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7enderbender

Looking for the right J45

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I would get a used, 5 plus year old Gibson, that has the hundreds of hours to already open up. Look for it to come from a good player that plays all over the neck - meaning: not from a cowboy chord, fret wear factory.

Get pictures of the frets stings pulled back. Check saddle height and ask for sound descriptions, and / or clips.

 

You are right on track with the model playability. Short scale, 2 3/16" saddle spacing, and 1.725" nut width....Truly is heaven for a band oriented youngster like your self.

BTW: I have bought and sold 20 or more acoustics in 50 years. The J45 Rosewood ( my third rosewood) from 1999 is never going away. Talk about dynamic, warm, lush and bark with a pick.

 

It's so hard for some new ones to grab on to us when we try them. Corroded strings, new tone wood, or new strings. Funky setup, sticky necks, quiet output, etc.....

But most will come around after a hundred hours of play and intonated setups. Tone rites are cool.

 

I have 5 high end guitars that sound like heaven but the $1,300 (used price), eBay, 1999 Rosewood is the proverbial cannon.

It is the one I use for most solo stage or class work. For ensemble work you might just want the mahogany to have your cut through the mix sonic spot in your band.

 

Someday I might get the TV but it will be used and opened up. My 59 Gibson Country Western has the same specs but with the mahogany EQ.

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I played a J-35 in store not so long ago. It was extremely impressive. If I were to buy my first high end acoustic guitar, that is exactly where I would start. I think the J-35 offers the most tone per dollar spent of ANY acoustic out there today, by Gibson or any other maker. It is an incredibly good looking instrument too. You could spend thousands of dollars more, and only gain marginally as far as tone.

 

Only one opiniob...

 

Lars

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I'll chime in - I have a 2005 Historic Collection with the stock Fishman Matrix Natural pickup that Blindboygrunt has. Of all the guitars I have ever owned in my life, including several vintage Gibsons, this one is my favorite. The neck contour on mine feels identical to my memory of the neck on my much-missed '60 LG-2; the sound manages to reproduce what I loved about the 1950 J-45 I once owned, but with a breathy, very sensitive quality on top of the ability to chunk out mounds of sound when needed. FWIW, I play finger-style-ish with my bare hands, AND I use John Pearse pure nickel wound acoustic strings.

 

It is very much Ren Ferguson's redesign - the x-brace angle is not quite as wide as the old ones, and the soundhole is far enough away from the bridge that the end of the fingerboard covers the inner rosette ring - but it nails enough of the old Gibson sound and vibe to make me happy and at the same time it's stable enough stay out of the repair shop.

 

I understand that Gibson's marketing people need to eat and all that, but bear in mind that something like 99% of the Gibson J-45/50/SJs we have heard in our lifetimes - the ones that shaped how we hear this sort of guitar - were made of good ol' Sitka spruce and not Adirondack red. The "forward shifted AJ bracing" is a recent modification to the design. As you wade through the zillions of minor variations that Gibson has deemed it necessary to produce, just think of how thoroughly refined a design this guitar is!

 

I could say, "play a bunch of J-45s and find the one you like," but you might be like me - I walked in not even looking for a J-45, seeing this one and, on a whim, picking it up - and being smitten down right there, holding it without having played a single note on it and thinking, "Why is MY guitar hanging on the wall of this Guitar Center?"

 

Good luck!

post-380-021558400 1437482377_thumb.jpg

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Signed into this forum 5 years later and just finally purchased a 2019 J45 Standard after a few detours. 
Interesting to go back in time after I had forgotten this thread - just to see that I pretty much landed again on the same solution (after almost ordering a custom Martin that efficiently would have turned out to be something not that far off from a J45...). 
Should be here in a few days after a setup and having everything double checked. 

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43 minutes ago, 7enderbender said:

Signed into this forum 5 years later and just finally purchased a 2019 J45 Standard after a few detours. 
Interesting to go back in time after I had forgotten this thread - just to see that I pretty much landed again on the same solution (after almost ordering a custom Martin that efficiently would have turned out to be something not that far off from a J45...). 
Should be here in a few days after a setup and having everything double checked. 

If you would have gotten a Custom Martin, unless ordering a slope shoulder shaped one, that they make would be nothing like a J-45, except maybe the body shape.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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On 6/4/2015 at 9:33 PM, 7enderbender said:

 

 

Thanks. That helps. Yes, that is I think what I have narrowed it down to: no Martin (at this point) and no Taylor, don't want to make this more complicated by exploring other brands, J45 is my favorite type of sound so far, Gibson short scale and neck feels "at home" (for an acoustic), I like the look of the newer models, not the banner or the old style font, I need a good pickup system (I'm fine with the factory installed one, sounds good enough for my needs), would prefer a white nut and more traditional tuners though instead of the Grovers on the Standard.

