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New Hide glue J-45 vs new non hide glue J-45


magictwanger

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I was surprised to see two of these "exactly" described on the inner label as Standard J-45's at my local G.C.....so...Just for fun,I gave them a whirl.The only difference I could see from a look over was one of them had a much nicer pick guard and the plate covering the truss said "2016".It was exceptionally well made and maybe a bit more attention to detail than the other J-45,which I've noticed to be consistent over the last couple of years.

 

Anyway,it "blew the doors off of the other one"!Don't get me wrong.I had no problems with the other version(sounded darn good)but after looking at the price tags I noticed the one that did not have the what looked like a Greven quality pickguard,or the 2016 designation on the plate cover for the truss was $900 less in price.....Hmm,I looked at the tags on each guitar and low & behold the "far superior" model and far more expensive as well,was made with "all hot hide glue"!

 

Sheesh! This thing was fabulous!! I checked to see if it was marked "custom" & nope!Standard J-45 on the label...I just checked Gibson's web-site and there is no indication of a newer model.......If Gibson makes a version of this baby with the hot hide glue and an Adi top I'd be hard pressed not to consider it and possibly sell my Fuller's 1939 J-35 Reissue,which I LOVE! I don't think the hide glue alone is enough to make me consider "that",but adding an Adi top at the price the guitar was marked at(just over three large) and considering that the fit & finish was up there with my boutique guitars (not that my Fullers is far below)would be really,really interesting.

 

The differences between this newer version and the other "still new" and not one sitting around at the store were significant in response and tone....Big Time!

 

Anyone have any additional info? I can't imagine Gibson switching the "Standard Model" to all hide glue and raising the price that much....Hmm?

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Anyway,it "blew the doors off of the other one"!Don't get me wrong.I had no problems with the other version(sounded darn good)but after looking at the price tags I noticed the one that did not have the what looked like a Greven quality pickguard,or the 2016 designation on the plate cover for the truss was $900 less in price.....Hmm,I looked at the tags on each guitar and low & behold the "far superior" model and far more expensive as well,was made with "all hot hide glue"!

 

Anyone have any additional info? I can't imagine Gibson switching the "Standard Model" to all hide glue and raising the price that much....Hmm?

 

 

I'm scratching my head on that one. Did you by any chance take a picture of the label that said "all hot hide glue?" I would be really, really surprised to see this on a "standard" J-45 model. The only modern J-45 I've seen with all hot hide construction is the Legend. I believe some more expensive recent J-45 models, like the TV, use hot hide glue for the top bracing.

 

The Gibson website says Franklin Titebond for everything but the neck joint on the 2016 J-45 standard. The new 2016 J-45 Vintage has a torrefied adi top with hot hide glue for the top bracing. That model has a list price of $3999, about $1600 more than the list price for the standard J-45.

 

Now, if they would cut off the fretboard of that J-45 Vintage just before the 20th fret, it would be close to being right.

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I've never understood the difference between hide glue and non hide glue. Is hide glue better and if so, why?

"Hide Glue" is actually rendered from animal product. As an organic material it crystalizes as it hardens and ages. Some believe this is a desirable quality in the of guitar tone.

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Wildwood offers an adi-topped J-45 (thier New Vintage Hide Glue model) that, according to the specs, has "hot gide glue on all bracing." The neck is joined with hot hide glue, as well, as with all Gibsons. I don't know if that the kerfing that joins the top and back to the sides is also held with hide glue, as the Legend model would have. Advertised for $4K.

 

Specs, pics, and a nice sounding video of it in the link below:

 

Link to Wildwood New Vintage Hide Glue

 

Red 333

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I've never understood the difference between hide glue and non hide glue. Is hide glue better and if so, why?

 

Hide glue hardens to a crystalline structure which is more sonically transparent than titebond. Titebond is a polyvinyl acetate, thermoplastic. As such, PVA doesn't transmit sound vibrations as well as hide glue. In addition to its sonic benefits, hide glue is water soluble and therefore, the glue bond can be broken with water or, preferably, steam. This means you can remove a dovetail neck by injecting steam into the joint - hence the wide spread use of hide glue joining necks.

 

The down side to using hide glue is that it is time and temperature sensitive. When you heat up a batch of hide glue and apply the hot glue to a join, you must fit the join together and allow the glue to cool after fastening the parts together. If you let it cool before you fit the pieces, the bond isn't as strong. Also, too much humidity or heat will make the bond fall apart, so the guitar made with hide glue is VERY sensitive to moisture and heat.

