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J50 acoustic


jugheadjr

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I recently took my J50 to a luthier to have some body work done. The x-brace has dropped down. He told me the bridge was not original. It is plastic. He said it was suppose to be rosewood.This was my grandpa's guitar that he bought brand new. He passed away several years ago. I called Gibson and give them the serial number and they said it was a 1963 year model. Now from what I have read on other forums the guitar came from Gibson with a plastic bridge. Do any of yall have any info on this? Thanks

 

 

Let me clear up the bridge swap. I did not take this guitar in to have the bridge changed out. I took it to the guy because the x braces had come loose . He changed out the bridge himself. Obviously he didn't know the plastic bridge was original. If i had known this before he worked on it I would not have let changed it out. I didnt find out until it was too late that the plastic was original. But i did keep the original bridge and the screws that hold it on. Either way i'm satisfied with it. I will never sell it. I will pass it down to my kids just as it was passed down to me so...

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yep my 1963 Hummingbird came with a plastic bridge and has since been replaced with a rosewood bridge and bone saddle. The sad thing is replacing the plastic bridge messes with the authenticity and affects the value of the guitar even though many consider it (myself included) a vast improvement.

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Your repairperson has it backwards, and that would lead me to question his/her level of experience. The plastic bridge & adjustable ceramic saddle would be the stock item, and some of us around here are very partial to the unique sound they deliver (with slightly metallic overtones). Some folks disregard them out of hand, but if they are structurally sound & you like the tone, you risk losing that tone if you do the rosewood & fixed-saddle swap.

 

All of that said, if the bridge area is not structurally sound and needs to be stabilized, a new rosewood bridge that can be fully glued would almost assuredly make the most sense - especially if the damage has caused cracks in the spruce top behind the bridge. This would most commonly occur if the ball ends of the strings had not been properly seated & ended up resting on the underside of the spruce, rather than on the bridgeplate.

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I've been told, and tend to believe, if the plastic bridge is OK, and the saddle is resting on the spruce, and the bridge plate is structurally sound - there is no clear advantage to replacing it. Left it alone on my '64 LG1 because I didn't want to risk changing the sound I'd grown accustomed to love since it was new.

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Your repairperson has it backwards, and that would lead me to question his/her level of experience. The plastic bridge & adjustable ceramic saddle would be the stock item, and some of us around here are very partial to the unique sound they deliver (with slightly metallic overtones). Some folks disregard them out of hand, but if they are structurally sound & you like the tone, you risk losing that tone if you do the rosewood & fixed-saddle swap.

 

All of that said, if the bridge area is not structurally sound and needs to be stabilized, a new rosewood bridge that can be fully glued would almost assuredly make the most sense - especially if the damage has caused cracks in the spruce top behind the bridge. This would most commonly occur if the ball ends of the strings had not been properly seated & ended up resting on the underside of the spruce, rather than on the bridgeplate.

 

You are correct. He had it backwards. He is a good luthier he was just wrong about this. The reason i took it to him in the first place was the sound hole was sunk in right in front of the bridge and the top was beginning to rise up right behind the bridge. I just got it back from him today. He replaced the plastic bridge with a rosewood bridge. But used the original saddle. He also done a fret job and straightened the neck. He did a good job and it sounds awesome. I kept the original bridge.

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yep my 1963 Hummingbird came with a plastic bridge and has since been replaced with a rosewood bridge and bone saddle. The sad thing is replacing the plastic bridge messes with the authenticity and affects the value of the guitar even though many consider it (myself included) a vast improvement.

 

I just got it back today. He replaced the bridge with a rosewood bridge. I kept the original saddle. The only reason I took it to him was the sound hole was sunk in right in front of the bridge and was beginning to rise up right behind the bridge. The x braces was loose. He did a good job and I kept the original plastic bridge. Im never gonna sell the guitar anyway because it was my grandpas. He bought it new in 1963. I did find out the later year J50 did have rosewood bridge. I dont think he knew what year mine was. I called Gibson directly and give them the serial number and found out exactly what year it was.

