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NGD Southern Jumbo 12 Fret


jazzpunk67

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I can't speak for Keith but I know a little background on the guitar.

 

Gibson did a short run of 12.fret SJ's a few years back. Keith worked with Gibson to produce 6 or a little more. It was exactly like the SJ but in a 12 fret model. It was sort of based on something Gibson could have offered during the banner years. I know of two forum members who bought one. Jannus had one but sold it since he had one of the smeck JB prototypes from Fullers.

 

After all of Keith's 12 fretters were sold he later did this one off guitar but had Gibson use adirondack top, hide glue construction and a few other true vintage appointments. Keith tells me this would have been a 2012 model.

 

In my search for a Gibson SJ or J-45 I came across the mentioned 12 fret SJs on the forum. I own a Martin hd-28vs which I love so I thought it would be great to try the 12 fret SJ out. I tried all the forums and eBay and came up with nothing. I was going to purchase a regular SJ from fullers but came across Keith's post in one of Jannus' posts. I contacted Keith and he mentioned he didn't have any of the first run SJs but he did have this one. He sent me a pic and I immediately had him send it to me.

 

Why a 12fret SJ? I think the ton is very similar to the newer SJs and J-45s but with a fuller sound and a nice swell in the bass. All the 12 fret jumbos I've played have. Sweeter sound than there 14 fret counterpart. My Martin just blew away the other hd-28v guitars I played. The bass was much stronger.

 

The guitar is a beautiful guitar and unique. Several guitar players have played mine and noticed afterwards the frets were not we're they we're supposed to be. They all loved the tone.

 

The only way I'd part with mine is to replace it with the same guitar but with the full bridge as opposed to the drop in bridge. Keith said thy ordered this guitar with electronics so the bridge had to be dropping to accommodate the under bridge Baggs element. I prefer the full bridge and no electronics.

 

Hope that answers some of the question.

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Several guitar players have played mine and noticed afterwards the frets were not we're they we're supposed to be. Hope that answers some of the question.

 

 

Thanks for the answer. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the above comment, however.

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Exactly. Guitar players who are not aware of 12 fret vs 14 fret can be baffled by the change. Your arm is extended less on a 12 fret. So someone might know the position but actually be off by the two fret difference.

 

Kind of like a fretted bass player playing fretless for the first time and playing between the frets instead of where a fret would be.

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These are all pretty accurate descriptions. The 12-fretter layout moves the bridge deeper back from the center of the X bracing. It definitely has a sweeter tone... not as aggressive. It has more swell in the bass as well. This is why I thought to do a 12-fretter. I just wanted to make a fuller, smoother guitar.

 

There is some adjustment too. as mentioned earlier, your point of reference will be off. if you close your eyes and grab what you think is the 5th fret based off of how far you are reaching, you will really be holding the 3rd fret. It's nothing bad. Just an adjustment.

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  • 1 year later...

Glowing review, great sounding 12-fretted.

 

 

Agreed. However, Tony refers to it as having a "bigger body", but as I understand it, it is exactly the same box as a J-45, but with soundhole and bracing shifted to accommodate the 12th-fret neck join. The body just looks bigger because the neck is shorter.

 

Also, he says it is 1 11/16" at the nut, which surprises me, since that isn't standard for Gibson these days.

 

Really, really nice guitar, no matter how you look at it.

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The JB is thicker. Not sure by how much thought.

 

It should be a little thinner in the body--I remember when the JB came out Gibson said is the is the widest they ever made. Of course the JB's got the 7/8 nut and walnut difference too. I would think this SJ is a totally different animal. I can't wait to try one. I can't speak for other people's JB's,, but mine while it strummed fine, was definitely not what you would call a hard strummer--it had limits. (no knock on the JB--it had lots great unique qualities!)

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Nick, what type of play is apt to take place on a 12 fret dread like this? Jackson Browne sweet mellow finger picking? Bluegrass? America-style strumming? Can one make a generalization like this?

 

 

If you look at Tony's video, it seems like a pretty versatile instrument. Modoc_333 (Keith from Baily Brothers Guitars) has discussed it in this thread a few posts back. I have never played a 12-fretter like this, but a number of really good players love them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How do these SJ 12 fretters compare in tone to a J-45 Legend? Do they come close to the way the Legends recreate the vintage tone, at a much cheaper price?

 

Totally different animal. See the comments from Keith from Bailey Brothers(modoc333) on another thread here on the 12-fret SJ.

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