 

Hide glue granules at room temperature:

Hide%20glue.png?itok=5itvBIk4

 

Hot hide glue:

mf5topcrunch07.jpg

 

I am convinced the use of hide glue throughout the construction of my Golden Age SJ200 as well as the Adironack Red Spruce top are what sets it apart from a standard J200.

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I've never understood the difference between hide glue and non hide glue. Is hide glue better and if so, why?

 

Hot hide glue was used in the golden era of Gibson guitar building (along with some other, less-used adhesives). Gibson and other manufacturers switched over to synthetic yellow and white glues (like Titebond) in the sixties, since it was easier to work with and dried more quickly, allowing them to speed up production. Hot hide glue dries crystaline hard, so is thought to transfer string energy ideally. White and yellow glues can have a leathery quality when dry, so is thought to damper some amount of string energy.

 

Some luthiers say that the chief benefit of hot hide glue is that the entire building process must be more precise in order to use it. Other glues (and even epoxy) are used in production guitar making because the builders can be less precise cutting and joining parts; those glues fill gaps without compromising the strength of the joint. Hot hide glue requires extremely tight surface-to-surface contact in order to adhere correctly. When using white or yellow glues, builders don't have to sand braces as carefully to match tops, painstakingly fit necks to dovetail joints, etc. That lets them build faster (and time is money), but it means that the potential acoustic properties of the instrument are compromised, as there may be less solid wood to wood contact here and there.

 

This is the same reason that poly is oft used on less expensive prouction guitars instead of nitro as a finih--it fills imperfections, so less prep work like fine sanding is required, and wood with small defects can be utilized.

 

Red 333

 

 

Red 333

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I should have been more clear in my post....I never meant to imply that it was the hot hide glue that made this guitar so stellar! It was also quite a bit lighter in build.The label was "exactly" as the label on the standard,non hide glue model.It was the sales tag that said hide glue,as well as the far more expensive price....I immediately went home to play my Fullers J-35 reissue (no longer available) and would not trade for it,or consider selling the Fullers.....The Fullers is completely different sounding(different bracing and neck thickness)and has the Adi top....It is a phenomenal guitar,but it does make me think/realize how great the J-45 Legend must be!...."RED" you are a lucky guy. -:)

 

Still,in the "relatively standard J-45" class (made by Gibson,who can definitely make a damn good guitar)this new J-45 HHG is amazing.It was at the G.C. in East Brunswick NJ if anyone is interested and I have zero affiliation with them.

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I should have been more clear in my post....I never meant to imply that it was the hot hide glue that made this guitar so stellar! It was also quite a bit lighter in build.The label was "exactly" as the label on the standard,non hide glue model.It was the sales tag that said hide glue,as well as the far more expensive price....I immediately went home to play my Fullers J-35 reissue (no longer available) and would not trade for it,or consider selling the Fullers.....The Fullers is completely different sounding(different bracing and neck thickness)and has the Adi top....It is a phenomenal guitar,but it does make me think/realize how great the J-45 Legend must be!...."RED" you are a lucky guy. -:)

 

Still,in the "relatively standard J-45" class (made by Gibson,who can definitely make a damn good guitar)this new J-45 HHG is amazing.It was at the G.C. in East Brunswick NJ if anyone is interested and I have zero affiliation with them.

 

 

At one point a few years ago, I believe Gibson offered all hide glue construction as an option on the J-45 TV, instead of just on the neck joint and top bracing. As I recall, the upcharge was about $600 over the standard TV.

 

I've never seen it offered as an option on any other model.

 

Anyone who has worked with both hide glue and Titebond will appreciate the additional labor (and tools, like the hot pot) involved. If you've ever made your own shellac, it's a similar amount of time consumed compared to opening a can of finish or squeezing a plastic glue bottle.

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"Hide Glue" is actually rendered from animal product. As an organic material it crystalizes as it hardens and ages. Some believe this is a desirable quality in the of guitar tone.

 

I think mister Ferguson was/is one of them.

 

Difficult to go up 'gainst the master, but I find it hard to believe that the glue-factor is able to speak through all those other crucial issues behind the sonic differences from guitar to guitar (regarding same models too).

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Interesting comments on hide glue. I know very little about it aside from the accolades often attributed to it. I can understand the good points about it, but as others I think there are bigger factors in a guitars sound. I think I've got two guitars with hide glue and I attribute their good sound to the Adi tops. Still, my guitars without hide glue and Adi tops sound just as sweet to me. I'll likely do what I've always done. Just buy the guitar that sounds good to me. If it has the glue, great. If not, that works too.