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I just got it back today. He replaced the bridge with a rosewood bridge. I kept the original saddle. The only reason I took it to him was the sound hole was sunk in right in front of the bridge and was beginning to rise up right behind the bridge. The x braces was loose. He did a good job and I kept the original plastic bridge. Im never gonna sell the guitar anyway because it was my grandpas. He bought it new in 1963. I did find out the later year J50 did have rosewood bridge. I dont think he knew what year mine was. I called Gibson directly and give them the serial number and found out exactly what year it was.

 

That's cool. Glad he did a good job. The plastic bridge on mine was shot so no choice but to replace it. No intention of selling mine so it's market value is irrelevant to me. Happy it worked out for you.

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You are correct. He had it backwards. He is a good luthier he was just wrong about this.

Surely hope this was a lone-swallow from his side. The topic is a classic.

Several people here enjoy their plastic bridges a lot - I for 1 joined that club in late September with a '63 J-45. Luve it ~

However, if I only had one old Gibson, it probably would have rosewood bridge (but with the original adjustable saddle).

1963 was the big year for the controversial adj. saddle/plast-bridge and many have been replaced since then.

Therefor the ??!?? regarding your luthier.

 

How do you hear'n'feel the difference. And of what material is your saddle - they originally came in rosewood or ceramic.

Utterly important for understanding this concept, , , and the sound of your old, I'm sure splendid guitar.

 

Welcome ^

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Surely hope this was a lone-swallow from his side. The topic is a classic.

Several people here enjoy their plastic bridges a lot - I for 1 joined that club in late September with a '63 J-45. Luve it ~

However, if I only had one old Gibson, it probably would have rosewood bridge (but with the original adjustable saddle).

1963 was the big year for the controversial adj. saddle/plast-bridge and many have been replaced since then.

Therefor the ??!?? regarding your luthier.

 

How do you hear'n'feel the difference. And of what material is your saddle - they originally came in rosewood or ceramic.

Utterly important for understanding this concept, , , and the sound of your old, I'm sure splendid guitar.

 

Welcome ^

[/quote

 

I'm still using the original adjustable saddle. He only replaced the plastic bridge with a rosewood bridge. It sounds better to me than before. He told me he wouldnt trade that thing for 2 new Gibsons.

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That's cool. Glad he did a good job. The plastic bridge on mine was shot so no choice but to replace it. No intention of selling mine so it's market value is irrelevant to me. Happy it worked out for you.

 

By the way I used the original saddle. It sounds great. I wouldnt sell this guitar for no amount of money.

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Surely hope this was a lone-swallow from his side. The topic is a classic.

Several people here enjoy their plastic bridges a lot - I for 1 joined that club in late September with a '63 J-45. Luve it ~

However, if I only had one old Gibson, it probably would have rosewood bridge (but with the original adjustable saddle).

1963 was the big year for the controversial adj. saddle/plast-bridge and many have been replaced since then.

Therefor the ??!?? regarding your luthier.

 

How do you hear'n'feel the difference. And of what material is your saddle - they originally came in rosewood or ceramic.

Utterly important for understanding this concept, , , and the sound of your old, I'm sure splendid guitar.

 

Welcome ^

 

I'm still using the original adjustable saddle. He only replaced the plastic bridge with a rosewood bridge. It sounds better to me than before. He told me he wouldnt trade that thing for 2 new Gibsons.

Yes, understood that, but the saddle itself is made of something, sir - as mentioned either wood or porcelain.

I guess it's the latter = white ceramic

 

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The matter of the guitar's value with/without the original bridge depends greatly on the condition of the entire instrument. If it's all original and pristine, leave it be. If it has normal play wear, etc., it's not a collector's piece and the value is going to be determined accordingly.

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Glad it all worked out. I probably would have also gone ahead and had the bridge plate swapped out for a traditional maple plate while I was at it. 1960s ADJ saddle Gibsons used a stiff laminate plate to support the extra weight. While it might be one of those you will only hear a noticeable difference if you have dog hearing things I routinely replace any bridge plate in any guitar that is not made of maple.

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Surely hope this was a lone-swallow from his side. The topic is a classic.

