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'44 J-45 What do I look for?


rebelwoclue

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Here's a good rundown: "9xx FONs to 2xxx FONs red spruce tops - often lightly built, usually lighter than the 7xxxH examples and sound warmer but not as powerful with beautiful harmonics. The tops differ in thickness and quality (some are 4p). Neck material reinforcement (some mpl necks, no truss) has an impact as well. Plus same old things for any old gutiar: neck angle, saddle height, top bellying.
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You are jumping in with both feet looking at a guitar like that if you have no experience with vintage Gibsons. Are you buying from a knowledgeable dealer, or from an individual?

 

Have you owned modern Gibsons, so that you have a frame of reference?

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You are jumping in with both feet looking at a guitar like that if you have no experience with vintage Gibsons. Are you buying from a knowledgeable dealer, or from an individual?

 

Have you owned modern Gibsons, so that you have a frame of reference?

I learned on my dad's '58 SJ and played it for years. I now have a '91 Banner SJ RI which I love to death. But no J-45s. This is from an individual "Grandpas J-45".

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Here's a good rundown: "9xx FONs to 2xxx FONs red spruce tops - often lightly built, usually lighter than the 7xxxH examples and sound warmer but not as powerful with beautiful harmonics. The tops differ in thickness and quality (some are 4p). Neck material reinforcement (some mpl necks, no truss) has an impact as well. Plus same old things for any old gutiar: neck angle, saddle height, top bellying.

Thanks! I have already seen that your link has some interesting information that will help. I appreciate it.

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Check the neck angle, height of action at the 12th fret, and the amount of saddle left showing at the bridge. Sight along the neck on both sides to look for twist and/or warping. Neck should be flat or a slight concave curve (relief). If you have a small flashlight and mirror, inspect the inside, particularly the top bracing and bridgeplate, to look for plate wear (damage around the pin holes) and loose braces.

 

Look at the amount of fret wear and the size/depth of fretboard divots to see if they present a playing problem.

 

Check the neckblock for a factory order number. Headstock should be script logo with banner. May or may not have a truss rod. If no truss rod, neck condition is critical.

 

If you can take photos and post them here, we may be able to help.

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Taking your time and being patient is the best policy. It is bad business to jump on the first "vintage" Gibson you run across because you have been bitten by the bug. I agree that if you do not know your way around these guitars you can get yourself in trouble pretty quickly. So it is best to lay out the extra bucks and buy from a reputable vintage guitar dealer.

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Here is the Banner Gibson web sight -- this was developed by Travis McCrae as part of the Banner Gibson project that initally also included Willi Henkes and John Thomas. The primary expert (probably the best in the world) is Willi Henkes -- he is a German luthier who is also on this forum. In general, he will answer questions. His partner in this work was John Thomas, but John later went his own way and wrote his Kalamazoo Girls Book on his own.

 

http://www.bannergibsons.com

 

I think this registry (from the same page) is Willi's cut at production order. It also has a very detailed list of features, which is good for dating.

 

http://www.bannergib...l-registry.html

 

Is there some reason you must date the guitar for certain to 1944?

 

BEST,

 

-Tom

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Here is the Banner Gibson web sight -- this was developed by Travis McCrae as part of the Banner Gibson project that initally also included Willi Henkes and John Thomas. The primary expert (probably the best in the world) is Willi Henkes -- he is a German luthier who is also on this forum. In general, he will answer questions. His partner in this work was John Thomas, but John later went his own way and wrote his Kalamazoo Girls Book on his own.

 

http://www.bannergibsons.com

 

I think this registry (from the same page) is Willi's cut at production order. It also has a very detailed list of features, which is good for dating.

 

http://www.bannergib...l-registry.html

 

Is there some reason you must date the guitar for certain to 1944?

 

BEST,

 

-Tom

Thanks Tom.

Unfortunately it's gone, but I wanted to make sure their claim of a '44 was, in fact, true and not something else. A banner in any year would be great though.

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Here is the Banner Gibson web sight -- this was developed by Travis McCrae as part of the Banner Gibson project that initally also included Willi Henkes and John Thomas. The primary expert (probably the best in the world) is Willi Henkes -- he is a German luthier who is also on this forum. In general, he will answer questions. His partner in this work was John Thomas, but John later went his own way and wrote his Kalamazoo Girls Book on his own.

Yes, I originally built the site and Travis very kindly stepped in to rebuild it and improve it dramatically.

 

Willi and I did start the journey together, with me to write the parts about historical background and the Gals and Willi, the undisputed expert, to write the portions about the guitars. Alas, I ended up having to complete the journey myself. I wrote my half some three years ago. Willi was busy with guitar building and wasn't able to get to his portion. I waited a year and a half, during which 6 of the 12 women I had interviewed died. I chatted with Willi and explained that I simply had to finish the book in the next year, or so, in order to be able to present it to some surviving Gals. Willi agreed with my sentiments and added that it would be a couple of years before he could conceivably complete his portion. We agreed that I'd complete "Kalamazoo Gals" and he'd hopefully some day complete a technical companion. I worked as quickly as I could and the book was released in March of 2013, in time for me to host the 4 surviving Gals at a book release reception.

 

I look forward to Willi's contribution to the knowledge base of Banner Gibsons.

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Thanks John, I'd like that.

I sent you a message but apparently your mailbox is full or something.

Randy

Randy,

 

Hmmm. Looks OK to me. Likely some sort of incompetence on my part in managing the thing.

 

Anyway, just email me at johnthomasguitar -at- gmail.com

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