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Modify J45 to improve sound


livemusic

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I really like the sound of my J45, a 2010 standard. But, could it be better? How could you do it? Are there mod guys who do this? Do they shave braces, change the nut or what? What makes a J45 TV? They are lighter, right? Different glue?

 

I don't recall ever having this J45 being set up, it seemed fine as is. But I wonder about fret levels and such that a good setup might make it even better.

 

What could be done to a J45 or would you just search for a J45 TV?

 

It just has a wonderful thumpy sound. My '56 CW is awesome in its own way, and I love it, but the J45 is special in its own way.

 

Now, I gotta go play my Jackson Browne more, lol. Been awhile, as well. That guitar can sound really good, too!

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Whatever you do to it, it won't be a J45 TV. I'd keep it and go searching for a J45 TV or a new J45 Vintage which are superb by all accounts.

 

It's certainly worth getting yours set up, it can't hurt but I wouldn't say it would necessarily improve the tone.

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Whatever you do to it, it won't be a J45 TV. I'd keep it and go searching for a J45 TV or a new J45 Vintage which are superb by all accounts.

 

It's certainly worth getting yours set up, it can't hurt but I wouldn't say it would necessarily improve the tone.

 

What about searching for an old J45? What would YOU do if one likes that thumpy sound?

 

Also you said "it won't be a J45 TV." What does a J45 TV sound like to you?

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I already have one.

 

It's nice in its own way, for sure, but a J45 has THAT sound.

 

It does. Like Hummingbird, I'd love one. Just haven't found a neck I like. My Les Paul and Explorer are great necks, but Gibson acoustics are clubby, like my SG I don't have any more I can't get along with them. But I look, and I'm ready and willing to buy when I get that right neck.

 

I am required by the Gibson Forum By-Laws, Regulations, and Mission Statement, to poke at the Gibson Acoustic Mavens, since, well, my acoustic accomplishments can be best summed up by the number 0.

 

rct

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If it already has THE sound why do you want to improve it?

If it ain't broken ... Don't fix it.You could just go looking for a 3rd J 45 that has a different sound but one that still appeals to you.

 

 

There are guitar players who are only J 45 players or J 200 players or D 28 players and have multiple of the same model ... A great example is Jackson Browne he has various Roy Smeck models and each one has a particular tone for a certain song ... The idea of JB's signature model was so that he wouldn't have to travel with a bunch of precious 30's Smecks all the time.

 

 

 

JC

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Regarding the “if it ain’t broke . . .” - I took an Eastman E-20SS (a J-45 Rosewood- styled guitar) to a luthier just to check for “it’s weakest link” in the tone department. The luth was fairly well-known, and had designed a successful guitar for Ibanez, but it was for solid body electrics that he was best known. While fast and low action setups might be good for those types, this doesn’t necessarily translate into the best tone or volume for an acoustic. After working on frets, and tweaking the truss rod, the guitar had developed the dreaded 14th fret hump (buzz) that multiple trips back into the shop could not fix. The guitar ended up needing to have a neck plane and refret.

 

To OP LiveMusic- you’ve got a nice little roster of Gibson acoustics, there. As far as setups and their effect on tone, I would certainly vote for “yes, it has an effect”. Measure the action height at the 12th fret bass & treb, for your favorite player; there is a window, a range of height above the soundhole that will deliver the best tone. A trusted luthier can maximize this for you, and also check the break angles over nut and saddle.

 

I recently had a nice before and after lesson by using two J-45 Rosewoods (one excuse for having more than one of the same model guitar)- one was slightly crisper sounding than the other. . . then Rose #2 had it’s saddle break angles increased by maybe 40-45% through ramping the bridge pin holes by guitar master luth Dave Strunk. Also, as the pins would often creep out during restringing, a restoration of the half-worn bridge plate was done, using wood dust mixed with CA. The ball ends of the strings make great contact now, sitting hard against the bridge plate. That, and the bridge pin hole ramping, really improved the clarity and dynamics of the guitar.

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The J-45TV supposedly has the AJ (Advanced Jumbo) bracing. I don't exactly know what that means, forward shifted? Scalloped? I don't know but I love my 2007 J-45TV (sitka top). Before that I thought I was a Martin Rosewood fellow (I have a 1999 HD-28V). A while back I did hear a singer songwriter here in town with a new J-45 Standard he had just purchased that day and it sounded fantastic. But I prefer the True Vintage model.

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I really like the sound of my J45, a 2010 standard. But, could it be better? How could you do it? Are there mod guys who do this? Do they shave braces, change the nut or what? What makes a J45 TV? They are lighter, right? Different glue?

 

I don't recall ever having this J45 being set up, it seemed fine as is. But I wonder about fret levels and such that a good setup might make it even better.

 

What could be done to a J45 or would you just search for a J45 TV?

 

It just has a wonderful thumpy sound. My '56 CW is awesome in its own way, and I love it, but the J45 is special in its own way.

 

Now, I gotta go play my Jackson Browne more, lol. Been awhile, as well. That guitar can sound really good, too!

 

 

 

Bone nut, bone saddle, bone pins, with a good setup from a Gibson acoustic expert and while you wait, get him to put a set of Martin Retro monels on it! And a bumper sticker? :mellow:

 

(You could try the monels without the rest....)

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Bone nut, bone saddle, bone pins, with a good setup from a Gibson acoustic expert and while you wait, get him to put a set of Martin Retro monels on it! And a bumper sticker? :mellow:

 

(You could try the monels without the rest....)

