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Everything posted by sbpark

  1. Some are good, some are bad and some are great sounding. You just have to get out there and find one you like, or roll the dice if you order one online that has a good return policy, but know that many online vendors will not only charge you return shipping, but also charge you what it cost to send you the guitar if you decide to send it back simply because you don't like it and there's nothing wrong with it structurally.
  2. Guess I'm int he minority but I'm not digging the sound. Maybe it's the way they recorded it, or maybe that's just the way Hummingbirds sound, and why I've never been drawn to them. All clack and attack. That and the narrow nut and price this thing is most likely going for make it even less attractive.
  3. I've always experienced this with J45's and 13's, but this particular one sounds fantastic with 13's. It already had a very big, growly low end and just sounds huge now.
  4. I also said I have a fire/tiger stripe guard on my AJ and it doesn't look like that. And the tort guards I have are actually translucent in spots. I even have a few spots on my "OEM Gibson "Vintage" J45 pickguard that I installed on my J45 Standard (after 2 of the OEM rubbery pickguards failed to adhere) that's downright clear in a few spots and have also made my own and never had this issue or have seen it on my AJ with a stock fire/tiger stripe guard.
  5. Was playing my two Gibsons (J45 & Advanced Jumbo) against a D-18 Standard today in a shop that was goin gout of business, comparing them to the D18 (they D18 was on "clearance", so I figured I'd give it a go). Although the D18 was nice, it didnt rock my world, but thought my two Gibsons sounded a little thin/trebly, especially the J45. A couple months ago I switched to D'Addario 80/20's (previous using D'Addario PB's) for some more clarity, but felt like the 80/20's were robbing both guitars of some warmth, and this was glaringly apparent played next to the Martin (but the Martin did sound a tad muddy to me). Went home and put a set of DR Sunbeams (13-56) on each of the Gibsons and was pleasantly surprised. I ordered the Sunbeams a very long time ago and decided against trying them out because I always thought they were bright strings, but was for sure wrong. They definitely aren't as zingy out of the pack as other strings when new, but there still is a touch of zing hiding in there. Hoping that goes away after a day or two, but these are for sure warm strings while still being very well balanced without losing clarity. I went ahead and put a set of the 13's on the J45 because of the round core knowing they should be more flexible under the fingers, and so far so good. I've always thought that 12's always sounded a little thin on the J45, while 13's have tended to "choke" the guitar a bit. Sunbeam 13's dont seem to choke the J45, that low end Gibson growl is still there while offering just a touch more tension than 12's, which works for me because short scale combined with 12's always felt a little too loose for me. This seem like a nice choice for both guitars.
  6. What model I meant? There are several incarnations of the AJ.
  7. Congrats on the D-28! I've never been able to bond with them. I had a 2012 and a 1975 D-28, and have played the new Reimagined version. D-28's always sound a bit tight/choked in the lows, and have unbalanced highs to my ear, and HD-28's (used to have one of those as well) was too scooped with a boomy bass and thin highs. My Favorite Martin dreads are the new D-35's and D-18's.
  8. The stock fire stripe pick guard on my 2012 AJ doesn't look like that, and I've replaced quite a few J45 pick guards (tort, not fire stripe) including one that was an OEM Gibson pickguard that is sued in the "Vintage" models and a couple of the thicker, rubberized pickguards that are used on the "Standards", and have even made my own from blanks and applied a 3M adhesive sheet to it (the blank and adhesive sheet bought from StewMac) and have never had any of them come out looking like the OP's. I've never had any pattern like that under the pickguard. To me the Op's doesn't look right. Looks like either air trapped between the pickgaurd and the finish, or even wood/finish that was ripped off when the previsions pic guard was removed, but I doubt that's the case given the uniform pattern.
  9. I was wondering when this wold start to happen. With the way Gibson was doing it before, I felt like they were sort of shooting themselves in the foot so to speak. I had seen several local shops drop Gibson in the last few years because of Gibson's unreasonable demands on Gibson deciding the minimum amount of inventory that a shop needed to carry to remain a Gibson dealer. Hopefully this is a sign of things changing for the better for both Gibson and the local shops.
  10. I've played my share of Martins that are so easy to play (my D-35 was so easy to play and had a huge voice), and I've played Gibsons that feel more like a wrestling match and sound like garbage. Goes both ways. I've owned two SJ-200's. One was amazing, the other seriously was a joke and sounded god awful. I'm not a fan of Collings. So what's my point here? You can't lump every brand into a category of automatically being dogs or amazing because it's all a matter of personal opinion. The guy who bought that SJ200 that I couldn't wait to get rid of absolutely loved it. Who am I to say he's wrong? I didnt start this thread to bash Martins, which is why I started the thread by saying that they're fine instruments.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. It definitely wasn't the Fender amp!
  19. I just leave my J45 out on a stand all the time in front of my bass amp.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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