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Hi yall. Have recently become a Gibson fan and owner. A mate, we met through me selling him some vintage MIJ acoustics a few years ago and catch up regularly now, anyway, I switched him on to vintage Yamaha's and he has returned the favour by switching me on to Gibsons. In a fairly short time I have racked up 4 Gibo's. The 1st was a J50 Deluxe c.1973'ish, 2nd a B45-12 c.1963, 3rd a Gospel Deluxe c.1973'ish and awaiting delivery of my latest and 4th, Epiphone Texan 1993 Gibson made reissue.


Absolutely awesome guitars, all with signature Gibson tone.


I feel compelled to make a comment on the negative attention the Deluxe Double X bracing Gibsons get in forums generally. Both my mate and I continue to be gobsmacked as we both find them to be incredible guitars, I have the 2 mentioned above and he has a Blueridge along with some pre-war and post war Gibsons. In my mind they seem to fit the innovative history that Gibson have maintained for over 100 years. I've just finished reading about Gibsons history which is very interesting. Although I disagree with the negative attention the Double X bracing gets, it does work in favour of people like me wanting to get into a Gibson at a good price, so no complaint from that perspective. It seems a shame to me though that the negative talk is the only reason for the downgrade in value as otherwise I find them great guitars and well worth a place on the list of classic Gibson acoustics.


I do have a question about the Epiphone Texan 90's reissue regarding specifications. It's apparently Gibson made alongside the other 90's centenary made limited edition Gibsons, number 132 of 500 made. I'll post that question in the general forum but if anybody has info on them I'd be well pleased as it seems to be difficult to find anything on these guitars and most of the history time line info skips the 90's reissue while I haven't found anything on specs? It has a pressed back with no bracing (like the 70's Gospel) but with a slope shoulder body.


Thanks to all



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The B45-12.....has a factory fitted jacking device I guess to reduce downward pressure forward of the bridge to reduce the top from caving in. Seems to have worked cause it is in good structural condition. The beam the jacking device is mounted to is a piece of spruce spanning the lower bout and attached to the sides. Interesting.....


I don't know the history to this guitar. It has hardly no play wear on it. The double pick guards look factory fitted. The Grovers were on it and the Lyric pickup was taken out, guitar cleaned and polished. Cosmetic condition is very good, just some finish checking on the top, every where else is in great shape.


It had a fabricated saddle made from ebony loosely fitted and flopping around in the adjustable bridge slot that had no screws which did nothing for tone/volume or intonation. I cut a piece of rosewood bridge, pressed it in for a tight fit, not glued so it can be forced out again from the adjustable saddle screw holes from underneath. With a bone saddle in my fabricated rosewood insert, setup revisited and new strings, the intonation is good now and plays like a gem. I think you go a long way between finding 12 strings with a tone like this. Playing it is interesting? The strings fully fretted (jumbo frets on it) makes it sharpen, I learned that by only fretting it to the frets and not all the way to the fret board, this takes some getting used to, it doesn't sharpen as much and makes the playing feel softer. Fretting this thing to the fret board is hard work otherwise. There was some belly buldge on it when tensioned up. I fitted a JLD Bridge Doctor via the non-invasive method with a brass bridge pin method (can be taken out) which has largely addressed this issue. So between the factory fitted jacking device forward of the bridge and the JLD behind the bridge this is in pretty good structural shape.


Somebody has fitted an bone nut. I made an attempt to make another one from a blank, I do heaps of 6 string nuts, but quickly gave up realising a 12 string nut is a very different kettle of fish. With some string height adjustment and some polishing it performs well.


All in all a pretty impressive guitar.











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The J50 Deluxe...


Looks like a dogs breakfast but plays like a gem....As you can see it has had a lot of play and heavily gigged for many years apparently. The neck was snapped and re-glued 30 odd years ago.


When I got it the setup was all wrong everywhere. Somebody, in an attempt to widen the saddle slot I guess to fit a bigger saddle did it unevenly both in the width and the depth, consequently the saddle was loosely fitted. With continuous heavy use the slot widened, the saddle getting a good slant on it while the bridge started to crack either side of the slot with string pressure pushing the saddle forward in the slot. Had to make up a jig to re-route the saddle slot evenly, glue the splits either side of the bridge and custom make a saddle from a blank that ended up being 3.6mm wide. The nut was a mess, a new one custom made and set up. The bridge pin holes inside on the bridge plate were chewed out, the ball end of the strings pulling half way up the pin holes under string tension, a plate mate fabricated out of brass sorted this out. Relief set, cleaned, polished (wouldn't know to look at it) a good oiling on the fretboard and bridge, new Elixir PB 12's and bob's your uncle....I did say the setup was all wrong in every way!


I swapped out the Gibson tuners in favour of new Gotoh open back and the bridge pins for Camel bone. The exposed spruce on the top I touched up with a few coats of gun oil.


When I got it you could tell the tone was there but just seriously restrained. The work was fairly simple but made a huge transformation on the way this guitar played with a very light playing feel. It is up there as one of the nicest guitars to play and especially responds well to blues/folky/bluegrass flavours....


Playing this guitar, and the Gospel, just makes me shake my head in disbelief at the negative attention the Double X bracing gets.





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The Gospel according to me...


Bought from the original owner 6 odd weeks ago. It had been floor stock in a shop for a year or so when he got it in 1976 in Sydney and gigged with it for many years. When it was purchased the ebony bridge was split right through so he had a rosewood replacement made and fitted. The finish he said never properly cured so he had it stripped in the 90's, the cracking binding was replaced with mahogany binding and the whole guitar refinished and very nicely done. The mahogany binding looks great, a nice contrast against the maple. Re-fretted a couple of years ago. To accommodate the owners arthritic hands it had been set up with a super low action at the expense of tone and volume, addressed since I revisited the setup with some decent ramp angle on the strings behind the saddle, good action at the 1st fret, new Elixir Nanoweb PB 11's. I custom make nuts from blanks to standardise string spacing for all my guitars, the saddle was custom made with some compensation. I do find the playing feel on this harder than my J50 Deluxe (PB 12's) which has a very light feel in comparison, the plan is to go to 10's next string change and compare the difference.


Structurally and cosmetically, I cleaned and polished it, the Gospel is in great shape. The solid Spruce top has some very nice figuring that combines with the Maple giving quite a unique tone that drops away quickly leaving room for new notes coming if that makes sense to anyone? The Ebony fret board is very hard with a very tight grain. The trebles are brighter and louder and very different to the J50 Deluxe and combine very nicely with the signature Gibson bass, bright mids and fairly well weighted across all strings, compared to the J50 Deluxe weighted more towards bass and mids. Separation of the notes on this guitar are up there with the best I've come across along with the tones weighted towards the fundamental side, this is a very cool and interesting guitar.








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Lots of tender loving care in them, thanks for sharing and telling so much on each one. There very nice, I'd love to have more Gibsons. My 12 is a 300.00 Mitchell. So I loved that one of yours. I need to sit down and fix an old acoustic guitar my wife bought me 35 years ago, needs a new bridge, maybe I'll take that project on this winter.

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