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sbpark

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Everything posted by sbpark

  1. I've played several D'18's, including a really nice D-18 Authentic that a guy brought by when he was trying out my D-35. Sounds crazy but I'd still take my J45 Standard (that's been somewhat "heavily" modified" over that D-18 Authentic.
  2. Not bashing Martins at all. They make some fine guitars, but I just sold the last of the few Martins I had. Paired down to just two acoustics and ended keeping my J45 Standard and an Advanced Jumbo. I play the J45 99% of the time and it's just the one I reach for 99% of the time. I had a D-35 that almost gave the J45 a run for it's money. It was a beautiful sounding guitar, huge, rich, warm and clear sound, but not as versatile as the J45, and in some cases a little too powerful, but man did that D-35 sound good! Also had a 70's D-28 that I gave the works to before selling it (neck reset, refret, a couple loose back braces glued) and a '14 Custom Shop small body 12-fretter. Just never bonded with Martins like I did with my two Gibsons. The only Martin guitar I really do like and could see myself getting again would be a (relatively inexpensive) 000-15M. Martin really hit the nail on the head with that guitar. They sound amazing and won't break the bank, but for now it's just the J45 and AJ.
  3. Without even realizing or doing it on purpose I've been leaving my J45 just in front of/off to the side of my Fender Rumble 210 combo amp since last July. I know it sounds nuts, and I've never been believer of guitars magically "opening up". Or should I say that I think it can happen, but isn't a given, and some guitars may open up or change over time, some for the better, some may end up sounding worse, and some may not change at all. I bought this guitar brand new because I thought it had a nice low end, but over the last few moths have been noticing that the guitar sounds way more full and open. Initially I felt like it had somewhat of a tight, almost pinched high end, but all of that is no longer. This guitar just sounds amazing. Maybe it's all in my head, who knows, but that guitar has literally been out on that stand in front of that amp that I play for quite a while and sounds better every day.
  4. My experience has been the opposite. I've bought two guitars form them, the J45 in person and then ordered a 00-18 from them several years later and got an incredible price on both.
  5. I'd be giving Wildwood Guitars a call in Colorado. I'm sure they ship internationally, usually have a huge selection In stock and their prices are very good. They'll even get out every J200 they have in stock and play them all and pick the one they think matches best with what you're looking for. I've witnessed them doing this in person where a few employees were actually playing guitars for each other in the store and discussing which one would be best for a customer who had called earlier when I was there several years ago picking out a J45. FWIW, I've owned two J200 Standards, both from 2012. One sounded glorious and regret selling it everyday, the other was a stunner visually, but really sounded like garbage.
  6. I never liked the "newer" J35's. I played several, and owned one for a hot minute. Too bright for my taste. I think the combination of the bracing pattern used (same as the AJ I think) with the short scale neck and mahogany back and sides just didnt work for me. Now, my AJ with the same bracing pattern, long scale neck and rosewood back and sides is a beast. I also have a J45 Standard that I love, and felt like the J35 was just a weaker, thinner sounding and less complex sound compared to the J45.
  7. I did the same thing as well in my 2017 J45 Standard, ditching the stock UST and battery for a K&K, and also replaced the tuners with vintage-style 3-on-a-plate tuners and the weight reduction is VERY noticeable, and the guitar sounds much better both lugged in and unplugged.
  8. It definitely wasn't the Fender amp!
  9. I just leave my J45 out on a stand all the time in front of my bass amp.
  10. A basic set of Craftsman automotive feeler gauges, capo, StewMac String Action gauge and a truss rod wrench are my goto tools. I don really use the feeler gauges anymore because I dit it by eye/feel now, but the small investment made in those tools in invaluable.
  11. First adjust neck relief. You have to adjust the relief before doing anything else. If you have too much relief the guitar will be harder to play, and contrary to what the sticklers will say, it can contribute to lowering the action, but is NOT meant to be done to do this solely. This is why you adjust the relief first because it will lower the action. If you have a bunch of relief and adjust the action first, THEN adjust the truss rod you may end up with the action being a touch too low. My J45 Standard was recently PLEK'd, and set up perfectly. Low E action at the 12th fret is 5.5/64" and just a hair under 4/64 on the high E. I usually go a bit higher, but this was the way the shop set it up, and it doesn't buzz unless I hit it pretty hard.
  12. I created a thread just for this going from Rotomatics to white button tuners: http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/144148-j45-standard-tuner-conversion-done-super-easy/ For me, Rotomatics just dont look right on a J45. The J45 is a very traditional, understated yet classy guitar. The Rotomatics are too big, heavy and gaudy, and just don't work for me cosmetically. I swapped them out on my 2017 J45 Standard, and think it's a huge improvement, and the guitar also feels noticeably lighter. Consequently, I don't have a problem with Rotomatics on my D35 visually, and actually think they look decent on that guitar.
  13. I should also mention, don't get caught up on one particular model or incarnation of J45. I owned several "newer" J45's ranging from three standards, two True Vintage and one Vintage models. The one that I kept was a Standard! Now, just because the others mentioned didn't make the grade, they obviously went to new homes, and they may very well be the best J45 that person has ever had. Again, it's all relative. l And FWIW, I drove 4 hours each way (twice) when I bought my Advanced Jumbo. If you're that concerned and worried about not getting a "good one", suck it up and put in the work and effort.
