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NGD: 2010 J45TV


sbpark

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Been on the search for a good J45 since around 2014. Had a few Standards and could never bond with them. Sure, they look the part and have a sound of their own, but just wasn't the J45 sound I was looking for, and can't justify shelling out the cash for an old vintage J45. Also played a few SJ's, a NOS J45TV and a few more Standards at a 5 Star dealer about an hour away and left empty handed, and basically picked up any J45 I came across along the way at local shops. I even ordered one of the new "Vintage" models with the baked tops from a reputable online vendor, but was far from impressed with that guitar in terms of sound and fit and finish, so it quickly went back.

 

One of the local GC's had two J45TV's for sale so I figured I'd go check them out. Well, one was stellar, and it came home with me. It had rusted, corroded strings on it, but you could still tell it has something special to it. Had some kind of weird saddle on it and the action was sky high. Has some light fretwear. Came with the original case. I brought it home and replaced the (possibly original uncompensated) saddle with a compensated Colosi saddle, lowered the action and tweaked the truss rod just a touch. Guitar has a really nice, warm, rich, even, trademark J45 sound. It also looks and feels old and is very light. Just for grins I compared it to a J45 Standard they had there and it had that same unevenness and "clang" on the high B and E strings that I have noticed on a lot of Standards along with a very tight, constricted sound, while the TV was open, warm and a thumpy low end with surprising sustain. The entire guitar just vibrates. It just sings and sits perfectly in the pocket when you sing while playing it. I'll be taking it into my guy for a light fret dress. Also ordered a Terrapin pickguard because as superficial as it is, the stock pickguard covering the rosette drives me nuts.

 

Oh, and the best part about it was negotiating $570 less than their asking price! I guess they were willing to deal given that both of the J45TV's were sitting there for more than 3 months. They made an offer, I countered it, and had to wait around for the manager to get approval from corporate (something I never had to wait for in the past), and they accepted it.

 

 

 

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Cool guitar. I really like the bursts that Gibson comes-up with. That guitar is a beauty. Hope to hear it as well as see it. I play my J45TV a lot. As a matter of fact, it's been right at a year since I changed the battery and strings. Maybe I'll get it done tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration.....Nice, nice guitars. :-({|=

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If you're a Gibson fan it's hard to beat a good J45..........solid instrument with an iconic tone. Love the brown/pink cases the vintage models come with, beautiful box, but they are so heavy. Glad you found one that floats your boat.......your patience is rewarded.

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If you're a Gibson fan it's hard to beat a good J45..........solid instrument with an iconic tone. Love the brown/pink cases the vintage models come with, beautiful box, but they are so heavy. Glad you found one that floats your boat.......your patience is rewarded.

 

The case is a featherweight compared to the case for my 2011 HD28. It's the old style Martin case, not the newer plastic/molded case. It weighs a ton (and the guitar is for sale). I'm done with Martin. Sold one of my Martins last week, and only one more to go, then it will be a Gibson house (and a Waterloo WL-14 which is basically an inspired by Gibson, right?)

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You know, that particular guitar might look really nice without a pickguard.

 

On the other hand, I do like the material Terrapin uses, and have one from them on my LG2-AE. Guess you can decide when you get it & pull the old on off.

 

And btw - Congrats!

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Looks awesome! Congrats and question that your mentioned " that same unevenness and "clang" on the high B and E strings that I have noticed on a lot of Standards "....I purchased a new standard 45 and it does have this Clang on the B/E strings. I call it more of a ping. Any suggestions on how to subdue that sound a bit?

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You know, that particular guitar might look really nice without a pickguard.

 

On the other hand, I do like the material Terrapin uses, and have one from them on my LG2-AE. Guess you can decide when you get it & pull the old on off.

 

And btw - Congrats!

 

I'm sure it would look great without a pickguard, evidenced by a somewhat recent thread of a member here doing just that with a J45TV, but I would destroy the guitar without one in the exact spot where the pickguard would be. Plus, I just like the traditional look when the pickguard is properly placed on a J45!

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Looks awesome! Congrats and question that your mentioned " that same unevenness and "clang" on the high B and E strings that I have noticed on a lot of Standards "....I purchased a new standard 45 and it does have this Clang on the B/E strings. I call it more of a ping. Any suggestions on how to subdue that sound a bit?

