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Posts posted by sbpark

  1. I've never been a fan of Grovers in J-45's. Consequently, I don't mind them on the Martin D-35. 

    I swapped out the Grovers on my J-45 Standard with some Kluson 3-on-a-plate tuners and never looked back. Just needed some conversion bushings from StewMac and some polish to buff out the "raccoon eyes" left by the Rotomatics. Took me easily under an hour start to finish. 












  2. For me at least I don't think it has anything to do with the fretboard radius. The reason I do not like flat picking on a J45 is because of the shorter scale length. I prefer the longer scale length of the Advanced Jumbo and Martin dreads. Even with heavier strings the J-45 feels floppy. I like a bit more resistance. a Martin scale length dread of longer scale AJ and some 13's and that's the way to go for flat picking, and for that type of playing my D-18 crushes a J-45.

  3. I bought a 2017 J45 in 2016. There is a 2017 stamp on the back of the headstock and the serial number (that's also on the back of the headstock) dates it a 2016, with matching serial number on the label visible through the sound hole. Gibson is/was releasing the following year's models early, similar to what automobile makers do. I also have a Fender that has a 2017 serial number on the back of the headstock, but the stamp at the heel (on the same neck) says 2018. Go figure.

  4. The YamahaFG Series has always had a reputation of being a killer value. They're VERY affordable guitars that are made well and are very consistent and sound pretty good. With that said, I don't think they are mind-blowing in how they sound, but they do sound really good, especially for what these can be had for, mores if you buy one used. Pennies on the dollar. 

    I had a Yamaha FG441-S for many years. Bought it brand new around 1997. A few years ago the action started creeping up and couldn't justify a forking out for a neck reset so I just sold it for next to nothing to a guy who bought budget guitars for school music programs. I was really nice guitar. 

  5. 1 hour ago, bobouz said:

    For the fingerpicking style I play 99% of the time, I typically want a punchy & percussive tone, with even string to string balance and fairly quick decay.  Gibson & Guild maple bodies are at the top of my list in delivering this, and Gibson's short-scale fingerboards are the cherry on top.

    I've owned quite a few Martins & still have two.  They're nice guitars, but in particular I do not care for the 16" radius fingerboard (which Gibson is unfortunately adopting on a number of newer models), and their darker tones generally do not work well for me.

    All of that said, I do have a soft spot for the 000 body in mahogany, having played a 1970 00-18 for twenty years - and now it's replacement, a 2000 000-16.  Quite crisp tonally, and the body size is very comfy.

    Bottom line:  There's more than one way to skin a cat, or find a good guitar.


    You should check out the 000-15M. All mahogany, and if you want a wider fretboard, LA Guitar Sales does a Custom Shop model with a 1 3/4" nut. Seriously awesome fingerpicking guitars and very affordable. 

  6. 2 hours ago, billroy said:

    The impression I've developed is the J45 and D18 are the foundational models for a collection and  you build from there... then everything gets compared to those 2 as you add on.  

    Then building the collection on the Gibson side I'd be thinking of adding on an SJ200, Hummingbird, Jumbo Reissue, and LG something or other.  Then build the equivalent Martin based collection, and then add a Collings and Froggy Bottom for comparison.  And I'd like a 12 string.


    You should also consider tossing in a nice Advanced Jumbo in there!

  7. I own four acoustics...two Gibsons (J45, AJ) and tea Martins (D-18, D-45)

    My first love was Gibson acoustics, but I am also smitten with my Martins. They all have their own voice and each has it's "thing" it does better than the others. My J45 is growly and sweet at the same time. My AJ is a bluegrass/flatpicking monster and is LOUD. The D45 has this three-dimensional presence, almost like ti has it's own built in reverb, and is killer for both finger picking and singer songwriter stuff. The D-18 is probably the best "all-arounder" of the bunch. I can do everything with this guitar and be happy...flatpicking, fingerpicking, bluegrass, singer-songwriter. It does it all. Very woody and "old school" sounding, if that makes any sense. Old school country, bluegrass and fiddle tunes just beg to be played in the D-18.