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

Hmmm... the ad blurb for those Retro strings says, "Mellows quickly to a warm vintage tone that brings out the unique, woody sounds in your acoustic guitar."

 

That might help! That's what I think of a J45 sound, kind of woody.

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The only guitar I have had modified is my a pre-War Regal 12 string on which I had the original spruce bridge plate replaced with a maple plate (which was motivated as nuch by survival as sound). Other than that I just leave it all be and only putz around with strings and make sure the bridge pins fit correctly. I am also a believer in having the action set a bit higher. If you think a guitar's sound though can be improved you probably should have not snagged it in the first place.

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1506546363[/url]' post='1883579']

Regarding the "if it ain't broke . . ." - I took an Eastman E-20SS (a J-45 Rosewood- styled guitar) to a luthier just to check for "it's weakest link" in the tone department. The luth was fairly well-known, and had designed a successful guitar for Ibanez, but it was for solid body electrics that he was best known. While fast and low action setups might be good for those types, this doesn't necessarily translate into the best tone or volume for an acoustic. After working on frets, and tweaking the truss rod, the guitar had developed the dreaded 14th fret hump (buzz) that multiple trips back into the shop could not fix. The guitar ended up needing to have a neck plane and refret.

 

To OP LiveMusic- you've got a nice little roster of Gibson acoustics, there. As far as setups and their effect on tone, I would certainly vote for "yes, it has an effect". Measure the action height at the 12th fret bass & treb, for your favorite player; there is a window, a range of height above the soundhole that will deliver the best tone. A trusted luthier can maximize this for you, and also check the break angles over nut and saddle.

 

I recently had a nice before and after lesson by using two J-45 Rosewoods (one excuse for having more than one of the same model guitar)- one was slightly crisper sounding than the other. . . then Rose #2 had it's saddle break angles increased by maybe 40-45% through ramping the bridge pin holes by guitar master luth Dave Strunk. Also, as the pins would often creep out during restringing, a restoration of the half-worn bridge plate was done, using wood dust mixed with CA. The ball ends of the strings make great contact now, sitting hard against the bridge plate. That, and the bridge pin hole ramping, really improved the clarity and dynamics of the guitar.

 

Strunk is great. He worked on my J50. That's just a great shop (Brothers).

And to the OP, I have spent money in the past to make a guitar or two something they are not. Fool’s errand. The TVs and NVs are something. I was an idiot for selling my SJTV a few years back.

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I got my 45 set up a few months ago after thinking it was great for the past 5 or so years owning it

Worth every penny getting it set up

New saddle new nut both bone . Top 4 or 5 frets replaced and the rest dressed and levelled

Removed pickup as it is a POS anyway

 

Undoubtedly better after the work was done

Don’t hesitate to get it done by someone with a good reputation

 

Here’s a clip

You may of course think it sounds awful as we’re all chasing our own rainbow

 

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It does. Like Hummingbird, I'd love one. Just haven't found a neck I like. My Les Paul and Explorer are great necks, but Gibson acoustics are clubby, like my SG I don't have any more I can't get along with them. But I look, and I'm ready and willing to buy when I get that right neck.

rct

 

Fear not my friend, eventually someone will let slip the the gents in the corner offices that the company makes acoustics, and then you will have any configuration (for a reasonable additional charge) that a marketeer can dream of...brass adjustable nuts, tuning gizmos, molecularly correct pick guards...a brave new world awaits.

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I had a soundport cut in mine but it was for an explicit reason: I prefer the sound of a J-45 being played in front of me rather than what I would hear by playing the same guitar. Go figure, huh?

And I thought it was for the explicit reason of making your J-45 impossible to ever sell, thereby allowing you to enjoy it forever

 

yes, keep on flying, turtle- might want to cool it on puffing the magic dragon, though

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Bone nut, bone saddle, bone pins, with a good setup from a Gibson acoustic expert and while you wait, get him to put a set of Martin Retro monels on it! And a bumper sticker? :mellow:

 

(You could try the monels without the rest....)

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

That's what I did with my custom j 45 rosewood, bone saddle and bridge, Martin retro, sounds great

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Bone nut, bone saddle, bone pins, with a good setup from a Gibson acoustic expert and while you wait, get him to put a set of Martin Retro monels on it! And a bumper sticker? :mellow:

 

(You could try the monels without the rest....)

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

"Bone Is Tone". I bought 5 new acoustics last year and all of them got unbleached bone saddles, bone pins and I modified the pin holes so they would have a snug 5 degree taper to match the pins. I coated the holes with Fish Glue and then simply tapered them. The result was a big improvement in clarity and volume. Don't know why Martin and Gibson don't taper their holes anymore.

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I had a soundport cut in mine but it was for an explicit reason: I prefer the sound of a J-45 being played in front of me rather than what I would hear by playing the same guitar. "That" was the sound I wanted to hear. I am deeply happy with the modification and it exceed every expectation. Go figure, huh?

 

Good for you, I would love to try that, but, but, but, I don't think I can.

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I got my 45 set up a few months ago after thinking it was great for the past 5 or so years owning it

Worth every penny getting it set up

New saddle new nut both bone . Top 4 or 5 frets replaced and the rest dressed and levelled

Removed pickup as it is a POS anyway

 

Undoubtedly better after the work was done

Don’t hesitate to get it done by someone with a good reputation

 

Here’s a clip

You may of course think it sounds awful as we’re all chasing our own rainbow

 

 

Beautiful version of that BBG!

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