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j45nick last won the day on November 14

j45nick had the most liked content!

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About j45nick

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  • Birthday 01/22/1947

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    South Florida
  • Interests
    Guitars. Music. Building stuff. Sailing. Politics. Fine wine. My wife. (not necessarily in that order)

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  1. As ZW says, you can't really "fix" it. However, if it is white plastic (not dark celluloid, which could be out-gassing), you can sometimes glue any pieces that fall out back into place with a bit of super glue. I think Stewmac even sells some type of glue particularly good for binding installation. If the binding is crumbling as well as cracking, you either have to live with it or replace it. If it is deteriorating celluloid, it will damage everything it touches over time.
  2. I work for two different organizations, each employing 100-200 people. Between those two groups, there is one person older than me that I am aware of. He's the head of global marketing for one organization. But the money behind that group also comes from another another guy a few years older (and a lot richer) than me. What is this "retirement" of which you speak? Tell me more. It sounds promising...
  3. Sounds great, Sal! Nothing quite like a J-45, is there?
  4. We learned the hard way about sending guitars to Gibson or Martin for repairs in the 60's and 70's. I dropped off an 1870's 28 series parlor guitar in Nazareth in 1971 for repairs, and they sent it back as "beyond repair." Instead, a talented local luthier took it on, and did a beautiful job on it. My 12 string was an ES 335 electric. It was an ungainly creature, but beautiful. The headstock was massively long. It fit perfectly into an Epiphone 335 clone (not sure what that model is) case, since the Epiphone also has a long headstock. That's the only guitar I've ever sold that I actually lost money on.
  5. I've had two Gibsons with the 1 9/16" nut width. One was a 1968 ES 335 12-string. That one not only had the narrow nut, but it had just about the shallowest Gibson neck I have ever played. I couldn't figure out why that heavy extended 12-string headstock hadn't ever broken off. Ultimately, it felt more like playing a mandolin than a guitar. I eventually let it go, even through it as a beautiful, great-sounding guitar in near-perfect condition. Maybe no one could figure out how to play it. The other is an outlier, and can scarcely be compared with most narrow-nut Gibsons. It's my original 1948-'50 J-45, which I've had since 1966. When that guitar went to Gibson for repairs in 1968, I asked for a new fretboard, since the old one was badly rutted up through the first five frets or so. This was a big mistake, although I had no way of knowing what would happen. Along with re-topping the guitar (rather than re-gluing the old top), Gibson decided when replacing the fretboard to narrow the neck to 1 9/16" at the nut. Fortunately, they did this without touching the original neck depth. The neck retains much of that wonderful feel of late-40's to early 50's Gibson acoustic necks, even though the nut width really is only 1.5625". By comparison, my "new" (and completely original except for tuner buttons, saddle, endpin, and bridgepins, which I have replaced) 1950 J-45 has a nut width of 1.70" , or just over 1 11/16", on a very similar neck profile with the same depth as the other J-45. The "old" (narrowed neck) J-45 also came back from Gibson with those late-60's low-profile jumbo frets, which make it play more like an electric than an acoustic. You can switch between those two guitars without a lot of adaptation, although you are acutely aware that things are quite a bit tighter until you get well up the neck on the one with the narrow nut. I suspect that "old" J-45 is a guitar you would enjoy, since you prefer a narrower nut.
  6. Tom, thanks for sharing that great performance with Aina Jo. That's one of my favorite Ian Tyson songs. Saw Ian and Sylvia perform it back in the mid-1960's when I was at university, and will never forget that. Those were great times for those of us who loved the "modern" folk music of that era. I still play a lot of those songs.
  7. That's a pretty good summary. The guy that works on my guitars specializes in vintage Gibsons and Martins, and the guitars in his shop for repairs always blow my mind. He understand how they were built, and how to keep them working. He says he spends the largest percentage of his time un-doing poorly-done previous repairs, and I believe that. He was really happy to work on my "new" 1950 J-45 earlier this yer, largely because no one had ever touched it. It was exactly as it came from the factory (plus about 70 years of wear). Because bridgeplates can be so traumatic to the guitar to remove, he saves them whenever possible, preferring to conserve rather than replace when practical. For example, he merely filled and re-drilled the worn pinholes in the bridgeplate on my "new" J-45. However, the 1968 plywood bridgeplate on my "old" 1950 J-45 had to go, and it wasn't an easy job getting it out