 

Yes, I guess it is more of a 'ping' as you mentioned with the B and high E strings on the standard. I tried a bunch of things to remedy that, because I had experienced that on many Standards, certain SJ's, etc. Tried different strings, different set-up specs, slightly more relief in the neck, slightly higher action, etc. I just came to the conclusion that it's probably due to just being an inherent characteristic of a lot of Standards, maybe due to the bracing pattern, size of braces, type of wood they use on the top, etc. Who knows, but for whatever reason I just kept encountering that characteristic and the super tight, almost compressed and in extreme cases, muted/choked sound on the low end. Maybe that's what people describe as a more "modern" J45 sound? Or maybe because the Gibsons I have leaned toward and preferred recently have been several years old, this is just something that changed over time as the guitar "breaks in"? Over the last few years I have had better luck with Gibsons made between 2010-2012. Can't explain it, but for whatever reason the ones I have owned and played in that small window have all sounded great. My AJ is an early 2012 and is killer. Had an SJ200 that was a 2010 that was beautiful.(Consequently had a 2008 SJ200 that sounded horrible.) This J45TV is from 2010 and is one of the best "newer" J45's I've heard. The more recent ones and the 2014 and 2017 J45 Standards I've played have all had that signature 'ping' and constricted sound, and maybe they just needed to settle in over time? No clue, but really have found that although all acoustics vary in their sound even within the same model, this does seem to be more noticeable with Gibsons. Or maybe I just think this because I tend to reach for Gibsons more when on the search for a good acoustic? If I'm in a shop I'll always play the Gibsons and rarely pick up guitars from other companies. Martins do tend to be more consistent across the board from model to model, but it's a sound that I just don't prefer as much as a "good" Gibson example, along with the fact that I refuse to give my money to a company that recently has changed their warranty policy, but has been fairly vague and sneaky about it, even though I had purchased the guitar seemingly before they silently made this change and screwed over many customers.

 

Not to derail the thread, but I bought a new 000-15M that was a beautiful sounding guitar in early 2014, and ended up needing a neck reset in the last few months. Took it to a very reputable authorized Martin repair person locally who told me Martin is no longer authorizing neck resets, even though he agreed that mine met the criteria. Apparently over the last couple years there has been a large number of dissatisfied customers bringing back Martins that are only a couple years old where they have experienced rising action and saddles that have been lowered and lowered to the point where the saddle can't go any lower. My little 000-15M was set up perfectly and beautiful sounding when I bought it, and when I took it in to have it looked at, and having it set up once more during the time I owned it, the saddle was at it's limit, and the action had crept up to 4/32" on the low E and 3/32" on the high E, which is out of Martin's minimum allowable factory spec. The luthier said it had put him in a very awkward position telling customers this and has resulted in some pretty upset customers and was something he had being seeing in the last couple years more and more with Martins. I was there when he called Martin and he had the call on speaker so I could listen, explaining the issue to the warranty person, giving measurements and his findings from my guitar, and they flat out refused to warranty a neck reset. Instead they authorized a new bridge to be installed or shaving down the current bridge. The guitar also had developed an unevenness on the top, almost a rippling effect which followed the pattern of the sapele/mahogany of the guitar. The guitar was properly cared for and humidified, never mistreated, kept cased, etc. Luckily this guy is a world-class luthier as well, and he did an amazing job shaving down the bridge and you couldn't tell that it was even done, and the bridge. After the repair I sold the guitar at a deep discount. I can see an acoustic needing a neck reset after 15, 20, 30 years, but less than three is ridiculous. And if this is happening more and more with newer Martins across the board it means something is wrong with Martin, so they should step up and acknowledge it, not change their policy without telling customers. I'll never buy a Martin guitar ever again, new or used.

 

These findings of many new Martins needing neck resets was echoed by a very reputable shop about an hour from where I live who said they have also seen many unhappy customers come back with the same issue as me, where their action had crept up over a short period and Martin's band-aid fix was to install a lower bridge and flat out are no longer covering resets, and their shop manager was fuming about it, and it was apparently a hot topic of contention at the shop, that is known to be a big Martin retailer and has a world-class repair shop attached to it. I have no clue what's going on with the company, but they very quietly changed their warranty policy last year because of this (explained to me by the luthier who did my guitar's repair and by the other shop I just mentioned), without officially announcing it or grandfathering in customers who bought guitars before the change was made. So out of principle I wont be giving them my money and sold/am selling the couple of Martins I own. They never got played much anyway. I even have a used HD-28 that I play from time to time, but an unloading simply because I can't support the company (even if the guitar I have wouldn't be covered under warranty because I'm not the original owner). Customer service means a lot to me, and I've never had an issue with Gibson's customer service. The couple of times I have made inquiries or had an issue (albeit they were small issues with a new guitar like a lifting pickguard, cracked pickup surround and tenon cover) they took care of it and replied within a few days).

