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Two Easy J-45 Questions


mking

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As noted, the pointy batwing pickguard appeared in 1955 which is also the year Gibson abandoned scalloped top bracing while the ADJ saddle was available as an option on the J-45 in 1956 at no extra cost becoming a standard feature in 1961. One year earlier Gibson had gone to a thinner neck carve with what they called their slim,. fast, low action necks. In 1965, the company retooled with new automatic neck machines that tuned out instruments with a narrower nut. Always keep in mind, however, that the changes in specs did not take place at the stroke of midnight on January 1. So in 1955r you will find Gibsons with the old style pickguard and new style bracing and vice versa. Same with something the J-160E. I have played 1955 guitars which retained the solid top instead of the 3 ply tops Gibson had started placing on the guitars that year.

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As noted, the pointy batwing pickguard appeared in 1955 which is also the year Gibson abandoned scalloped top bracing while the ADJ saddle was available as an option on the J-45 in 1956 at no extra cost becoming a standard feature in 1961. One year earlier, Gibson has gone to a thinner neck carve with what they called their slim, fast, low action necks. In 1965 the company retooled with new automatic neck machines that tuned out instruments with a narrower nut.

 

Hmm, 1955, the year I was born! Thanks much.

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So in 1955 you will find Gibsons with the old style pickguard and new style bracing and vice versa. Same with something the J-160E. I have played 1955 guitars which retained the solid top instead of the 3 ply tops Gibson had started placing on the guitars that year.

Just to be clear, the 3 ply tops that Gibson started placing on guitars in 1955- you are talking about J-160E's ?

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Just to be clear, the 3 ply tops that Gibson started placing on guitars in 1955- you are talking about J-160E's ?

 

Yup. The stiffer tops were an attempt to deal with feedback from the P-90 pickup. Gibson made their own laminate at this time. In the early 1950s, the J-45s lost the stiffened side supports and tapered headstock and were generally built a bit heavier than the older ones. Gibson had already switched to the 1 11/16" nut sometime in 1947.

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