    Yo see a lot of people wanting to compare and agonizing over deciding between J45's and D-18's. To me they're not even close in comparison. Different body shapes,, different scale length, ever so slightly nut width on the Martins (mine are 1 3/4"). I sort of think of the J45 as a small-body guitar in a larger guitar's body and string mine with 12's. D-18's are a flat pickers dream, are monsters with 13's. has a larger body, longer scale neck, overall bigger voice.

    I've always thought the D-18 is pretty much the Swiss Army knife of acoustic guitars. If you could only have one guitar and play Bluegrass and fiddle tunes in your repertoire it's hard to beat a D-18. The "newer" (post 2012) D-18 Standards when they went to the 1 3/4" nut with, and back to scalloped and forward shifted bracing are pretty darn sweet., If you don't play any Bluegrass or fiddle tunes the J45 is tough to beat. Of course, neither of these are hard, fast rules. 

  8. 10 hours ago, jvi said:

    just wrong sparky, vintage means more than age...


    There are many definitions used to determine if a guitar is "vintage", so neither of us is wrong, only a difference of opinion.

    I'll put it you you this way...just because a guitar meets criteria as "vintage" (use whatever criteria or definition you'd like), doesn't automatically mean it's anything special, desirable or valuable. It can still be defined as vintage and be a worthless p.o.s., and just because you aren't keen to certain guitars made during a certain era doesn't automatically discount them from being defined as vintage. You may not like it, but that doesn't discount it from being something. 

  9. Seems a bit excessive to refinish the entire top for a few CA glue drips and dribbles. I'm sure there is a way to fix this to a satisfactory state, and even to the point where you can hardly notice the screw up without having to refinish the guitar. As a previous poster has mentioned, CA glue is used extensively in guitar repair and a skilled repair person should be able to scrape the existing flops down, then do some delicate sanding and finally buffing to get it to a good place. Pictures would really help. 

  10. 28 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

    About 2002 or so, I desperately wanted the new Martin OM-15 (all mahogany) but there were none for sale anywhere here. There were dozens of the 000-15 and I bought one with a cutaway and a pickup system - 000c-15e.....but the OM had 1 3/4 nut while the 000 had 1 11/16"....cramped for fingerstyle. I played it a lot as it had a beautiful tone, cramped or not. In 2015 or abouts, I bought a 1944 Martin 0-17 all  mahogany, also 1 11/16' cramped nut, dripping with mahogany tone. The neck had been reset and it was so bad previously that they had to put a wedge under the end of the neck. The 15th fret on the first string just goes 'plink' and it is amazing how often I play that note since I know I can't!

    But the tone just seeps out of the old thing, 75 odd years old, so the 000 though larger of body, is long gone to a happy player somewhere. While there was some family resemblance - sorry - no contest!😏






    Again, as many have already stated, you can't make blanket conclusions on an entire era/decade/period of guitars based on one example from that time. There will be amazing ones, great ones, good ones and awful ones from every period, new and old, vintage and modern, etc. You're also comparing a 0 size Martin to a 000 size Martin. Only thing in common is the name on the headstock. Would be like comparing a J45 and a LG0 and saying you prefer one over the other thinking it's apples and apples. 

    And jsut because these two guitars in the video look the same/very similar on the outside and both have the "35" in the model name doesn't mean they are even remotely the same or similar under the hood, because they are not. 

  11. 1 hour ago, Jinder said:

    On the neck angle issue, Gibson went through a really poor period with neck sets, from 2002 through to around 2014/15. Neck angles, especially on SJ200s, were atrociously arbitrary. When I bought my 2015 SJ200, I picked it from a batch of five, all of which had different neck sets. Mine was the best of them in terms of build, tone, playability and neck angle. Two flat-out needed a neck reset there and then, barely 2mm of saddle showing and you could deliver a fridge under the strings. A bandmate owned a 2004 J45 RW which had a horribly underset neck and my 2003 SJ200 needed a reset by 2008.


    I've played very few Hummingbirds and Doves with poor neck angles mind you, and no L-00s. The first wave of Bozeman guitars were, in my experience, all very well built in terms of neck geometry. I wonder whether it was an issue with worn tooling that later led to the angle issues. Possibly the same for Martin. I've seen some of the CEO series Martins with very poor neck sets.

