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Does this old Gibson J-50 need a neck reset in the short future ?


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Hi, folks out there !

I'm considering buying an old Gibson J-50 at a good price, good sound.


Issue one:

The seller says action is quite low and comfortable, does not speak of neck (or reset) and saddle. From the pics he gives, action looks a bit high, saddle looks low. One of my good guitar friends says "action is high, saddle is low, which indicates a neck reset will be needed now or in the short future..."





What do you think of the action and saddle height ?

Neck reset needed in the short future ?




Issue two:

There's a hole in the back of the headstock. Is this an issue ? Will this deteriorate ?


I emailed the seller about the neck issue, but I also need the comments from friends here.

Any input will be appreciated...

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Regarding the J50 - It reminds me of Del's J-35 situation. In case you missed it, here -> http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/106236-concern-with-my-j35-saddle/

. . . and here -> http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/106580-is-my-j35-over-hummidified/


The action looks okay to me. That hole through the back of the headstock into the truss rod route is only slightly concerning to me - could be plugged with some mahogany sawdust and glue.




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I did not tell the link is because I was just considering buying it, I thought It was a great deal, so I kept it a secret to keep other guy from buying the great deal on the sly. Forgive me.

But I just knew the guitar actually had a very long crack in the side (the seller just added the pic of that crack), so I give it up. now I can tell the link:


Pics here:


Pics are the same as the pics I posted here.


The seller emailed to me saying price dropped to $2200.


If anybody is interested in it, just contact him.

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The hole in the back of the headstock is a concern to me. The action seems a bit high, although the photo does not really show it properly. It looks like there is very little saddle left, so I would say a neck re-set could be something to consider in the not-too-distant future.


I really don't know what's going on in the back of the headstock, but I don't like the way it looks.


It's a guitar I would consider only because I have an excellent luthier who could put things right for about $750, including the neck re-set. Otherwise, the guitar looks good if that is all original finish.


I don't understand the damage to the back of the headstock. It almost looks like charring from heat.

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I thought I had seen mention earlier in the day (possibly a modified listing in seller's ad at UMGF link) of a headstock crack. I could have sworn it was casually mentioned in the ad. Must've been a pretty catastrophic break to result in wood loss/disintegration that would allow that truss rod to be visible from the back of the headstock.


A dreadful sight, indeed.

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It's quite obvious that the back of the neck below the hole has been shaved down !


Well, maybe it was obvious to you! It is possible a previous owner wasn't a fan of the neck profile of an early 1950's model, had the neck shaved down, & that removed enough material to set the guitar up for the bad break it may have received. That discoloration across the flat area of the headstock would be where the shave was transitioned(?).


I grabbed an older J-45, and took a look at how the light reflection shows a much tighter tapered V in the volute area (where a "stinger" would be):



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