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Hogeye last won the day on May 17 2018

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  1. Hi!  In case you still check this forum - you you be willing to confirm some things for me?  My understanding is that the Gibson J-45 Historic Collection was a run of 670 guitars built for 5-star dealers in 2005-2006.   Whenever I see one online I grab the serial number for a database I've assembled of this variant - the earliest I've seen is dated January 7, 2005, the latest was dated November 6, 2006.  These guitars have "single" ring rosettes (white/black/wider white) with triple-ply binding of the same pattern on the tops; Sitka spruce tops, Honduran mahogany back, sides and neck, EI rosewood fingerboard and bridge, Kluson-styled tuners with white buttons, small pickguards overlaying the treble side of the rosette, Fishman Matrix Natural II ust pickups, Tusq saddle and nut.  Mine measures 1.704-in at the nut.  The end of the fingerboard overlays the rosette, rather than standing clear as vintage Gibsons did.  Finally, the orange label is marked "Style J-45 / Gibson HISTORIC COLLECTION / Number ...." and there is a blue and gold "Gibson Historic Collection" decal at the bottom of the back of the headstock.

    Gibson's customer service department has never really provided clear information, apart from some boiler plate - “The Historic Collection model featured appointments that were more historically accurate to an original banner model, as opposed to the J-45 Standard of 2005.”   Since the model designated as the "Standard" was several years away, one wonders.

    My understanding is that these are essentially a continuation of Ren Ferguson's redesign of the J-45;  the Fabulous Flattops indicated a 98-degree angle to the X-brace rather than the earlier 102-103-degrees of the past, trying to balance a vintage-esque sound with greater structural stability.  I'm basing that statement on what I recall reading in the 1994 edition of the Fabulous Flattops book, with the understanding that it is not necessarily gospel, so to speak.

    Were there any distinctive differences between the J-45 Historic Collection guitars?  Were they actually a truer True Vintage (like the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire, the True Vintage is neither), or are they basically that era's regular J-45 with a new label?

  2. How did you get those production numbers showing how many doves were made each year in the vintage sunburst finish at the Bozeman Factory?

  3. I don't know if you still check in or not but I hope you're doing well. Personally I miss your input and wealth of knowledge.

    Take care.


  4. Hi -

    I stumbled across your profile and saw where you had some production info about the Gibson J-200 Jr.

    I just purchased what I think is a J-200 Jr. But it is labeled "J-200M."

    It was made in '91 and has koa back and sides. I can't find another one like it anywhere. Do you have any information on how many of these might exist or why its labeled J-200M if they were making J-200Jrs at the time?



  5. where are you????

