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'66 Cherry burst J-45


Buc McMaster

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Bet it's a good'n! Too bad about the narrow nut for guys like me with bear paws. Had one I loved years ago and had to give it up for that reason😰

 

 

Funny you mention that.

 

I'm playing two slope-J's most of the time right now. One is a modern SJ with a Luthier's Choice neck with a 1.78" nut and 1 3/16" spacing at the bridge. The other is my 1948-1950 J-45 (had it for 50+ years now), 2 1/8" spacing at the bridge and 1 5/16" (1.56") at the nut, thanks to Gibson re-shaping the neck when they replaced the fretboard for me in 1968 (that cost $100 back then). In the area where I flat-pick (pretty much at the bottom of the soundhole)there is no practical difference in string width, so there are no right-hand issues at all after a couple of minutes when I switch between guitars. For the left hand, I do squeeze and adjust my fingering a bit on the old Gibson with the narrow nut, and it takes a few minutes to adjust to that. Lots of dead notes while I make the adjustment.

 

It helps that Gibson did not modify the fairly full neck C-section when the narrowed the neck on the old J-45. The SJ on the other hand, has a very thin neck to go with the wider fretboard, so the two guitars feel very different, even though they don't play that differently.

 

With my arthritic hands, the ideal neck would be the thicker late-1940's section, but a nut width like a modern "standard", about 1.72"-1.75".

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Funny you mention that.

 

I'm playing two slope-J's most of the time right now. One is a modern SJ with a Luthier's Choice neck with a 1.78" nut and 1 3/16" spacing at the bridge. The other is my 1948-1950 J-45 (had it for 50+ years now), 2 1/8" spacing at the bridge and 1 5/16" (1.56") at the nut, thanks to Gibson re-shaping the neck when they replaced the fretboard for me in 1968 (that cost $100 back then). In the area where I flat-pick (pretty much at the bottom of the soundhole)there is no practical difference in string width, so there are no right-hand issues at all after a couple of minutes when I switch between guitars. For the left hand, I do squeeze and adjust my fingering a bit on the old Gibson with the narrow nut, and it takes a few minutes to adjust to that. Lots of dead notes while I make the adjustment.

 

It helps that Gibson did not modify the fairly full neck C-section when the narrowed the neck on the old J-45. The SJ on the other hand, has a very thin neck to go with the wider fretboard, so the two guitars feel very different, even though they don't play that differently.

 

With my arthritic hands, the ideal neck would be the thicker late-1940's section, but a nut width like a modern "standard", about 1.72"-1.75".

I've never noticed right hand problems, either. The salvation of the narrow nut on my '66 J-45 was that depth you mentioned, for sure. My big fingers used to squeeze together better back in the day!

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A very fine, but also fat sounding (overbridged) 45. One can really hear the invaluable 50 years-flavor here.

Exactly that layer no Vintage, True Vintage, New Vintage nor baked slice of red or white spruce can reach.

 

A lot of checking goin' on and the neck worries me a little. Don't wanna see it crack apart. Apart from that a beautiful old guitar.

 

Whenever meeting a narrow nut Gibson, I try to think about the mandolinists. If they can do that, it shouldn't be a problem.

 

Just doesn't seem to work.

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A very fine, but also fat sounding (overbridged) 45. One can really hear the invaluable 50 years-flavor here.

Exactly that layer no Vintage, True Vintage, New Vintage nor baked slice of red or white spruce can reach.

 

A lot of checking goin' on and the neck worries me a little. Don't wanna see it crack apart. Apart from that a beautiful old guitar.

 

Whenever meeting a narrow nut Gibson, I try to think about the mandolinists. If they can do that, it shouldn't be a problem.

 

Just doesn't seem to work.

I'm not anybody's idea of a mandolin player, but I do own a couple. Their necks/fretboards really don't inhibit playing like those of narrow nut guitars. Having pondered it at length for many years, I've concluded that I wasn't meant to understand ....

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That is sooooo purdy!

 

I have two '66 models with the 9/16" nut width, and yes, the depth of the neck profile does save the day. In fact, I rather enjoy switching to it sometimes, just for a change of pace.

 

As for mandolins, Breedlove's necks have a bit more width & a radius to the fretboard - very comfy!

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Nothing provides a good vintage sound like a vintage guitar. New ones sound good, no question about it, but nothing short of age captures the sound of natural aging. I'm waiting, with a degree of irony, for someone to extoll the merits of currently produced instruments by proclaiming that their guitar "really sounds NEW!"😂

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Nothing provides a good vintage sound like a vintage guitar. New ones sound good, no question about it, but nothing short of age captures the sound of natural aging. I'm waiting, with a degree of irony, for someone to extoll the merits of currently produced instruments by proclaiming that their guitar "really sounds NEW!"😂

 

Reminds me of the scene in the Steve Martin movie, "The Jerk" where the waiter asks the Steve Martin character (named Navin) if he would "care for another bottle of Chateau Latour?" and Navin says "Ah yes, but no more 1966. Lets splurge! Bring us some fresh wine! The freshest you’ve got – this year! No more of this old stuff". [biggrin]

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