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2017 J-45 - factory strings?


tcbonline
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I recently purchased a 2017 J-45 and really like the strings that are on it from the factory.

 

I've been scouring the forums trying to find out definitively what these strings are. Nobody seems to know with any certainty. The case came with an extra package of masterbuilt 80/20 light strings in it, but those are definitely not the strings that are on the guitar.

 

Can someone from Gibson comment? I know they are light guage, but I want the make and model of the strings specifically, if possible... please!

 

Thanks for any info,

tcb

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far from an expert here, but I am pretty sure master builts are the strings it leave the factory with.

 

Where did you get the guitar? if was at a Gibson dealer, they could have changed the strings at some point.

 

This makes a bit of sense

But I’m still baffled as how anyone would know that strings on a guitar , age undetermined , are different to strings still in a packet !

 

 

No offence OP , just want some of this knowledge

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How do you know the strings in the packet aren’t the same as the strings on the guitar?

 

I'm basing this just off my observations. The strings that came on the guitar are darker, more of a subdued brown color, something I associate with phosphor bronze and are slicker to slide under the fingers. The masterbuilt 80/20 strings are a very bright yellow color and stickier. I could be completely wrong, but just from appearance and feel, the strings seem different.

 

I did buy the guitar from Sweetwater. Typically the guitars you get from them are factory fresh and not played previously. I'm also assuming they did not change the strings from the factory set.

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If the extra set included were MB 80/20 it is very likely the guitar is strung with the same. Why would they not be? In any event, 80/20 is quite bright in appearance right out of the package but will tarnish pretty rapidly, even if unplayed. Phosphor bronze are more a copper color out of the package.

 

My money is on 80/20 on the guitar.

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You could mail them and ask

 

A potential buyer might’ve asked for a specific string to be fitted for a test drive and decided no

 

 

 

As far as I’m aware gibson string are factory fitted , but Gibson strings are just rebranded daddarrio strings

 

I have emailed them. Hopefully I'll get an answer. Some others on the forum said that they thought they were D'Addario EXP strings or possibly the J-200 gibson pb strings, which seems like a possibility.

 

Anyway, if I hear a definitive answer from Gibson I'll let you guys know!

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Gibson's site appears to say that the original strings are the light gauge Masterbuilt Premiium 80/20. See the J-45 specs (they should have spell-checked this ;) ): http://www.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/Round-Shoulder/Gibson-Acoustic/J-45-Standard/Specs.aspx

 

"Strings .012" - .053" Gibson Light Guage"

 

Then see the Masterbuilt Premium page: http://store.gibson.com/masterbuilt-premium-80-20-brass-acoustic-guitar-strings/

 

"Gibson 80/20 Bronze alloy strings are known for their perfect balance of crisp, bright tone and playability. These strings –the very same that come with Gibson Acoustic instruments – bring out the true acoustic sound that only can come from a historically constructed, hand-built guitar"

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From your description, they're D'Addario EXP PB.

 

I use these strings on my guitars that don't like Martin 80/20s. Great strings with something of a dull, subdued brown tint and slick feel.

 

Oddly enough I've JUST put a set on my Hummingbird which is in my lap as we speak!

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Another vote here for the Masterbuilts being on your new J-45.

 

If they're the D'Addarios (& not re-branded to Masterbuilts), look inside for the colored ball ends.

 

Use an image hosting site like imgur & share a snap with us. Congrats on the nice guitar.

 

As far as rebranded D'Adds; quite sure Elixir does this as well, but the ball ends are unpainted for the E's.

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Still not sure about the maker of the Masterbuilts. Some sources say D'Addario, others say no. I do know that Fender DOES make their own strings, guess it might not be a stretch to think Gibson does also. I guess this is one of those first world problems that might never be answered with certainty.

 

As to the OP's question, I'm pretty sure that all new Gibsons do come with the Masterbuilts on them, just like the set that is included with a new guitar. I did, however, have one local Gibson dealer insist that the strings on a new Gibson, from the factory, were D'Addario's EXP's. No amount of discussion could dissuade him otherwise.

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I been looking far into this regarding my 2012 Hummingbird as I really liked the original sound and found it hard to recreate at some point.

Discussed it back'n'forth via P.M. with (too seldom present) member Father of Pearl, who had been through similar investigations.

 

The argument for the fac-strings not being ordinary Masterbuilts obviously is that a coating would keep them fresher on the shop-wall for a longer time.

Both Taylor and Martin think that way.

 

However I've come to find that they could very well have been Masterbuilts as claimed.

This dawned after a new set of MB's stayed on the guitar for more that 4 month and were played a lot.

After all the Bird was 12 months old when I fell for it.

 

I actually went as far as revisiting the shop to buy a set of used strings right off another Hummingbird during the experiments -

still have them around (, , later bought the whole Bird).

