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New Gibson J-45 Custom


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Hello all. I've been reading quite a bit here lately and decided to join. I probably should have done so BEFORE I made my purchase, but better late than never. As the title says, I just bought a brand new Gibson J-45 Custom, same as the one on their website. I could not find one in any music stores near me, so ordered it online which is actually cheaper because of no tax, etc. Initial impressions of the guitar are that it is more beautiful in person than in pictures. Was absolutely stunning to first see when I opened the case, and the smell made it even more so.

 

I couldn't wait to strum it, and I'm going to be honest in that I was a little disappointed in how quiet the guitar seems when I finally sat down to play. I guess I was expecting it to have a little more volume. Bear in mind this is my first high quality guitar, and I taught myself to play on a Matao Korean job which isn't exactly the creme de la creme. This is a big purchase for me, and I want to make sure it is what I want and I am happy. I have a period of time to try it out and can return it for something else if I see fit. I am not a guitar hoarder, so whatever I choose will be my only acoustic and I will likely keep it forever. I've been wanting to purchase a nice guitar for almost 10 years. The only future purchase will be a Les Paul but that is well down the road.

 

The tone and sustain of the J-45 Custom are of course FAR SUPERIOR to the junker I learned on, but I guess I thought the guitar would have more boom, etc. Now I am second guessing myself and wondering if I should have gone all out and bought the Hummingbird. I love the sound. There are, of course, other Gibsons to choose from but I know nothing about any other models. I do like the slope shoulder of the J-45. The sales guy on the phone was very nice and told me that there are some "dead" Gibsons, probably 5% max, but this wasn't one of them. I asked him to play it a little to make sure. Maybe I was expecting too much? Also, places like Guitar Center have much better sound rooms. This house is all drywall and carpet so obviously it will be muted a bit. I'm just kind of nervous wondering if this is "the one." The craftsmanship seems to be very high quality. Thanks for reading.

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Congrats on the new guitar! Depending on where you live, nd what the shipping conditions were, you have to let the guitar adjust to its new environs bit. It probably still thinks its a tree. If the tone is there, that's a good thing. The custom is Rosewood back and sides, no? Did yours come with a pickup installed? Are you intending to play plugged in? I sold a Les Paul a few years ago to get my J-45 - and this thing jut keeps getting better and better and better. Does it have the roar of the Four Martin Dreadnaughts I've since moved along? No. But it still has enough rumble to tickle my chest. I think you will find that within a matter a even just a week you will find that guitar starting to reveal its identity. Nice instrument.

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That is a stunner - great looking slope, congrats. Great inlay on it too. My favorite body shape for sure. I wouldn't worry about the H'Bird yet. Break in this J45, and you may not need it! I know there are many Gibsons to choose from, but if you develop a relationship with this one first, well who knows. It might get jealous and then we have a real mess on our hands.

 

Seriously though, if you have a store that carries Gibsons near you, take the J45 with you. Play a new Hummingbird along with yours. That is the only way to know. Tone & Feel. Mahogany VS. Rosewood.

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Thanks, Paul. The picture is not that great as it was the cell phone. I'll take more with my actual camera to try to capture the color better. It is striking. It's also sounding better and better. I think she's waking up! I really like it, and am starting to think it was the right choice. I've waited so long for a nice guitar and I'm hopeful that 6 months down the road I still feel the same. There are so many to choose from, but I always wanted a Gibson. I liked the rosewood back and sides with the inlay and bound fingerboard on this model.

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Been here. And it was with a Hummingbird. It looked great. It smelled great. Everytime I opened the case.... but then I would go to play it and it didn't deliver. Personally, I'd the J-45 back. I'd go to a guitar shop that had a variety of name brands and models and see which ones spoke to me. Only then could I make a decision. Turns out, there was at least one knockout Hummingbird that I played at Russo's but time and money were not favorable then. Since I've landed a Martin M36 that turns heads. To go with a mid'60s Bird that's lots of fun. If you're planning on one guitar to be your baby, make sure it's one you love, love, love.

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Congrats on the Custom J45 . very nice guitar I have one also mine was slow to open up but it's getting there in my opinion but worth the wait ,its different the the Hog J 45's to my ear I love the difference , only thing I did was I changed the PU in mine and put lighter strings on her. Great RW Guitar.I have 2 a J40M Martin and the Custom, The Gibson gets played more ��

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Fmbl - Congrats & Welcome. I got a J45 Custom 4 months ago and was non-plussed the first week or so when comparing it to my other 2 guitars. I think it was 3 or 4 weeks before it started to wake up. New guitars have to be 'broken in". Now - it sounds fantastic. My other 2 guitars were slightly broken in when I got them, so I didn't go through the scary experience I did with this one. Compared to your Korean guitar - I can guarantee you will quickly come to love your J45 Custom. If you are concerned about volume - I don't think an H'Bird will get you more. You can spend a lot of time looking for the elusive butterfly of love or you can love the one you're with - if you will pardon my mixing song lyrics. If you're expecting to be a one guitar guy for the long haul - the J45 is thought by many to be the best all around guitar for different types of music. G'Luck.