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I'm sure it would look great without a pickguard, evidenced by a somewhat recent thread of a member here doing just that with a J45TV, but I would destroy the guitar without one in the exact spot where the pickguard would be. Plus, I just like the traditional look when the pickguard is properly placed on a J45!

 

When I first got my J-45, I thought it was a end user error.

Like the previous owner screwed up. But then I learned it was a Gibson thing...

 

I just don't understand why they would do this intentionally?

It just seems more reasonable to place the PG just below the rosette ring.

 

Yep here's my '08 - Personally, I don't mind it enough to remove or change it. Plus I'd hate to damage the finish by trying to remove. But maybe the PG would come off easily?

 

YkyY8skl.jpg

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When I first got my J-45, I thought it was a end user error.

Like the previous owner screwed up. But then I learned it was a Gibson thing...

 

I just don't understand why they would do this intentionally?

It just seems more reasonable to place the PG just below the rosette ring.

 

Yep here's my '08 - Personally, I don't mind it enough to remove or change it. Plus I'd hate to damage the finish by trying to remove. But maybe the PG would come off easily?

 

YkyY8skl.jpg

 

Plenty of people have removed and replaced/repositioned the pickguards on their TV's. Never read about anyone damaging the guitar, only some have seem some minor, noticeable outlines of where the pickguard was, and others liked how it looked better without the pickguard. Just use naphtha and dental floss and the pickguard will come off easily.

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Yes, I guess it is more of a 'ping' as you mentioned with the B and high E strings on the standard. I tried a bunch of things to remedy that, because I had experienced that on many Standards, certain SJ's, etc. Tried different strings, different set-up specs, slightly more relief in the neck, slightly higher action, etc. I just came to the conclusion that it's probably due to just being an inherent characteristic of a lot of Standards, maybe due to the bracing pattern, size of braces, type of wood they use on the top, etc. Who knows, but for whatever reason I just kept encountering that characteristic and the super tight, almost compressed and in extreme cases, muted/choked sound on the low end. Maybe that's what people describe as a more "modern" J45 sound? Or maybe because the Gibsons I have leaned toward and preferred recently have been several years old, this is just something that changed over time as the guitar "breaks in"? Over the last few years I have had better luck with Gibsons made between 2010-2012. Can't explain it, but for whatever reason the ones I have owned and played in that small window have all sounded great. My AJ is an early 2012 and is killer. Had an SJ200 that was a 2010 that was beautiful.(Consequently had a 2008 SJ200 that sounded horrible.) This J45TV is from 2010 and is one of the best "newer" J45's I've heard. The more recent ones and the 2014 and 2017 J45 Standards I've played have all had that signature 'ping' and constricted sound, and maybe they just needed to settle in over time? No clue, but really have found that although all acoustics vary in their sound even within the same model, this does seem to be more noticeable with Gibsons. Or maybe I just think this because I tend to reach for Gibsons more when on the search for a good acoustic? If I'm in a shop I'll always play the Gibsons and rarely pick up guitars from other companies. Martins do tend to be more consistent across the board from model to model, but it's a sound that I just don't prefer as much as a "good" Gibson example, along with the fact that I refuse to give my money to a company that recently has changed their warranty policy, but has been fairly vague and sneaky about it, even though I had purchased the guitar seemingly before they silently made this change and screwed over many customers.