Several people here enjoy their plastic bridges a lot - I for 1 joined that club in late September with a '63 J-45. Luve it ~

However, if I only had one old Gibson, it probably would have rosewood bridge (but with the original adjustable saddle).

1963 was the big year for the controversial adj. saddle/plast-bridge and many have been replaced since then.

Therefor the ??!?? regarding your luthier.

 

How do you hear'n'feel the difference. And of what material is your saddle - they originally came in rosewood or ceramic.

Utterly important for understanding this concept, , , and the sound of your old, I'm sure splendid guitar.

 

Welcome ^

 

 

Yes, understood that, but the saddle itself is made of something, sir - as mentioned either wood or porcelain.

I guess it's the latter = white ceramic

 

Porcelain

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Here is the inside of a 1962 Hummingbird

BFQQeqc.jpg

Here is a 1943 SJ

nBp1Vvi.jpg

 

These are very different instruments from very different eras. It takes quite a bit of modification to try to make the 62 like that 43 -- not just a bridge change. It is not clear IMO what you would accomplished -- making a good HB into not sure what chasing a 43 SJ seems questionable to me. Even if you caught it, it would no longer be an iconic HB from the 60s.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

Best,

 

-Tom

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The matter of the guitar's value with/without the original bridge depends greatly on the condition of the entire instrument. If it's all original and pristine, leave it be. If it has normal play wear, etc., it's not a collector's piece and the value is going to be determined accordingly.

 

It's in great overall condition. But i would never sell it. It was handed down to me from my Grandpa to my Dad and now to me. Both my grandpa and dad have passed have passed away so....

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Here is the inside of a 1962 Hummingbird

BFQQeqc.jpg

Here is a 1943 SJ

nBp1Vvi.jpg

 

These are very different instruments from very different eras. It takes quite a bit of modification to try to make the 62 like that 43 -- not just a bridge change. It is not clear IMO what you would accomplished -- making a good HB into not sure what chasing a 43 SJ seems questionable to me. Even if you caught it, it would no longer be an iconic HB from the 60s.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

Best,

 

-Tom

 

I'm not sure what your referrring to. It is a 1963 J50. The only reason i took it to the guy was the xbraces was loose and dropped down. He said the plastic bridge was not original. He was wrong. It was too late by the time i found out so now I have a rosewood bridge. With the same original saddle

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I think starting in 1964 they started using rosewood bridge instead of plastic.

The plastic-idea was introduced in '62, but not many from then has it. 1963 was the Year of Plast, , , , hollow plast, belive it or not, , ,

but plastic was hot then and some thought it could safe the world (wonder when the first plastic flowers were seen).

In '64 they began to fade and most 64'ers have rosewood again. Still a LG-0 from '65 I know has plast.

 

You deserve to know that this is the most controversial and scorned concept in the entire realm of acoustic instruments.

Therefore it's so exciting to actually investigate and talk about it.

We've been doin' that a lot in previous threads - perhaps you should look them up.

 

McCartney's Yesterday was done on a plastic bridge/ceramic saddle combo. So was some of the legendary Stones stuff.

Paradox is that many people shot down the plastic bridges while raising (the acoustic sound on) these tunes to holy grails - reality is funny and sometimes quite silly that way.

 

As mentioned I really dig my plastic/porcelain J-45 - which by the way has an immaculate original bridge-plate in place.

 

If beginning to study, you'll find that Bozeman in certain occasions within the recent years has returned to the adjustable bridges - however with tusq saddles.

And in rosewood. The plastic is still a hermetically closed taboo. . cool.gif

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Here is the inside of a 1962 Hummingbird

BFQQeqc.jpg

Oh boy, this photo perfectly illustrates what I had mentioned regarding the string's ball ends being improperly seated & essentially resting & pulling directly on the spruce top (after digging through the bridgeplate).

 

This is the worst case scenario for the plastic bridge set up, as you don't even have the strength of a glued on bridge to absorb some of the pull from the strings. When the top has to absorb the brunt of the burden, lifting & cracks can develop directly south of the bridge pin holes.

 

This guitar desperately needs a new bridgeplate, or at least one of those metal bridgeplate-mate setups as a stopgap measure.

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