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In addition to its sonic benefits, hide glue is water soluble and therefore, the glue bond can be broken with water or, preferably, steam. This means you can remove a dovetail neck by injecting steam into the joint - hence the wide spread use of hide glue joining necks.

 

Ahhh. So that's the real reason for the hide glue necks. Imagine the price of a neck reset if they used epoxy.

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Wildwood offers an adi-topped J-45 (thier New Vintage Hide Glue model) that, according to the specs, has "hot gide glue on all bracing." The neck is joined with hot hide glue, as well, as with all Gibsons. I don't know if that the kerfing that joins the top and back to the sides is also held with hide glue, as the Legend model would have. Advertised for $4K.

 

Specs, pics, and a nice sounding video of it in the link below:

 

Link to Wildwood New Vintage Hide Glue

 

Red 333

Thanks for the link...That J45 sounds awesome [thumbup] , but the thing that stands out the most in the video is Greg, the man just makes me smile (and I'm not into men) but I swear this guy could sell used arm holes for vests,(not that he's not pushing a superior product here) Wildwood guitars must chuckle to themselves when they cut is paycheck....and smile all the way to the bank [biggrin]
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The glue makes no difference in sound. If so you would probably hate your 1960s Gibsons built with the weldwood glue. What glue was used just makes it easier to work on some guitars than others.

 

Folks, what Zombywoof said is the heart of the matter. Paying a lot more for a guitar because the braces, or the top, or the neck joint were put together using hide glue is silly and a nice way for the manufacturer to get more for the guitar. I have a very nice 2007 J-45TV and for any differences in the sound of that guitar, for me, would be attributed to the wood. Paying in the neighborhood of $1600.00 more for the same guitar that has the braces attached with a different glue gives me the chuckles. Zombywoof is right on the money.

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Folks, what Zombywoof said is the heart of the matter. Paying a lot more for a guitar because the braces, or the top, or the neck joint were put together using hide glue is silly and a nice way for the manufacturer to get more for the guitar. I have a very nice 2007 J-45TV and for any differences in the sound of that guitar, for me, would be attributed to the wood. Paying in the neighborhood of $1600.00 more for the same guitar that has the braces attached with a different glue gives me the chuckles. Zombywoof is right on the money.

 

60's Gibsons are among the least desireable the company ever built in many people's opinions. Yes there are some gems, but unfortunately, there are a far greater number of examples that are overbuilt and suffer less than optimal tone for any number of reasons, glue discussion aside.

 

And no one is saying that the glue is the magic sparkeldust makes a guitar great. A guitar is a system--the glue is one of many elements than when optimized, produces a great instrument. White and yellow glues do not dry with the crystaline hardness of hide glue, and certainly must limit the transfer of string energy in some small way. Add up enough compromises like that, and that you reduce the chances of producing as good of an instrument as you otherwise might.

 

Please also note that one does not pay an upcharge because of a type of glue. You pay for the additional time the builder needs to use it. Time (multiplied by the wages paid to the worker) is the greatest factor in determining the price of a guitar. That's why one can buy a well-made and good sounding guitar from a pac-rim country, where wages are lower, and pay substantially less than one made in a counrty like the U.S., even though they made from similar materials and with the same apparent care. Does a guitar with fancy inlays sound any better than a plainer model? Why does it cost so much more then? The inlay material? No, the time it takes for the builder to do the inlay work.

 

More time is needed to work with hide glue. White and yellow glues fill gaps, so parts that are cut and sanded with less tolerance can be joined together (and this is the enemy of tone). A commecial builer can speed up production and sell for a more competitive price this way. The good ones can even produce great guitars (much to the benefit of we Gibson, Martin, Taylor, etc. owners).

 

Parts joined with hide glue require more preparation and must be fitted with greater tolerance. It is slower to dry. It takes more time to get the glue ready to use. These are among the reasons that most commercial makers stopped using it. It was easier and faster to use white and yellow glues at a time when the guitar market was rapidly expanding (the 60's folk boom) and demand for instruments was at an all-time high.

 

The additional time and care needed to make a guitar with hide glue means that more links of the tone chain are strongest. Higher tolerances. Better wood (the builder is going to use their very best wood when they're charging so much more). Greater care. While no one can guarantee that the best instrument that builder can make will will always be the result, the chances are (in Larry David's words) pretty, pretty good.

 

Your J-45 TV may indeed be a great instrument, and I'm glad you're happy with it. I like mine, too. You paid an upcharge vs a J-45 Standard for an adi top and hide-glued braces. But to disparage others who would pay an even further upcharge for hide glued back braces and kerfing, if that's thier choice? That makes me chuckle.

 

Red 333

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