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mojoworking

Another Gibson J45 joins the family

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Here's my latest acquisition. It's a 1964 J45 (left) seen here with my Epiphone Texan from the same year. When I first opened the case I momentarily thought it was a J50 because the cherry sunburst finish has faded so much.

 

It originally had a plastic bridge, but this had deteriorated and the guitar became unplayable. So it has been replaced with an ebony one hand-made by my local guitar repair guy who did a great job. It's showing a fair amount of wear, but still sounds great.

 

Gibson only fitted the much-hated plastic bridges for around a year in 1963/64 (the Texan pictured also has one) and I still have the old plastic bridge if anyone would care to see a close-up of it.

 

KiwD8bJ.jpg

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Oh,I like that! I am a big fan of those cherry 'bursts (and currently don't have one, uh oh). So many variations.

I am always surprised by how many people replace the black plastic with ebony. To match the plastic? I'm not saying that there is a right or wrong, just curious.

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Oh,I like that! I am a big fan of those cherry 'bursts (and currently don't have one, uh oh). So many variations.

I am always surprised by how many people replace the black plastic with ebony. To match the plastic? I'm not saying that there is a right or wrong, just curious.

 

I didn't request an ebony replacement, the luthier just went ahead and did it. I suppose I was expecting a rosewood one, but I guess he felt he had to match the plastic one. I wish he'd taken pictures during the modification. I was curious to see if any of the original colour was showing under the bridge.

 

Here's the original 1964 J45 plastic bridge showing both sides. Not Gibson's best idea I think.

 

EUCyvak.jpg

Ankt98I.jpg

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I meant those two guitars.....

 

Sure you did, Murph.

 

 

Amazing looking faded iced tea burst on the J-45, MojoWorking. I think the vibe of this sort of finish may explain some of the appeal of the sunburst on Hummingbirds such as R Hank's new figured mahogany addition :

 

mT0Bknd.png

 

 

Great photo of the seldom-seen back of the infamous plastic bridge. Nice pickguard, too.

 

Of course, we'd love to hear it.

 

Enjoy.

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I'm surprised you didn't swap out the adj saddle for fixed. Maybe next time, and you could get your rosewood.

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I'm surprised you didn't swap out the adj saddle for fixed. Maybe next time, and you could get your rosewood.

 

I was torn on that. The luthier asked if I wanted a fixed bridge, but I wanted to keep it as near to original as possible.

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It's a beauty. I didn't know round shoulder was available in '64. Enjoy!

 

Thanks.

 

Weren't all J45s round shoulder until the square shoulder version was introduced in 1969 (anther bad move by Gibson)

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Seeing the J45 and the Texan side-by-side together there really emphasises the difference in scale length. It's clear that the bridge is lower down (ie further away from the soundhole) on the Texan than the J45.

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Here's my latest acquisition. It's a 1964 J45 (left) seen here with my Epiphone Texan from the same year. When I first opened the case I momentarily thought it was a J50 because the cherry sunburst finish has faded so much.

 

It originally had a plastic bridge, but this had deteriorated and the guitar became unplayable. So it has been replaced with an ebony one hand-made by my local guitar repair guy who did a great job. It's showing a fair amount of wear, but still sounds great.

 

Gibson only fitted the much-hated plastic bridges for around a year in 1963/64 (the Texan pictured also has one) and I still have the old plastic bridge if anyone would care to see a close-up of it.

 

KiwD8bJ.jpg

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Nice guitars ! I also like the faded cherry burst finish. In 64 Gibson started using the funky pickguard material, yours has the much more desirable last of the good ones !

My opinion, I know you were trying to keep it original looking but you should have had the bridge made of Brazilian rosewood, like they were in that time period.

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Nice guitars ! I also like the faded cherry burst finish. In 64 Gibson started using the funky pickguard material, yours has the much more desirable last of the good ones !

My opinion, I know you were trying to keep it original looking but you should have had the bridge made of Brazilian rosewood, like they were in that time period.

 

Thanks fp. In retrospect I probably should have got a rosewood bridge, but the luthier was concerned to make it look like the original black bridge, which is why he went for ebony. Right or wrong I insisted on retaining the adjustable bridge too.

 

Looking online, most of the 1964 J45s I've found have black bridge pins, so I guess these are original to the guitar, too?

 

I also prefer thinner pickguards generally on flattops. I've got a new-ish J15 and the pickguard seems about a quarter of an inch* thick, which looks all wrong to me.

 

*possibly an exaggeration

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Beautiful guitar. I have a 2006 Custom Shop 1964 J-45 Reissue faded cherry sunburst in my collection that looks identical (with a wood, not plastic, adj bridge). The only difference is a CS designation on the back of the headstock to identify its not the real deal like yours. Awesome guitar you've acquired!

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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I heartily approve, especially since yours has the thinner guard. Back in the day (😁) Guy Clark did a couple of those ebony replacement bridges, and the sound was amazing! His were fixed saddle, though, and I'm really curious how yours sounds with the adjustable intact. Personally, I like the adjustables a lot.

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Beautiful guitar. I have a 2006 Custom Shop 1964 J-45 Reissue faded cherry sunburst in my collection that looks identical (with a wood, not plastic, adj bridge). The only difference is a CS designation on the back of the headstock to identify its not the real deal like yours. Awesome guitar you've acquired!

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

 

Thanks Jeff. I'd love to see a picture of your CS J45

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What an adorable couple - I dig the sight to the full.

And enjoy the fact that you decided to let the adjustable saddle remain. Gettin' to be a bigger and bigger fan of those here.

The 2 ceramic saddled cherry 1964 J-45's I've encountered both sounded stellar. It might be something I'm after.

 

Can't help asking - is it possible we could hear these two in a short but serious A/B (same strings etc.), , , would be a hit.

Whaouw, , , they're cool

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Thanks Jeff. I'd love to see a picture of your CS J45

 

Here are some photos. One is a front view (on my couch), one is a close up of the back of the neck showing the CS logo. Edit: Sorry that the photos didn't load vertical. But, you should get the gist.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

post-61-098865600 1500863395_thumb.jpg

post-61-089406900 1500863410_thumb.jpg

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What an adorable couple - I dig the sight to the full.

And enjoy the fact that you decided to let the adjustable saddle remain. Gettin' to be a bigger and bigger fan of those here.

The 2 ceramic saddled cherry 1964 J-45's I've encountered both sounded stellar. It might be something I'm after.

 

Can't help asking - is it possible we could hear these two in a short but serious A/B (same strings etc.), , , would be a hit.

Whaouw, , , they're cool

 

Thanks. I grew up watching/listening to Donovan, John Renbourn, Ralph McTell and the other UK folk guys who all played 60s J45s/J50s with adjustable bridges, so I'm kind of fond of them and they seem perfectly normal to me. I can't hear any difference to the fixed saddle J45s, although I know a lot of folks would disagree.

 

I'll look into getting some sound samples recorded.

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Here are some photos. One is a front view (on my couch), one is a close up of the back of the neck showing the CS logo. Edit: Sorry that the photos didn't load vertical. But you should get the gist.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

 

Thanks Jeff, that looks great. We just don't see those limited CS runs here in Australia.

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