  14. If you like how it sounds and plays in your hands, then it's a good one. What sounds good to you might be garbage to someone else, and vice versa.
  15. As long as the frets are in good shape and level, adding in less relief will actually put a little more tension on the strings/make them a little more taught, so when you hit a string it will be traveling less than when the neck had more relief/the strings were "floppier". Also, your playing style has something to do with it. And most electric guitars will have some fret buzz audible when played unplugged, as long as you're not hearing fret buzz through the amp your alright. You must have a pretty light touch to be playing a shorter scale electric guitar with 9's. I just had my '12 SG Standard setup with D'Addario EXL10's. Just a hint of relief int he neck, new bone nut made and the action is just a hair over 4.5/64" on the low E and 3/63" on the high E. Plays like a dream.Get a little fret buzz heard now and then played unplugged, but I do have a heavy right hand sometimes, but no string buzz heard through the amp. People should keep in mind that your playing style also has to be favored in to how the guitar is set up. Some guys who are ham-fisted and really hit their guitar hard when playing will need higher action, especially if they're going for a minimal relief as possible.
  16. Funny, as the OP of this thread I pretty much never visit this part of the forum anymore, and usually stick to the Acoustic section. I picked up this SG from the shop today after getting it setup and having a bone nut made. A little while ago I also replaced the 490R & T pickups with some SD Seth Lovers and replaced the PCB board with a StewMac Golden Age harness, and shorty after scored an old Gibson "chainsaw" case for $25. Regardless of how the tailpiece height, blah, blah, blah, the guitar is incredible now. Really couldn't ask for anything more. especially since I got the guitar for like $600, and ended up selling the original pickups and PCB board and crappy case it came in. When I was there dropping off the guitar there was a guy right behind me dropping off a '67 or '68 SG that needed the nut replaced. Was interesting to see old and new side by side.
  17. I guess they're making any combination of woods and calling it an "AJ" now? Maple back and sides? Drop in saddle? Sounds like a different model to me, but then again, look at all the incarnations of J45's that seem so far off the original spec/woods but they still call them J45's! I guess Gibson can call whatever they want whatever they want!
  18. I'm also too boring for this thread. I used D-Addario PB's for the Martins and 80/20's for the Gibsons. I've done the "try every string imaginable" thing a while ago and determined that D'Addario's just get the job done, sound great, are affordable and can be found pretty much anywhere.
  19. My guess is only Gibson knows the answer to this. With the J45, the "Custom" designation usually refers to the rosewood back and sides version that also has a bit more "bling" as far as inlays, etc. With the AJ I have no idea. Gibson is notorious for changing names or designations year to year for no apparent reason, just because. Does your AJ have East Indian or Madagascar rosewood back and sides? I know some of the AJ's labelled "Custom" use Madagascar over the normally used East Indian rosewood.
  20. My 2012 AJ sounds great, stock plastic pins and all, so I have zero need or desire to change them. If I lost a pin, one broke, got mangled, etc., then I'd replace them with either the same exact plastic pins, or a bone set from Bob Colosi PURELY for aesthetics. I also have a 2017 J45 Standard I replaced the stock Tusq pins on. I just hated the way they looked. The tops were flat and squished looking, overall the pins looked small, and they just bothered me as far as looks, so I replaced them with a set of bone pins from Bob Colosi. Again, this was ONLY for cosmetics/aesthetics. All my other guitars (D-35, CS 00-18, and a 1975 D-28) all still have their original plastic pins (including the '75 D-28). Personally, I think you'd get more bang for your buck experimenting with different strings and the most overlooked, cheap thing to experiment with that affects the sound of your guitar...picks! Picks are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get different (and very noticeable) sounds from your guitar. In comparison, bridge pins are a bit more expensive, and the change in tone/sound is negligible/debateable/non-existant in a lot of cases. My take on drive pins and affecting "tone" us whether or not you can hear a difference is directly related to how much you spend on replacement pins. The more you spend, the more of a difference you'll most likely hear.
  21. I've owned a couple of the WL-14's and played pretty much the entire line. They're great guitars but never really did it for me. Recently came across this Custom Shop Martin 00-18 that I've been really happy with.
  22. I removed the LR Baggs UST in my J45 Standard and replaced it with a K&K and run it into a Radial PZ Pre and it sounds so much better than the Baggs UST.
  23. Unfortunately interactions like this just come with the territory. I usually have a tolerance of one back and forth with someone, and if they seem to be playing this exact game that Sal is experiencing I just ignore them. Like Sal mentioned, many of us have some nice instruments, so haggling over $3-$7 dollars is just ridiculous and can be insulting. Whenever I do a purge like that just to get rid of some odds and ends just to clear out the clutter by selling a couple pedals, tuners, straps, etc., I just set a fair price and usually after a while someone will come along and take it. those who reply with lowball offers or are into the constant back and forth messages usually aren't serious and are just time wasters. For them it's more about the deal, and I dont really have the time and effort to engage with those people anymore. Sometimes I'll just take the stuff to a Goodwill or Salvation Army store simply because I have no desire to deal with these nut jobs.
  24. I have a 2012 AJ (rosewood back and sides) that's suffered a neck break by a previous owner and it has a pretty slim neck and I still put 80/20 mediums (13's) on it. Much prefer mediums on my AJ compared to lights. It's a monster with mediums! I save light gauge (12's) for my J45 and my 12-fret 00 Martin.
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