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J-45 Top Change From Adi to Sitka


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I think around the end of WW2, say around 1947 or so. I've seen some early post-war tops that look like Adi, but it's not always easy to tell the difference between a piece of Adi and a piece of wide-grain Sitka, or vice versa. It's also not clear that most people could discern a tonal difference, either.


A lot of good spruce got used up building gliders and similar things during the war.


And there were no J-35's built after about 1942, I believe, so most or all of the early ones (not the modern versions) were probably Adi-topped. The J-45 was pretty much the J-35 replacement.


I believe ZombyWoof here has a fairly early J-50, and may offer some comments.

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Gibson started switching from red spruce to sitka in 1944. In 1945 while red spruce still does show up, sitka tops are the more common.


As J45nick said, 1942 was the last year for J-35 production. Gibson built a batch of the cool opaque yellow finish J-35s that year. If I recall J.T.'s book correctly, the first J-50s shipped in June 1942 (about two months before the first J-45s) so that would have signalled the end of the J-35.


My J-50 was built in 1942 and does have a red spruce top. As the J-50 was only built for a couple of months during that one year and does not make a re-appearance until 1947 (unless the Dylan guitar is in fact a J-50 and not a refinished J-45) the only ones you would find with the red spruce tops were among the small number built in 1942. As the J-45s remained in continuous prooduction you will find red spruce top guitars throughout the War years (as well as some mahogany top versions). You gotta figure though there probably will be the oddball red spruce top guitar showing up during the years immediately following the War.

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