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1954 J50?, replacement bridge?


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Hi all,

I bought this guitar about a month ago. It was not in a very playable state: One crack in the top, very low saddle, far too low action with lots of buzz, some loose braces and an internal microphone which was loose inside.

Now it is back from the repair shop, in great shape, sounding very good and with great playability.


There is no inside label stating the model name. The seller claimed it to be a 1954 model based on the number which is located as a stamp (Ink?) inside the guitar on the neck block, but he had no knowledge of what model. This number reads x –four digits- some space- then two digits. Based on Gruhn’s Vintage guitar guide and the Guitar Identification book by Duchossoir, I agree that this should be the FON from 1954. There is no other serial number, maybe it was on the label which is missing?

To me it looks like a J50, I cannot find any other likely candidates.

I have checked the above mentioned books for the detailed specs for J50 of 1954:

The following fits perfect:

• Spruce and mahogany slope shoulder , natural top.

• Logo : classic port-war logo with open “b” and “o”

• 19 metal frets, or 20 including the sadle? Not sure how you count these? According to Gruhn , there should be 20.

• 16inches wide

• 24 and ¾ inches scale length

• Dot inlay

• The binding on the top is a thin black and a thick white on the side.

• The back binding is a single white.

But the bridge does not fit the description

• The upper belly is of rosewood, but there are no pearl dots

• There are no bolts going through the bridge and top (under the pearl dots)

• I cannot feel any holes in the bridge plate inside after bolts

• The bridge plate feels small and rectangular. I do not know what it is made of.

• The luthier who fixed the guitar could see no sign that the bridge is a replacement (although he could not be totally sure)

• The bridge is rosewood and of good quality.

So I guess my questions are?

1) Does this seem like a Gibson J50 from 1954 to you?

2) Any theories on the bridge? Have any of you heard of variations in the bridge constructions from this period? I.e. could the bridge be original, or could both the bridge and bridge plate be replacements?

Looking forward hearing from the experts!

post-65618-065848000 1401377767_thumb.jpg

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While, I love a good vintage mystery.....I still don,t consider myself an 'expert'....But, I think it looks 54-ish J50ish....BUT, the bridge 'looks' a slight bit off to me...(color and size)... I would need to see more detailed pics of the bridge and bridge-plate to make any more accurate judgements of originality....


How's she sound and play?...Never mind....you said in the opening...DuH!

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I found this 1954 J50 on the internet:



According to the information it is all original.


The bridge looks exactly like mine.


Read the full description on that J-50. From their website, " Fully setup by Master Luthier Bill Tippin including neck set, new bridge and saddle, sister plate on Bridgeplate, refret and replacement Kluson Deluxe tuners. This is not all original, but a perfect player sure to be stable for years to come. "

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Sorry, I should have read the entire text.

Well, thank you guys for confirming what I already suspected strongly.

The bridge is a replacement, but is a very good one done by a pro.

I have absolutely no intentions of doing anything about it.


The guitar is super excellent. It has very nice and powerful tone and my luthier has done a really good job of making it play great.

I have read all the magazines and books raving about the warm and woody tone of these Gibsons, and I now understand what the fuss is all about.

I have not played any such vintage Gibsons before I bought this, so I cannot really say how it compares with other Gibsons of the same era.

I would like to believe that I got really lucky!


thanks again


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