    Latter-day Gibsons (ie 2015 on) seem to have VERY well set necks, with tall saddles for plentiful adjustment over time. That's something of a criterion for me as a buyer and player, so I'm very glad to see that they've got on top of the issue, I'm sure it was the source of quite a bit of warranty arseache.


    Looks like Gibson actually acknowledged the issue and remedied it, while Martin, for whatever reason apparently hasn't done a thing about it. 

  12. 29 minutes ago, blindboygrunt said:

    How would a guitar need a neck reset in a matter of a couple of years ?

    I get that it may  not be set very well from the factory , but then it would be dodgy when lifted off the peg in the shop right ?

    Do they 'slip' out of shape suddenly or what ?



    Who knows, and if they knew, I'd would think they would have corrected the issue by now. Maybe Martin doesn't see it as an issue.

    Their neck angles are literally all over the place out of the factory. I had a 2014 000-15M that I bought brand new and after a couple years (like 2.5 years to be exact) the action was so high I ran out of saddle and had nowhere left to go with sanding it down. Took it to an Authorized Martin repair shop and they along with Martin (I was there when the repair person at the shop called Martin and had them on speakerphone so I could hear because he had been dealing with this issue for a while and wanted me other it direct from Martin because he had some very unhappy customers when they refused to warranty a neck reset) acknowledged the issue but would not authorize a neck reset. They instead offered two options, to have Martin send the shop a lower bridge to replace the stock bridge, or have the shop shave down the existing bridge. I opted for the latter (the shop owner also builds gorgeous acoustics so I had no question about his skill and ability) and the guitar came out looking perfect. My only worry was the neck angle would keep settling/moving,  so I sold the guitar.  

    I will say this...every "newer" Gibson I've owned (from 2012 to present) have all had basically the same/identical and perfect neck angles from the factory. 



  13. Nothing “scary” about it at all. It’s a 40+ year old guitar. The service he had done are basically routine maintenance and par for the course for a guitar that age. A neck reset, refret and gluing loose braces is expected. Like buying an old amp, an old car, etc., expect to put some additional money into it to get it up and running/playable/back to it's former glory. 


    My ‘75 D-28 needed a neck reset, full refret, new pickguard (which was more involved than I thought because the original pickguards were placed over bare wood then the finish applied over it, so they carefully removed what was left of the old, lifting and shrinking guard, filled in the bare spot with lacquer and made it totally flush with the existing surrounding lacquer then applied the new guard) and glued a couple loose back braces. They also “relocated” the saddle about 1/16” because of intonation issues that many from the 70’s Martins have because of the bridges being placed incorrectly. They filled in the old saddle slot and routed a new slot and you could hardly tell after. I was lucky. Many had the bridge a little more out of place and needed the entire bridge scooted. Then a new bone but and saddle all to the tune of $1,200.


    What is kind of shocking  (and scary) about this is Martin didn’t charge him for any of the work, and he's not the original owner,, but if you search there are many “new” Martin owners who are reporting their guitars needing neck resets as soon as a a year to a couple years after purchase! This started happening several years ago and Martins response was to change their warranty to a “Limited” lifetime warranty, specifically stating in the warranty literature that they will no longer cover neck resets.  So they’ll reset a neck for free for someone who isnt the original owner on a 40+ year old guitar just because he’s an internet celebrity and owner of a shop that is a Martin dealer, but won’t warranty a guitar that needs a neck reset and had a poor neck angle set from the factory after a year or two to the original owner who shelled out good money.  That’s not cool.


    Don’t get me wrong, I love my Martins but it seems like they have some gross inconsistencies with setting neck angles from the factory these days and it’s been going on for many years now and they still haven’t seemed to correct the issue. There was a several page thread about this recently on the AGF where they discussed this exact issue with new Martins.

  14. I had a 44 year old D-28 and sold it for a profit because (I thought) it sounded like crap. My "new" D-35 and D-18 walked all over the "vintage" Martin. 

