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J-185 with Mahogany b/s


SycamoreDan

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I love the shape of the J-185 but would rather have mahogany back and sides rather than maple. I also don't want a cutaway. Does Gibson do anything that fits that bill? I've been a strictly Martin man for several decades, but recent experiences in local shops leave me much preferring the tone and feel of the Gibsons. The LG-2 American Eagle was a bit too small for my tastes. I may just pull the trigger on the J-45 Standard or TV, but I wanted to look into this 185 possibility first. Thanks.

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There was the short-lived WM-185 back around '99-'00 with mahogany back & sides.

It was part of the Working Man series, and they're pretty rare.

 

Nope -- sorry; those were also made with maple b&s, but stained a medium-brown. This is mine, a 1999 model:

 

99GibsonWM-180frontampback_zps330945d1.jpg

 

Perhaps Hogeye can detail any mahogany J-185s built; they certainly produced a number in koa over the years, but I cannot recall mahogany ones though.

 

Fred

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Nope -- sorry; those were also made with maple b&s, but stained a medium-brown.

Well, in checking my copy of Gibson's 1999 acoustic catalog, the model I was thinking of was actually called the Working Musician 180. The back and sides are listed as solid mahogany, with morado for the fretboard & bridge, and AT finish only. These specs were consistent with the three listed WM models (180, 45, 00), as well as the Songbird.

 

I had two WM-45s & played a few WM-00s, and these specs held true. Never had my hands on a WM-180, but recall seeing photos of one & it sure looked like mahogany.

 

Not doubting that yours was maple, but wondering if there may be some mahogany examples out there.

 

In the 2001 catalog, the WM-180 is no longer listed.

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Well, in checking my copy of Gibson's 1999 acoustic catalog, the model I was thinking of was actually called the Working Musician 180. The back and sides are listed as solid mahogany, with morado for the fretboard & bridge, and AT finish only. These specs were consistent with the three listed WM models (180, 45, 00), as well as the Songbird.

 

I had two WM-45s & played a few WM-00s, and these specs held true. Never had my hands on a WM-180, but recall seeing photos of one & it sure looked like mahogany.

 

Not doubting that yours was maple, but wondering if there may be some mahogany examples out there.

 

In the 2001 catalog, the WM-180 is no longer listed.

 

I think the WM-45 was the most common of the three Working Musician models. The one I showed above was a WM-180. Nice guitar. Stained maple back and sides.

 

Don't think they made WM-180s in mahogany.

 

Fred

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The one I showed above was a WM-180. Nice guitar. Stained maple back and sides.

Fred

Lovely looking guitar, Fred. I had been very interested in them at the time, but never could find one in stock. Ended up with a sweet maple-bodied '00 J100-Xtra (in a darker AT finish), which I still have.

 

It took me until last year to finally land a J-185, and it's an absolute keeper!

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Some other possibilities along those lines from Gibson in the recent past (?) would also include the CJ-165 (honorable mention here to the banned Jerry K, for whom the CJ was a fave). It's rosewood back/sides would probably be a nice combination in this slightly smaller J-185 shape:

 

TR Crandall has this CJ-165 lefty:

 

ScreenShot2014-08-20at34301PM_zps5033ade8.png

 

 

OP mentions mahogany leanings, so another rare bird would be the WM-00; doesn't have the tight waist of an L-00, and it's shape reminds me more of an el double-o crossed with a J-185:

 

ScreenShot2014-08-20at32842AM_zpsc97abb87.png

 

SycamoreDan, good to hear of your interest in the G side of things. If new to Gibson land, I think the iconic J-45 would be a good place to start. Hard for me to get my head around the quintessential J-185 sound. Probably because I haven't heard it yet. The reports I do hear about a great J-185 are of how they would have the balance, chime and tone of it's bigger brother, but with the punch and and some of the attack of the little Gibsons.

 

Tried to be the keeper of a J-185 once. It didn't take. A tough room whenever an SJ-200 TV is present. Maybe a different time, a different place.

 

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