deep, someone said nut-like, relaxed tone seem to emerge everytime I pick it up. And that's what makes it so unique. The answers recieved when it takes a tougher beating, isn't nearly as precise or exiting. Must have something to do with the hand-carved bracing, and that's all fine. Anyway - have a jolly autumn with the new maid and let's get some stories from your end of the endless J-45 world. Hep. . . .


    By the way, I have the Bullinamingvase lp standing on my sofa - another splendid Harper record, for those who don't know.

  11. We could call it a piece of art. We could call it an ugly piece of art - or we could just call it ugly. We could be ugly in calling it a piece of art and we could make a piece of art of calling it ugly. We could be arty and claim that art has to be ugly or be ugly in claiming that art has to be arty. We could declare everything ugly for art and everything arty for ugly, , , heck, don’t wanna be no judge – but I kind of like the purple dot.

  12. Joni Mitchell has never quite gotten over the first guitar she loved and lost: a '56 Martin D-28 she got circa 1966 from a Marine captain stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The guitar had accompanied him to Vietnam and was in his tent when it was hit with shrapnel. "There were two instruments and all this captain's stuff in there," Mitchell says. "When they cleared the wreckage, all that survived was this guitar. I don't know whether the explosion did something to the modules in the wood, but that guitar was a trooper, man." End of quote.

    Thanks - Collins, aha (don't really know that brand), and then the mandolincello. Guess she sits there sending a whirlwind through it.

  13. Smoke and steam oozes from the laboratory. The test brings up a series of facets. A more open and spread tone seem to be gained on the cost of dynamics f.x. Is this a logic we recognize from certain scalloped bracings. By now it sounds as if the device could be used once in a while to change the vibe around ones guitar. Something different happens when the ring is in. Other moods, unknown reactions to old routines – maybe new paths ahead for writing.

  14. You saw her in 1968, , , twice ! ! !

    That's something extraordinary. I won't even set a metaphore on it. In my mind you placed yourself in the zenit - not only of 60'ties beatmusic - but of western culture as a whole. Yes, I'm serious.

    Remember any details ? , , , songs, funny little exchanges with the audience, whatever. . . (was Crosby present)

  15. This is a very good topic. And for me one of the biggest riddles about the acoustics. Everything around us (inside us) is in 'process'. Even your forgotten plastic bowl from 1962 deep in the kitchen closet, has something goin'. When I some time ago wrote 'the guitars are alive' in these columns, one responded : What. . . ?. This is what I meant - the woods don't shoot new branches with green leaves, but they kind of breathe and move. They dry out over the years and get lighter, that's for sure, but whether this influences the volume, I don't know. My own experience would tell, , , , , NO - science could prove me wrong. Read somewhere that the resin in those tops is slowly crystalizing. It may play in too. What a beautiful thought. A nice sitka-top with hearable secret amber inlays.

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