  8. That is a great-sounding Dove! What's interesting is that it's a '65, but that looks very much like the wider 1 11/16" nut width neck, whereas you usually think of 1965 as having the narrower 1 9/16" nut. Maybe it was early in 1965. Not a fan of the tune-o-matic on an acoustic, but it doesn't seem to hurt anything here.
  9. Depends on the guitar, including its condition and neck set, as well as how you use it. I used Martin monel mediums on my 1950 J-45 back in the 1960's and 70's, but use DR Sunbeam PB lights (.012-.054) on that same guitar today, as well as on my other Gibson flat tops. Back then I played a lot outside for/with others, and the extra volume of the mediums, plus the "cut" and distinctive nickel tone of the monels, was a plus. Now I play for myself and usually by myself, so the PB Sunbeams, which are easier on the fingers and more mellow in tone, fit the bill. I've been tempted to try medium Sunbeams on my modern SJ, just to see what they're like. If you use heavier strings on a vintage guitar, keep an eye on it for changes in action. Mediums add substantially to the tension loads on the guitar.
  10. I have mixed feelings every time I watch one of this guy's videos. He has a great shop, with a lot of very clever fixtures, and he knows how to use them. But he also shows disappointing ignorance about some of the instruments he works on. Maybe that's part of his shtick. The guitar is obviously a J-50 from about 1964-67. That Martin-style bridge footprint was only used on the J-45/J-50 for a couple of years in the mid/late 1960s. If it had been '68, it probably would have a screw-on pickguard. By 1969, it would have been a square dread. You would think that a starting point for any repair on a vintage guitar would be an understanding of what the guitar actually is. The bridge he was replacing on the guitar was not original. When he got it off, the plugged holes from the original adj bridge were visible, and problematic when it came to removing the bridgeplate. The ply plate was clearly original, and was what Gibson was using in that period. Although the material he used for the replacement plate was unusual, it made sense, although when I had a similar plate replaced, I went with maple, which would be traditional for that instrument. I don't know why he didn't go to the original slope-J drawings to determine the proper bridge height it he wanted to replicate the original, but he ended up in the right place. I am not a fan of over-sized bridges, even to cover cosmetic issues. Moving the position of the pin holes away from the back edge of the bridge and closer to the saddle was a win-win decision, giving a better string break angle and slightly better structural properties for the bridge. He could have done that with the original bridge footprint. At the same time, he did a good job on the repair, even if he over-complicated it in some ways. He's the kind of guy that I would give my guitar to for work, but only with a very complete written understanding of how the work was to be executed. No freelancing allowed, no changes without owner approval.
  11. 40000 with the made in USA stamp would be 1974-1975.
  12. In a word, no. It might be Dove-like, or a Dove copy, but only Gibson can build a Dove. Is a J-45 clone a J-45? What about a D-28 clone?
  13. The back bracing can be quite different from model to model. The braces in your J-45's are similar to the back braces in other modern slope-J models, such as the SJ. I have both modern and vintage mahogany slope-J's. My modern 1943 SJ re-issue is a superb guitar, but the completely original one-owner 1950 J-45 I bought earlier this year has one big advantage over it: 70-year-old wood. That one is hard to beat for classic Gibson tone. Gibson Bozeman acoustics from the Ren era are, as you say, probably some of the best guitars Gibson has ever built.
  14. Based on the second set of photos, the difference is small, but real. I doubt that there is any tonal impact, given that the top is doing most of the work. It would certainly not be an effect that could be isolated from differences due to wood variations, etc. Your question did pique my curiosity, however. I pulled out my two 1950 J-45's, with FON's suggesting they were built a month or so apart. The back bracing on those two is very similar, but it is also apparent the end scallops were cut by hand, because they are not absolutely identical. These are essentially handmade instruments, after all. What really varies substantially in many vintage cases is scalloping of top braces, since those appear to have been done largely by eye.
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