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Thanks for all the replies. I chose this guitar because I've always wanted a Gibson, and it seems to be the perfect model for me. It was pretty much at the top of my price range but I decided to get the best I could. I honestly don't think my skills would warrant anything nicer (and perhaps not even this). I only play covers of songs I grew up loving. That's what makes me happy. Songs like Tangerine, Gallows Pole, Pigs on the Wing, Angie, Over the Hills and Far Away- lots of strumming numbers. It really puts a smile on my face. I want to improve my skills, and wanted a quality instrument to kind of invigorate me. The Korean Matao job just got old. I am very happy with the craftsmanship of this guitar. There are a couple little imperfections, but they don't bother me. I can't expect anything to be absolutely perfect as I don't think that exists in any product. And, I plan on playing this for years and years so there will be wear and tear anyway. I will try to take some better pictures. They did a really nice job on the finish of this guitar and the burst is absolutely beautiful. I will try to figure out how to capture it. Anyway, I think I'm going to keep it! The only hesitation I had was wondering if I should just go all out and get the Hummingbird.

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They did a really nice job on the finish of this guitar and the burst is absolutely beautiful. I will try to figure out how to capture it...

 

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This lighting/background shot is a nice way to document a top, as well as a burst (Guild Orpheum 12 fret, here). Good to have some pics... grain features can help identify a guitar, and a pickguard is practically a guitar's "fingerprint" (there's a "wishbone" in this p/g).

 

Many people will list their guitars in their sig line; useful to know where they're coming from, or perhaps a link to their music; good to know when they're asking for info on a particular guitar. But you've done yourself a favor by naming the actual songs that you'll be looking to do on your guitar. Although many will point out you can make any decent guitar do your bidding, there is no harm in following the recipe for playing the guitar that the songs were originally recorded on.

 

The Stepping Stone Guitar idea might work for you if you were able to have a little, hopefully temporary, overlap of guitars. It would be quite possible to have a Hummingbird in your living room from one of the big box stores with their 30 day return policy: after your a/b'ing session(s), your Plastic would be credited back before you even got the bill . This way, you could play the Custom and the 'Bird, both strung with your favorite strings. The guitar would be returnable to your local Bird store, very few questions asked.

 

Funny you mentioned tone & sustain in your orig post. The short scale J-45 is not exactly legendary for it's sustain; if anything, it's more known for it's strong mids and rapid decay, which is what makes it so nice with vocals. Maybe the rosewood changes that a bit (I'm hoping so; as a former Martin dreadaholic, I think rose' would be nicely reined in by the Gibson short scale, and sloped shoulders). Also- loud is overrated. When you find one that's unusually loud, I mean really loud, it's amusement value is usually more in the anomaly, rather than the tone.

 

Here's to hoping that any of that not-uncommon buyer's remorse soon wears off, and that you're able to have a great weekend enjoying your new guitar.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the thoughtful reply, 62burst. I've updated my signature to reflect my guitar. Appreciate the insight on the J-45 sustain. I supposed anything is a huge improvement over the Matao. It truly is an awful guitar, but I made myself use it for years to make sure that I was serious about actually learning, and not just blowing money on something which I'd never play. I know the J-45 Custom isn't really a high end guitar as far as Gibsons go, but it sure is nice for me. I got a very good deal on this one, and I will keep it. I am loving it. I will see about getting a black background and some decent lighting to take a good picture. Thanks for the insight on that.

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That is a great looking guitar. What you may have discovered is that different guitars, even of the same model, will,have different characteristics such as tone and volume. That is why I always play before I pay. I recommend playing your guitar hard for a couple months and get her loosened up a bit.

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You will love the J-45 custom. I took mine out of the cabinet a week ago and she's still out on her stand. I go through cycles with all my guitars. Some weeks, I will play only the J-45, then rotate to the DIF, then the Olson and of course, my Taylor 12 string is sweet as well. I guess they're a lot like kids, no one is loved more than others.

 

Congrats and enjoy.

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I bought a custom j45 like yours back in April...and like you just loved looking at the thing, let alone playing it. Some people, I believe, are not sure about the extra bling of the custom, others will say that a j45 should only ever be mahogany. But I think the rosewood sounds fantastic and personally I love the extra bling and that lovely headstock design. It was also my first Gibson acoustic, though I own a gorgeous 1981 ES_347 electric. My j45 records beautifully and seems to get better the more it is played. I am sure that as your guitar opens up it will become better and better. Enjoy playing it!

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I totally concur with this. I got mine in July and it gets better by the week. It was that good to my ears when i tried it in-store that i sold my D28 to fund it. I had to have it. I had a standard model for 4 years but the custom blows me away.

Enjoy it and play it a lot - I do!

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