    For the record, I'm not poo-poo'ing vintage guitars, but I'm trying to make a point that just because it's old, and I don't care who made it, doesn't automatically mean it's going to sound great. I also don't subscribe to the belief that guitars made during "this" or "that" period are all great, or are all junk. There are duds and gems from every year. And obviously the inverse can also be true where there are vintage instruments that will walk all over new, out of the box guitars. The myriad of factors that have to align to get a really exceptionally sounding guitar are so many that it's really just a roll of the dice. There isn't one thing that will automatically get you "that" sound. And while we're at it, a guitar that might sound like junk to one person might be the next person's holy grail, and that was in fact the case with my old Martin. I couldn't wait to sell it, and the buyer couldn't wait to call it his own. 

    You just have to judge each guitar individually on it's own merits regardless of year.

    Also, theyr're comparing a D-35 with an HD-35. The D-35 has straight 1/4" braces, the HD-35 has scalloped 1/4" braces. The HD-35 is going to have a bigger low end and thinner/brighter high end, with more of a stopped sound compared to the '72 D-35, which is arguably from an era where Martin dreads were the most heavily braced than ever, larger bridge plates, etc. The HD-35 also has forward shifted bracing, the '72 D-35 is a standard bracing pattern, not forward shifted. Nut widths are also different with the D-35 being 1 11/16 and the Reimagined HD-35 is 1 3/4". 

  15. Over $3.9M for the black Strat, making it the most expensive guitar ever to sell at auction. 

    The D-35 also set a record for the most expensive Martin ever to sell at auction. The previous record holder was Eric Clapton's Martin.

  16. 36 minutes ago, kidblast said:

    no doubt about that,  but then again,  back in those days, they weren't shelling out $5k for a J200 either.  so there is that! 🙂


    But if you factor in inflation it's usually been shown that what they cost new back then was pretty comparable to what they cost now. 

  17. I've watched the new Scorsese/Dylan documentary twice. I'm going to just guess here, but I'm pretty sure they worried less about creating a haze on their guitars from their arms, and probably spent less time wiping down their guitars and fixating over every nick, dent and bump and worrying less about resale value, and just had a darn good time playing. 

  18. 1 hour ago, ajay said:

    I really like my Gibsons. I just take a polishing cloth and lay it under my arm, or wear a long sleeve cotton shirt. If the polishing cloth has a sewn seam aroun the outside, I cut it off.  It may seem like a little too much worrying, but I have always gotten top dollar for my guitars. They are also easier to sell. If they open the case, and it' gleaming, they are more likely to buy it. I have never had a guitar fail to sell if someone comes to look at it, so it must work.



    I buy guitars to play, not for their resale value. I'd hate to be that neurotic and waste that much energy and time always worrying about preventing every possible dent, ding and scratch. I just put just play my guitars. I still can't understand those that are so concerned with "resale value" when their guitar shopping, or mores than just playing the darn things.. So many haven't even bought the guitar yet, and you're already thinking about resale value. 

  19. 30 minutes ago, fortyearspickn said:

    sbpark,  if you went to a car care forum and someone snarky suggested you add sugar to your gas tank to your tank after every fill up, you’d  be ok with that?


    I'd be fine with that because I actually know better. People live such sheltered lives these days. Anyone with half a brain could do the research and figure it out for themselves. And with the internet at our disposal, if you were the person who actually did add sugar to your gas tank (or used OFF! insect repellent as a guitar polish) you deserve the results. 

    I never take anyone's word on an Internet forum as gospel. If someone offers advice I'll usually look into it deeper and take time to actually fact check/validate it. If you're the type who just takes random advice as legitimate fact then I feel sorry for you (and I'm pretty sure you're not that gullible). 

  20. 2 hours ago, j45nick said:

    I agree with this. You can't assume everyone here understands the difference between a joke and legitimate advice, particularly if they are new to the forum and don't appreciate the quirks that sometimes emerge.


    If you're that gullible and actually use bug spray to polish your  guitar, you deserve the results. Harsh, but c'mon people. Nobody has a sense of humor these days. Stop taking yourselves so seriously, people. 

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