 

Not to derail the thread, but I bought a new 000-15M that was a beautiful sounding guitar in early 2014, and ended up needing a neck reset in the last few months. Took it to a very reputable authorized Martin repair person locally who told me Martin is no longer authorizing neck resets, even though he agreed that mine met the criteria. Apparently over the last couple years there has been a large number of dissatisfied customers bringing back Martins that are only a couple years old where they have experienced rising action and saddles that have been lowered and lowered to the point where the saddle can't go any lower. My little 000-15M was set up perfectly and beautiful sounding when I bought it, and when I took it in to have it looked at, and having it set up once more during the time I owned it, the saddle was at it's limit, and the action had crept up to 4/32" on the low E and 3/32" on the high E, which is out of Martin's minimum allowable factory spec. The luthier said it had put him in a very awkward position telling customers this and has resulted in some pretty upset customers and was something he had being seeing in the last couple years more and more with Martins. I was there when he called Martin and he had the call on speaker so I could listen, explaining the issue to the warranty person, giving measurements and his findings from my guitar, and they flat out refused to warranty a neck reset. Instead they authorized a new bridge to be installed or shaving down the current bridge. The guitar also had developed an unevenness on the top, almost a rippling effect which followed the pattern of the sapele/mahogany of the guitar. The guitar was properly cared for and humidified, never mistreated, kept cased, etc. Luckily this guy is a world-class luthier as well, and he did an amazing job shaving down the bridge and you couldn't tell that it was even done, and the bridge. After the repair I sold the guitar at a deep discount. I can see an acoustic needing a neck reset after 15, 20, 30 years, but less than three is ridiculous. And if this is happening more and more with newer Martins across the board it means something is wrong with Martin, so they should step up and acknowledge it, not change their policy without telling customers. I'll never buy a Martin guitar ever again, new or used.

 

These findings of many new Martins needing neck resets was echoed by a very reputable shop about an hour from where I live who said they have also seen many unhappy customers come back with the same issue as me, where their action had crept up over a short period and Martin's band-aid fix was to install a lower bridge and flat out are no longer covering resets, and their shop manager was fuming about it, and it was apparently a hot topic of contention at the shop, that is known to be a big Martin retailer and has a world-class repair shop attached to it. I have no clue what's going on with the company, but they very quietly changed their warranty policy last year because of this (explained to me by the luthier who did my guitar's repair and by the other shop I just mentioned), without officially announcing it or grandfathering in customers who bought guitars before the change was made. So out of principle I wont be giving them my money and sold/am selling the couple of Martins I own. They never got played much anyway. I even have a used HD-28 that I play from time to time, but an unloading simply because I can't support the company (even if the guitar I have wouldn't be covered under warranty because I'm not the original owner). Customer service means a lot to me, and I've never had an issue with Gibson's customer service. The couple of times I have made inquiries or had an issue (albeit they were small issues with a new guitar like a lifting pickguard, cracked pickup surround and tenon cover) they took care of it and replied within a few days).

Thanks for the informative reply SBParks! I have a few thoughts/ideas regarding the ping sound and different picks tend to amplify/dead'n the sound. No regrets for I love my 45! I heard bout them Martins and neck resets no longer covered. My guess is that with all the attention they are getting, the Company will realize what a powerful selling point the neck reset promise was and come to their senses. I dig Martins but not over my 45. Cheers!!! Enjoy that killer 45!!

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Been on the search for a good J45 since around 2014.....

 

Sometimes it takes a while. And then you kind of miss being on the search anymore. But that's balanced by having found the J45 you were looking for. Congrats!

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Happy to say my Vintage got the pick guard dropped in the right spot with the right radius. Kind of ugly but I don't much care about that.......but I do like to see the rosette uninterrupted.

 

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Why do you think it's ugly? I like it. Classic J45 look. I sent back the Vintage I had because of a horribly cut nut (can't believe it left the factory AND the very reputable vendor that way) and the sound was uninspiring (even though the vendor swore it was hand-picked, but they obviously just popped the guitar in a box and sent it to me without playing it and inspecting it first). I think you looks great.

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Thanks for the informative reply SBParks! I have a few thoughts/ideas regarding the ping sound and different picks tend to amplify/dead'n the sound. No regrets for I love my 45! I heard bout them Martins and neck resets no longer covered. My guess is that with all the attention they are getting, the Company will realize what a powerful selling point the neck reset promise was and come to their senses. I dig Martins but not over my 45. Cheers!!! Enjoy that killer 45!!

 

Also forgot to add that on one of the Standards I had I also replaced the tusk nut and saddle with bone, the later also removed the stock LR Baggs Element, with not much change aside from the guitar getting a tad brighter and losing some low end "fat-ness" but still had the characteristic 'ping'.

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