  6. Just a last minute heads up for the folks. The "Gibson Homecoming" is this week-end. Several regulars are not going to make it this year for various reasons but one, Dave from Salt Lake , Came up last week-end to check in with old friends and go to Music Villa's anniversary party. It was great to have breakfast with him again. Dave always brings his Kopp guitars up so that Kevin can make adjustments and check them out. The Music Villa anniversary party was a very nice event. A bit bitter sweet as my long time pal Larry Barnwell announced his retirement from Martin Guitar. Larry will spend his retirement here in Bozeman and St. George. Kevin Kopp stopped by with his new dog Wriggley. She's a wire hair Griffon and as funny as only a puppy can be. Kevin just shipped his newest batch of guitars so there are going to be some lucky folks enjoying them soon. Duluthdan won't be able to come up this year. We won't miss him so much but we will miss Powder. Ha....Travel safe Dan. Hope to see ya soon.
  7. Shipping numbers for Doves in Vintage Sunburst with nickel hardware ACDOVSNH1 1989---13 1990----7 1991---86 1992---21 1993--- 5 1994--- 8 none were produced from 1995 to 2003.
  8. Never met a Mossman I didn't like. While on a trip to Denver I met Scott Baxendale. Scott was a protégé of Stuart Mossman's. He had a guitar at Harry Tuft's store that was the best guitar I had ever heard. It had all of Mossman's guitars wrapped up in a single instrument. I tried to buy it but he wouldn't sell it. Fast forward many years and Stuart Mossman came to Bozeman. He stayed for a couple of weeks. I had dinner and lunch with him on several occasions and he was a true gentleman. Henry hired him as a consultant and after several weeks he told Henry that the Bozeman plant was the best it could possibly be and needed no changes. He thought the Montana guitars were the best they had ever been and even rivaled his production. High praise indeed. I'm happy to see that Mossman has not been relegated to the dust bin of history. They are out there and they are all great guitars.
  9. The name you were having trouble with is Phil Sagama.
  10. There is some very interesting history going on with the classical guitars. Gibson/Montana was actually a Ramirez distributor for several years way back in the beginning. They were unsuccessful in the endeavor as they were more interested in selling their own brand. The Ramirez deal went from 1990 to 1993. This was the same time frame that Christopher Parkening was presenting his Masters Class at the Montana State University here in Bozeman. The Roger Miller connection came after he passed and his family was asked by Gibson to endorse a very limited run of classical guitars in his memory. I have a couple of sound hole labels and interestingly enough several of the round sound hole cut-outs from the very first of these guitars. There wasn't a lot of interest in the guitars and most of them went to his family and folks from his record label. If any of them come up on the market I would love to know about it. So.....Your mission should you choose accept it would be to make a post of it on the forum and maybe I will see it.
  11. The guitar you have is a real treasure. Back in the day Gibson had a marketing director that was a classical guitar player. Christopher Parkening was teaching at the University here in Bozeman and the marketing guy thought he could have Gibson build a guitar for him and make Gibson a force in the Classical Guitar field. Well Gibson didn't do their homework. Parkening had a sweetheart deal with an importer called Sherry Brenner. They were the exclusive importer of Ramirez classical guitars. Well... Gibson bought a Ramirez and brought it into the Custom Shop and they reverse engineered it and built a prototype. Of course Parkening would not jeopardize his arrangement with Sherry Brenner or his endorsement arrangement with Ramirez so he wouldn't even visit the plant to look at the prototype let alone play it. That didn't stop the marketing guy as he was determined to make Gibson the classical guitar giant. Of course the project was doomed to failure from the start. Gibson was not the darling of the classical guitar set and they would never consider playing a Gibson. The prototype was a masterpiece of building and rivaled the Ramirez in every detail. The plan was to go ahead without the Parkening endorsement. A short run of maybe 5 or 10 guitars were run and you have one of these guitars. No one was interested in a Gibson Classical and the dealers laughed when given the opportunity to buy one. The guitars were built from top quality Brazilian rosewood and they sound every bit as good as a Ramirez. Kevin Kopp was in charge of the project and he and his team did a brilliant job building them. They were exact copy of the Ramirez guitar and every bit it's equal. Gibson's General Manager finally came to his senses and stopped the whole project. Gibson did make a short run of very nice classical guitars for a very popular entertainer, Roger Miller, when he passed but that never got any traction either. It would be nice if you could post some photos or maybe even a short sound clip. I would be interested in buying the guitar as it is a very cool piece of Gibson history. As a side note Mike Bakeberg did a lot of the body building for the Custom Shop and my Brazilian Rosewood Ray Whitley body was built by Mike as well. It's very cool to have a guitar signed by him as he was very instrumental in the Custom Shop builds but never recognized for his accomplishments.
  12. Most but not all are made offshore from a mysterious rubbery kind if of sound deadening material I call "Flubber". They are painted on the bottom of the material. This keeps the paint from rubbing off while playing with a pick. Gibson does use several different types of material for the pickguards depending on the model and price. It's true that Gibson uses some molded and top engraved material for some J-200's and Hummingbirds. These are replications of the way they originally were made. The "Flubber" is just a mess and should be avoided at all costs.
  13. It's the day after Christmas and I just finished snow blowing the sidewalk. It has warmed up to + 6. I will put a wrench into the bridge thickness if you don't mind. It's important to remember the J-200 has a top radius of 28'. The bridge has the bottom shaped to the 28 foot radius so it fits perfectly to the top. All of the bridges are close to the spec you mentioned but most are adjusted for the neck set so they can vary a bunch. Don't go for a standard thickness as there really is none. Fit the bridge to the guitar for the top radius AND the neck set. Then dial in the action with the saddle. Good luck with your project and don't be too big of a stickler for details as Gibson certainly isn't. I wouldn't try to machine the Flubber material from the back as it is a very rubbery material and it probably wouldn't work very well. If you use a celluloid material be sure to go slow and not generate too much heat. The celluloid is very flammable and you may have a problem. The folks in Montana always bring an old pickguard camping and just shave off a few slivers to get the camp fire started. If you get frustrated and want to go the original way rest assured that the hand engraving can, and is, a ton of fun and there isn't much you can do to screw it up. Just follow the lines and you and your pickguard will be fine. The celluloid has no grain so it's pretty easy to engrave. If you try to engrave celluloid from the back remember the color swirls thru all of the material so it would be difficult to see any engraving or paint from the front. Just a passing thought. Good luck and please keep us informed. We are interested.
  14. Hi Dan, The original pickguards were one piece of celluloid. The engraving was done on the top of the pickguard with a hand held graver. All done by hand. Then the color was applied. This was a time consuming endeavor and the pickguards were priced out at a dealer net of $150.00. $300.00 retail for replacements. It took a lot of time and skill to make these bad boys and thus the high price. All you wanted to know was the process and then the can of worms was opened. There has been a lot of speculation about the whole process. I'm to blame for this as I coined the term "Flubber" for the new material being used and am responsible for all the contention. I apologize to all concerned. I just think that if you replace a $150.00 pickguard with a .25 cent pickguard the price should be adjusted. The celluloid is readily available from any number of suppliers ( Stewart MacDonald) and the process should be rather simple with todays computers. Send us a photo of the completed project. Just for the record you would probably find the hand engraving process a lot of fun. Celluloid is highly flammable so be careful machining the stuff on a CNC.
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