Again, I think there is a 2005 model from the Custom Shop that I'm curious about but haven't been able to locate yet (and other than the Martin1940 dude thinks there aren't really that many brick and mortar guitar stores left around here).

Go with a J 200.  In my opinion the best overall Gibson Acoustic.  

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Get a J45 (I say with a baked top) play it for a year and then decide if there's things you'd like to change.  Might be...  but I bet you'll bond with it.  FYI - I'm from Boston area as well - not a plethora of Gibsons around to play so I'd probably order one from a reputable dealer (i.e. Wildwood, or Fullers if they carry gibson...)

Edited by billroy fineman

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Bison , Billroy  - that ship has sailed.  He said he already ordered a standard J45.   

I know, from a visit 5 years ago to the Boston Guitar Center - Gibsons acoustics  are as rare as Republicans.  They didn't have any.  We use to live in Western Mass. and it wasn't any better.

On the other hand,   I was in the San Antonio Guitar Center yesterday and was amazed at the number of Gibson acoustics.  Hadn't been there since the  change-over at the top (Henry's departure, etc.) - but back then, they usually only had 2 or 3, never more than 4.   Now, after the Christmas Sales - they had a dozen.: a couple of J45s, couple of Hummingbirds, a J=15 marked down, etc.  Of course, I couldn't do much with them, there was a teenage girl and boy perched in there, plugged into an amp singing and playing  for another couple in the small space.  Ironically, neither her guitar nor the  bass he was playing were from that area - reserved for Gibsons and some Martins and Taylors.  I guess it was too cold for them to play at home in their garage.  I may may have to go back today. Maybe they'll have gotten better.   And, as I think of it - our local "Mom&Pop"  had 1 or 2 when I stopped by for picks and strings, a couple of months ago.  A first !  I wonder if Bozeman has added a second shift.  

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4 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

Bison , Billroy  - that ship has sailed.  He said he already ordered a standard J45.   

Ah - I had missed that.  Good choice and enjoy - I look forward to pictures and reviews.

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6 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

Bison , Billroy  - that ship has sailed.  He said he already ordered a standard J45.   

I know, from a visit 5 years ago to the Boston Guitar Center - Gibsons acoustics  are as rare as Republicans.  They didn't have any.  We use to live in Western Mass. and it wasn't any better.

On the other hand,   I was in the San Antonio Guitar Center yesterday and was amazed at the number of Gibson acoustics.  Hadn't been there since the  change-over at the top (Henry's departure, etc.) - but back then, they usually only had 2 or 3, never more than 4.   Now, after the Christmas Sales - they had a dozen.: a couple of J45s, couple of Hummingbirds, a J=15 marked down, etc.  Of course, I couldn't do much with them, there was a teenage girl and boy perched in there, plugged into an amp singing and playing  for another couple in the small space.  Ironically, neither her guitar nor the  bass he was playing were from that area - reserved for Gibsons and some Martins and Taylors.  I guess it was too cold for them to play at home in their garage.  I may may have to go back today. Maybe they'll have gotten better.   And, as I think of it - our local "Mom&Pop"  had 1 or 2 when I stopped by for picks and strings, a couple of months ago.  A first !  I wonder if Bozeman has added a second shift.  

 

Ha! Yes. I may be one of three Republicans up here and one of five J45 players now...

I got to play a few while traveling and actually two around here ultimately. There used to be the occasional J45 TV popping up and also the previous model "Custom" with the rosewood. I played a bunch of lovely Martins lately and came close to ordering one of their "sinker mahogany" 0000 or D18 style guitars in sunburst. So ultimately, I figured why spend almost double when I lardy know that I very much like a good Standard J45. So I have one coming my way. Should get here next week after it getting the once over.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

If you would have gotten a Custom Martin, unless ordering a slope shoulder shaped one, that they make would be nothing like a J-45, except maybe the body shape.

 

True. Even with the Martins I preferred the mahogany bodies. The current custom order "sinker" mahogany guitars are fantastic. 0000 and D18 (not a fan of the shape) were considerations. So was the CEO-7. While they are probably technically "better" in many ways I ultimately couldn't justify the extra cost. And for my use the J45 just seems the right match. I like the feel and look and how they sound by themselves - but more importantly they are easily managed for recording and live use in band context. More to come

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