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bobouz last won the day on February 9 2018

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  1. Good choice with the J-185! I’m soooo satisfied with my natural finish 2012, both tonally & visually, with it’s significant top silking & lovely maple body. And then there’s that perfect overall size, imho. Got to say, I’m not tempted by much of anything these days, having every category I’m interested in well covered. So how about a rosewood bodied J-185? That’d do it!
  2. I also used to own a Harmony Cremona from the ‘30s with a carved top. Art deco headstock with Harmony inlay that looked like a vertical theatre marquee from the period, with Cremona intersecting diagonally. Really liked that guitar, except for the huge neck!
  3. Quite surprised to see that I started this rather confusing thread nine years ago. Dave, rest easy, your 2006 LP has a traditional Gibson single rod with single directional action. Turn it clockwise, and you are tightening the rod which then lifts the fingerboard (reducing neck relief), and essentially makes the fingerboard straighter. Turn it counterclockwise, and you are loosening the rod which then allows the fingerboard to bow away from the strings (increasing neck relief), and essentially allowing for a greater degree of neck curvature.
  4. ZWF, thank you for doing a better job than I could (see post #4) in trying to describe a signature element of many Gibson’s. I too play only with my fingers (nails & flesh striking the strings) in a three-finger Scruggs-style position, with my ring finger typically braced to the top. Drop-thumb, forward & backward rolls, double-stops, to the point where a friend of mine commented that it’s a bit like someone playing banjo-style on the guitar. So with my style of play, sustain & overtones are my enemies! This doesn’t mean that the guitar should sacrifice resonance or depth. It means that I don’t want the notes to linger around because I’m quickly moving on to the next note - and as you succinctly describe, many Gibsons tend to excell at this. What the OP is after may not be at all within the wheelhouse of certain Gibsons. In particular, the J-200 is notorious for tonally being all over the map. It seems like every one I play sounds different. Some are loud, some are not. Some have a booming base that will rattle your gut, while others are much more balanced from high to low. Some have notes that literally leap out of the soundhole, while the next one will produce a more muted tone. I think the OP is in the process of a musical journey. As long as he can afford to travel a bit guitarwise, it would be ideal to just sit back & enjoy the ride.
  5. At one time, I had both a mahogany ‘96 J-100xt, and a maple ‘00 J-100xt (edit: See avatar pic). The mahogany is gone, but I still have the maple. It’s got a rumbling bass like no other, and sometimes I just have to have that sound. But with that said, I also own a maple 2012 J-185 that gets played more frequently due to it’s overall balance from string to sting, and more comfortable body size (including the short-scale). It’s really hard to beat a good J-185!
  6. Pretty cool that it was inspected by James Taylor! Congrats, and I hope it meets all your expectations.
  7. In the world of guitars, generalizations are made to be broken - and often with the very next example of the same model. Any time I’ve been fortunate enough to sample two or more of the same model (three or more is ideal - but how often does that happen anymore?), there have been significant differences, and typically one will clearly prevail tonally. It’s just part of what makes this all so darn addictive!
  8. This particular J-45R has a tone more like a vintage ‘50s or ‘60s rounshoulder. It has a sharp percussive bark to it with depth & resonance, minus the “lush & overtones.” I fingerpick with nails+flesh, and for me this is a tone that’s very appealing. For you, perhaps not - but I primarily wanted to point out that’s it’s vastly different from a J-200 (also short vs long scale), and in that sense might open new creative doors. I know this is easier said than done, but play a few if at all possible, or have a sure-fire return policy if you purchase online!
  9. Yes, you do. But seriously, guitars & players are all so different that it’s hard to say what someone else needs. I can only tell you that I have a 2002 J-45 Rosewood, and it offers up an incredibly dry & woody tone that’s unlike anything else I own - including a maple jumbo similar to yours. Bottom line - In this individual case, that unique tone has led to some music that may not have otherwise occurred.
  10. These are all very unique journeys. At one point I had ten guitars in the ‘70s. Then it went down to two while I pretty much stopped playing for about twelve years. Now it’s up to thirty guitars & three mandolins - driven in part by a newfound interest in electrics, which was then coupled with a desire to revisit my acoustic favorites from ones I owned in the ‘70s. So it has come down to a mix of both older & newer instruments. I enjoy them all, and since retiring four years ago, a lot of relaxed time has been spent tinkering & personalizing various aspects of tone & playability. Nowadays the bases are all well covered & not much is drawing my attention - but like a moth attracted to light, I still can’t keep from engaging in some harmless window shopping!
  11. I enjoy having a wide variety of guitars & tones to choose from. But as a Travis-style fingerpicker for 99% of what I do, it took me a long time to figure out that superior volume is not part of my holy grail. The realization finally occurred while taking a particular guitar for a test drive, that superior volume can cross over into a realm of harshness that simply doesn’t match what my ears want to hear. The guitar happened to be a 000-28 Martin, and although the volume coming out of that little box was astounding & tonally it had a lot going for it, the pleasure of playing it faded rather quickly as it seemed almost impossible to play in a subtle manner. In the end, it’s remarkable level of response had actually become an irritant! Ten to one, the next person picking up that guitar would instead find their own little slice of heaven. So there’s an unending number of possibilities when it comes to the holy grail tone - About as many variations as there are people playing guitars!
  12. Indeed Leonard, the Richlite fingerboard may not have been the cause, but the situation worsened over a short period of time & was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced with any other guitar I’ve owned (forward bows, sure - backbows, no). So after having avoided the stuff for the previous ten years as it filtered into the market, my one & only shot at a guitar sporting it in 2011 was disappointing to say the least. If I were looking at the model you’re considering, I’d feel cheated if I didn’t get the version with the ebony B&B. Out of the thirty guitars I currently own, four Gibsons, two Martins, & one Guild have ebony fingerboards (& corresponding bridges where applicable), and each one noticeably feels soooo right to the touch - even if it’s all in my head!
  13. It was Gibson’s Richlite that was involved in the neck failure I mentioned above.
  14. The Richlite would be a non-starter for me. Have never liked Micarta or Richlite B&Bs going back to Martin’s mid-year intro of it in 2001 on 16-Series instruments (replacing striped ebony). I weakened once, purchasing a new 2011 Gibson Midtown Custom with a Richlite fingerboard. After about six months, it had developed a backbow in the neck that would not allow for proper relief adjustment of the truss rod. Traded it in on a 2011 ES-335 w P90s, and an ebony fingerboard. Felt like going from the outhouse to the penthouse!
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