 

1 thing is sure - the factory strings are bronze not phosphor ditto. It's seen on the hue - one bronzy the other golden.

Admit bein' unable to remember what is what as I speak - which of course is ubearable embarrassing.

Here's an exchange from AGF -

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=441617

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I had this same question and called Gibson. The first guy I spoke with told me they were D'addario 80/20s. I didnt believe it so I called again and got another guy telling me they were same as the masterbuilts included. I believed this even less, so I called a third time, and got another person telling me they were D'addario phosphor bronze. I've tried both D'addario 80/20s and PBs, but neither really sound/look like the originals. The original also had no colored balls like the D'addarios, but Gibson said that was bc they just commission strings from D'addario, so there's a chance only new gibsons get this particular batch. Thanks, I'm going to try EXPs.

 

Here's my thread from the other forum:

 

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=463150

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I am 99,9% positive that new Gibson Acoustics, from 2013 on, come from the factory with Masterbuilt 80/20s. (I love them on my hummingbirds)

 

Just based on my personnal experience of trying brand new Gibsons in shops those last years : consistantly the same sound and feel and look, definitely factory Masterbuilt 80/20s.

On my own Gibsons I compared those factory strings with Daddario EJ11, 80/20s, 53-12s, : exact same strings, sound, feel, look, except the colored ball ends on Daddarios.

 

To me, as BBG said, Daddario makes EJ11s for Gibson.

 

Over here, when the Masterbuilts 80/20 12s are not out of stock, they're priced just a hair above the EJ11s, just paying for the Gibson packaging...

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  • 1 year later...

Today

- after keeping the same strings on my 2012 Hummingbird since Dec. '16 (Masterbuilt Premium Bronze 80/20 lights, they kept sounding better) -

was the day to change steel. Weather was perfectos (slightly autumn grey) so was my mood (neutral).

 

I therefor fetched the set taken from a 2015 Bird borrowed home from a shop a few years ago. Now was the time to investigate.

Have to say the new, yet not brand new ones as they had been on the 15' Bird hanging in the store, sounded very good from the start.

They also looked similar to the Gibson Masterbuilts we like to believe come from the factory.

But then I thought twice and loosened the low E again. I had missed to check 1 thing = the string-rings, , , or are they called balls. .

And here I found something interesting. The factory strings have bronze-balls - the Masterbuilt Premiums have silver !

Now what does that tell us !?

Immediately checked an extra set of used factory strings I have in my string-collection and yes - they are bronze too.

Don't know what to make of this, but it clearly generates at least 3 Q's :

 

1 - Does Gibson Masterbuilt Premiums come with different end-rings from time to time ?

2 - What end-rings are on the D'Addario EXP 11's. It has been suggested that these are the actual factory-strings - I wouldn't know.

Think we can count out the J-200's as they are ph. bronze thus darker.

3 - Can we trust Bozeman when they tell us the factory steel is the plain purple packed Masterbuilt Premium 80/20 bronze available everywhere ? , ,

and why shouldn't they - like fx Martin and Taylor - go for something slightly coated to keep the brand new shop-wall-hangers fresh and inviting. .

 

My inner Sherlock indicates there is a missing link here, , , a fog-factor which we - the innocent audience - can't see or hear through.

Let's clear this up once and for all. All watching Watsons chime in, please !

Edited by E-minor7
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Asked this a couple years ago at the homecoming in Bozeman. The Gibson’s strings are rebranded, but it is not consistently from the same manufacturer, they change with price, availability and quality, not necessarily in that order. So, may be nearly impossible to duplicate the OPs set without just trying a wide array of strings from a variety of manufacturers.

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Asked this a couple years ago at the homecoming in Bozeman. The Gibson's strings are rebranded, but it is not consistently from the same manufacturer, they change with price, availability and quality, not necessarily in that order. So, may be nearly impossible to duplicate the OPs set without just trying a wide array of strings from a variety of manufacturers.

Aha, , , another layer of fog.

What is meant by the,

"They also looked similar to the Gibson Masterbuilts we like to believe come from the factory", in post #19

is that both the colour (hue of 'gold') and the spezial-zone where the string begins from the ball are the same between the factory-steel and the 80/20's.

 

And in this case I've A/B/C/D'ed several sets from 2012 to 2017/18.

 

If anybody is confused, start with checking your Gibson string end-rings. Bronze or silver ? , , , at least that would be a start.

 

 

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Aha, , , another layer of fog.

What is meant by the,

"They also looked similar to the Gibson Masterbuilts we like to believe come from the factory", in post #19

is that both the colour (hue of 'gold') and the spezial-zone where the string begins from the ball are the same between the factory-steel and the 80/20's.

 

And in this case I've A/B/C/D'ed several sets from 2012 to 2017/18.

 

If anybody is confused, start with checking your Gibson string end-rings. Bronze or silver ? , , , at least that would be a start.

