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NGD: 1965 J-50 ADJ


Boyd

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Haven't been able to put this down since I got it on Monday. Loving the adjustable bridge - it sounds just like Lightnin' Hopkins guitar to me [thumbup] It is setup very well and really easy to play. Looks like it may have had a neck reset a long time ago. The skinny neck is fantastic for me. After four days with this guitar, when I pick up my 2008 J-50 I'm amazed at how much harder it is to play. Also a completely different sound - much heavier on the bass end and the upper strings have sort of a "vocal" quality that is great for blues. The thick pickguard is also very cool. I wonder how much of an effect that has on the sound?

 

 

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Looks like a beauty! It's interesting that you love the adjustable bridge when so many people dismiss them as tone killers. I have no experience personally of a Gibson adjustable, but I own a 1970s Japanese made acoustic with one, which I have never felt was in any way compromised in the tone department for having one. What are you planning to do with your other J50 now you have this new one?

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Thanks guys!

 

What insert is in these pics?

 

Are you talking about the bridge saddle? It is the ceramic (I think…). Actually I thought it was some kind of hard plastic until I read about ceramic bridges in the other thread. I gently scratched it with a knife and it seems very hard. There are some little groves where the strings sit. Looks like this is just wear and not something that was originally there. Doesn't seem to affect the sound though. Can you buy a drop-in replacement saddle for these? Might be nice to have a spare.

 

Looks like the bridge was re-glued a long time ago. Seems very solid now though. The bridge pins look original, or certainly very old. They have some kind of residue on them, like yellowed varnish or maybe paint. I wonder what that is. The metallic parts of the tuners also seem to have a residue of yellowed varnish. I thought maybe they were originally gold colored until I looked more closely. I wonder if somebody painted them with varnish to protect them, and that discolored over time?

 

65j50-5.jpg

 

 

There's another thread here about the difference between the adjustable and regular bridges. I think it probably comes down to what you expect from the guitar. My 2008 J-50 has a much brighter sound, the upper strings have a very clear, crisp quality. The 65 J-50 has a fuller sound that isn't so crisp. To my ears, that gives sort of a vocal quality to melodies that you play on the upper strings (think: Rev Gary singing "what do you say Mr. Gibson?..." or Lightnin' saying "here's what she said…")

 

They also had a 1967 J-50 with the regular bridge in the same store. I tried it after playing the ADJ model for a half hour. Within 30 seconds I knew it wasn't the one I wanted. The regular bridge sounded pretty much the same as my 2008 J-50. That's fine, but not what I was looking for. I think it had the *really* skinny neck, but didn't play it long enough to really compare. It also had the thin pickguard.

 

But maybe the adjustable bridge is not a good sound for contemporary country music and bluegrass? Regardless, I am very happy with it. I am keeping my 74 J-50 because it was my first guitar. Also keeping the 2008. I've only had it for a year, but it's got a lot of memories wrapped up inside already. And it's nice to have the contrast of three J-50s that each sound completely different. :)

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Looks like a rosewood saddle to me.

 

Wow, you could be right I guess. It is very dark, almost black and I don't see any kind of grain. Not too familiar with exotic woods. Will have to look with a magnifying glass.

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That would most likely be a rosewood or ebony saddle you've got there.

 

The ceramic saddles are white & very easy to spot, but hard to come by.

 

GraphTech currently makes a white drop-in Tusq saddle,

which you could purchase for experimentation purposes.

 

Congrats!

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That would most likely be a rosewood or ebony saddle you've got there.

 

Thanks - I wondered if it might be ebony, because it is so black. Whatever it is, I like the sound.

 

GraphTech currently makes a white drop-in Tusq saddle

 

Found it here on their site. I might give it a try sometime - thanks.

 

http://www.graphtech.com/products/product-detail/pq-9016-00-tusq-gibson-style-adjustable-acoustic-saddle

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Thanks - I wondered if it might be ebony, because it is so black. Whatever it is, I like the sound. ��

 

 

Looks like ebony to me, which is a bit harder than rosewood. That could be a good thing, because the rosewood saddle give some guitars a duller sound.

 

The great thing about the adj saddle is that you can experiment with different saddle materials without making any real change to the guitar. There are people here (Em7 comes to mind) who have changed these adjustable saddles any number of times to experiment with tone. I modified one of these wood adj saddles many years ago with a bone insert, but you can also by a new all-bone adj saddle that is a simple drop-in replacement--no modification to the guitar, and you can go back at any time to the original configuration.

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Thanks everyone. I found the bone saddles here, but they are out of stock. They have the rosewood variety though.

 

http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/guitar-bass-nuts-saddles/replacement-adjustable-bone-saddle-for-gibson-acoustic-guitars/

 

http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/guitar-bass-nuts-saddles/replacement-adjustable-rosewood-saddle-for-gibson-acoustic-guitars/

 

Not big deal for me at the moment though, since I am very happy with the sound as-is.

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Congrats on the J-50 ADJ Boyd, very nice. The saddle on your guitar is rosewood. I managed to collect them all when I was trying to get a suitable tone out of my 04 Terada made "Non Macca" Texan. I will say that of all the saddle inserts I tried the best sounding were an original 60s ceramic one(very unique tone with those), and the bone offering that Philadelphia luthier tools have. The Tusq offering was O.K. but the bone was better.

 

Good luck whichever way you choose to go, and enjoy that guitar.

 

Steve.

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Congrats on the J-50 ADJ Boyd, very nice. The saddle on your guitar is rosewood.

 

Thanks Steve. But it doesn't look much like the one on the Philadelphia Luthier site (see below). Mine looks black and I can't see any grain. Maybe it was dyed or stained black?

 

[edit] Just looked a little closer in the sunlight. I guess it is rosewood. When the light is right, I can see some grain on the sides. So they probably just stained it really dark.

 

 

0f325a22-d737-4ef6-87fa-0847794f20b2__75589.1415451955.1280.1280.jpg

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Looks like ebony to me, which is a bit harder than rosewood. That could be a good thing, because the rosewood saddle give some guitars a duller sound.

 

The great thing about the adj saddle is that you can experiment with different saddle materials without making any real change to the guitar. There are people here (Em7 comes to mind) who have changed these adjustable saddles any number of times to experiment with tone. I modified one of these wood adj saddles many years ago with a bone insert, but you can also by a new all-bone adj saddle that is a simple drop-in replacement--no modification to the guitar, and you can go back at any time to the original configuration.

 

I cannot live with rosewood or fretwire saddles. With me they just got to go and the sooner the better. Both my '56 Epiphone and '63 B45-12 came with rosewood saddles. Both were gone within the week. It made a difference even I could hear. One of the things being done to my 1940s Regal 12 string up at the shop is replacing the fretwire saddles with bone.

 

Again, though the true culprit in the whole ADJ bridge brouhaha is the stiff, oversized laminate bridge plate. You replace the bridge but leave this in you have done only a part of the job. But if you remove that bridge plate and replace it with the older standard maple piece, you can not go back to the original bridge as I am assuming that big old bridge plate is needed for support.

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