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J-1854Me

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  1. Looks like my '01 too. Madagascar rosewood bridge and fingerboard. It was featured prominently in the ads of the day, showing a nice natural finish SJ-200 with the streaky fingerboard. Mine did not have a pickup in it either. Fred
  2. Don't rely on the serial numbers from that period too heavily. As mentioned, some of those got recycled, and the '66 and '69 SNs notoriously double-used. I spent about a week or so trying to sort out an ES-355 with one of those doubled-up SNs, a few years ago, and eventually as able to get it sorted as a '66. Read up on that aspect a bit more. Fred
  3. It's actually illegal to date a J-50 in most states. Except maybe Alabama and Alaska...... 🙂 Sorry -- someone had to say it! Based on the features and the serial number your guitar comes up as either a '66 or a '69. The transition from round-shouldered to square-shouldered is not necessarily all that clear either. I think all will agree a '70s-era J-45/50 has square-shoulders, but some '68s show up with square and some '69s with round. Here's a round '68 at Gary's https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-j-50-1968-2 Here's a square somewhere else: Here's a '67 at Gary's: Your bridge looks a bit more like the later '60s to me than the mid-'60s. Don't forget -- the other "dreadnaught" stablemates in the Gibson line, the SJ and CW, had been square-shouldered since the earlier '60s. Mixing of parts is/was not uncommon in manufacturing of guitars. My inclination is to say '67, but I would not be too dogmatic on that. Fred
  4. Goodness sakes.... A truss rod cover. The TRCs with the wide white border are what was used on the SJ-200s in the 1950s. That's why they have the wide borders on them. I suppose that's why Gibson equipped this "1957 SJ-200" with the wide-white-border TRC. Poorly executed, yes, but the correct look. Below is an example from 1952 Fred 4
  5. Congratulations, Bruce -- I'm glad that you've finally obtained the guitar we've all been reading about in your posts here and on AGF for so long! It looks like a beautiful guitar! Fred
  6. Wow, that is a beauty, Bruce! Fred
  7. Yeah, I've been wondering about this change too, moving from a 12" to a "more comfortable" 16" radius. The rounder geometry of the fingerboard was ALWAYS one of the things I loved about Gibsons; to me they felt so comfortable, like an old pair of jeans. Much as I love Larrivee guitars, for example, one of the things I never could really get was the flat fingerboard. Jean came from a classical player's background and so tended to go for the flatter f-board design element, while Gibson had the tighter 12-ish inch radius. Fred
  8. Just for reference' sake, Jeff, many of the mid-'90s Gospels that I have seen (and I did own a '94 for a while), were not dark-stained at all: they had the (very pleasing!) virtually natural finish mahogany neck, back and sides. So, that, as an anecdotal thing..... 🙂 Fred
  9. My '56 J-185 has a body depth at the butt of 4 and 15/16". Fred
  10. Nice job!! Now I wish you lived down the street.... 🙂 (Glad you didn't do the AM radio-sanitized version....) Fred
  11. Hi, and welcome to the written portion of the Forum! 🙂 For your dilemma, I would suggest that the third guitar is the obvious choice. Sound usually wins, in my book, over aesthetics, except in extreme cases. (That said, the second off-centre burst is pretty goofy though.) The light-coloured wood that was used for the bridge and (to a lesser extent) on the fretboard on example #3 is kind of cool, I think. It reminds me a bit of the gumwood and beanwood that was used on some of the 1940s-era Gibsons for bridges and fingerboards. So I'd recommend "go with the Third J-45". Fred
  12. Dang -- that was very nice, Sal!! Just great! Fred
  13. Wow, Tom -- that sounds like a cool and unusual acquisition! Looking forward to a fuller report in a few weeks! Best, Fred
  14. I had on '07 J-185TV, serialed in early April 2007, and it was a True Vintage for sure. The label, however, just said "J-185". It came with that (ultra-hefty) TV case. Fred
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