 

 

I should quality however that the rep did say they were made to Gibson's specs.

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I'm basing this just off my observations. The strings that came on the guitar are darker, more of a subdued brown color, something I associate with phosphor bronze and are slicker to slide under the fingers. The masterbuilt 80/20 strings are a very bright yellow color and stickier.

 

Funny that you mention this. Just yesterday I changed the 6 month old strings on two of my Gibsons. Both guitars were strung with Martin SP Phosphor Bronze strings, and I replaced them with the exact same strings, from the same batch of packs that I bought at the same place last year. The old strings had a "subdued brown color" that looked like bronze. The new strings are quite yellow and look like more like brass. I was surprised by how much the color changed over 6 months of use, never really noticed that before.

 

Sorry, no clue what strings Gibson puts on new guitars. Last time I bought a new Gibson was 1974. ;) But the color can change considerably as they age.

Edited by Boyd
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For many years, Gibson made its own strings in its own facility in Elgin, Illinoise. That facility was closed five or six years ago. Maybe longer. Time is really flying as I get older!

 

D'Addario was then contracted to make Gibson strings. The D'Addario-made 12 guage sets have a slightly different make up from the old Gibson sets: the 52 was changed to 53 or vice versa (I would have to look at the packages and I am not at home), which may explain why a newer set sounds slightly different from what one may be used to.

 

During the change from Gibson/Elgin to D'Addario-made there was a shortage of strings, so Bozeman was using John Pearse and some others to string up new guitars. I believe this situation prompted someone at homecoming to tell Dan Gibson strung guitars with whatever was available. Once supply stabilized, that practice was eliminated to the best of my knowledge, and only Gibson strings are now used.

 

The Bozeman facility is very small. The guitar is strung up and then put in its case in the same room if memory serves, or in adjacent small rooms at best. Why would they string up the guitar with one brand of strings and then throw their own set in the case? They'd be relying on and managing multiple vendors and using more space and time to do it.

 

Finally, one poster mentioned Gibson J-200 strings. Gibson J-200 strings (this is the name of the string set) differ from the Masterbuilts by the silk wrap on the ball ends, which is easily seen without removing the strings from the guitar.

 

I still have a maybe a half dozen unopened Elgin-made Masterbuilt sets, as well as some D'Addario-made sets, and I use them interchangeably. I don't notice a huge difference between them. The D'Addarios are made to Gibson specs and sound it to me.

 

Sorry for all the typos. I'm on my tiny phone.

 

Red 333

Edited by Red 333
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Thanks for this insigtful and competent reply. Something tells me the switch to D'Addario was further back - can anyone clarify.

And can you, Red 333, tell us why the 2 sets of factory strings I collected - 2012 and 2015 - have bronze-balls

where the Masterbuilts 80/20 bought in shops and over the web have silver.

 

For many years, Gibson made its own strings in its own facility in Elgin, Illinoise. That facility was closed five or six years ago. Maybe longer. Time is really flying as I get older!

 

D'Addario was then contracted to make Gibson strings. The D'Addario-made 12 guage sets have a slightly different make up from the old Gibson sets: the 52 was changed to 53 or vice versa (I would have to look at the packages and I am not at home), which may explain why a newer set sounds slightly different from what one may be used to.

 

During the change from Gibson/Elgin to D'Addario-made there was a shortage of strings, so Bozeman was using John Pearse and some others to string up new guitars. I believe this situation prompted someone at homecoming to tell Dan Gibson strung guitars with whatever was available. Once supply stabilized, that practice was eliminated to the best of my knowledge, and only Gibson strings are now used.

 

The Bozeman facility is very small. The guitar is strung up and then put in its case in the same room if memory serves, or in adjacent small rooms at best. Why would they string up the guitar with one brand of strings and then throw their own set in the case? They'd be relying on and managing multiple vendors and using more space and time to do it.

 

Finally, one poster mentioned Gibson J-200 strings. Gibson J-200 strings (this is the name of the string set) differ from the Masterbuilts by the silk wrap on the ball ends, which is easily seen without removing the strings from the guitar.

 

I still have a maybe a half dozen unopened Elgin-made Masterbuilt sets, as well as some D'Addario-made sets, and I use them interchangeably. I don't notice a huge difference between them. The D'Addarios are made to Gibson specs and sound it to me.

 

Sorry for all the typos. I'm on my tiny phone.

 

Red 333

As mentioned before, the rationale could be to have slightly coated strings on the new 'products' to keep them fresh sounding on the shop walls as long as possible.

And then feature the real honest bronze deal in the case. They are after all more gibsonesq sounding and might be cheaper too.

What do I know - apart from the fact that there is some haze here that no one seems to be able to look through or explain.

Dear Gibson - please just tell us what you do/did (including the different end-rings).

Sincere and loyal regards

E-minor7

 

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