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NJ Tom

Why is used J-45 pricing so varied?

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I didn't start playing guitar until my early 50's, stayed with it for about 7 years, never really got serious or became even moderately proficient and I ended up losing interest. Now in my medicare years I got the bug again.

 

I've always liked the sound of mahogany guitars and I'm interested in buying a used J-45 or newer used J-15 (I'm aware it's walnut) or J-35. I played a couple new J-45 models at a local GC using whatever rudimentary skills I could muster. They had no used examples so I've been researching Reverb.

 

I'm very confused about values...they seem to make no sense....pricing is all over the map for J-45 Standard examples from 2000 - present, from very good to excellent condition. I've found similar price variations for newer but used J-15's and J-35's as well.

 

I'd like to stay in the $1300-1700 range (depending on J-15/35/45), give or take. Are there inherent problems such as neck resets, etc in certain years? Are there any particular model years I should avoid or seek out? I've seen what look like good deals on 1990's J-45 models as well.

 

Any advice is appreciated.

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I, personally, haven’t heard of any neck issues on J-45s. I think the price variances have more to do with the various different J-45 models over numerous years, plus selling prices are likely tied to how much the owner paid when he/she bought the guitar.

 

Just my thoughts. Maybe someone knows more.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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I didn't start playing guitar until my early 50's, stayed with it for about 7 years, never really got serious or became even moderately proficient and I ended up losing interest. Now in my medicare years I got the bug again.

 

I've always liked the sound of mahogany guitars and I'm interested in buying a used J-45 or newer used J-15 (I'm aware it's walnut) or J-35. I played a couple new J-45 models at a local GC using whatever rudimentary skills I could muster. They had no used examples so I've been researching Reverb.

 

I'm very confused about values...they seem to make no sense....pricing is all over the map for J-45 Standard examples from 2000 - present, from very good to excellent condition. I've found similar price variations for newer but used J-15's and J-35's as well.

 

I'd like to stay in the $1300-1700 range (depending on J-15/35/45), give or take. Are there inherent problems such as neck resets, etc in certain years? Are there any particular model years I should avoid or seek out? I've seen what look like good deals on 1990's J-45 models as well.

 

Any advice is appreciated.

 

i just bought a wonderful. '98 "early", which i recommend. they were made '97 '98. from what i've read, the very early 90s may have had some issues that were pretty much worked out by '94ish. Ren Ferguson's there until 2012, and most anything out of Bozeman should be great from those years. there are some great more recent ones too. Reverb has been where i hang for Guitars online these days. get to know the sellers as best you can

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Think of a diagram of a family tree.

You start out with one standard model.

At the next level, you have some modifications - so lets say 3 different variations.

Later, one of those goes away but the other two spawn three more variations each.

Now you've got 6 versions.

Over the years, in recent memory, one member here (OneWileyFool) counted up over 50 variations of the J45. Since then, at least a dozen more have been added.

Given some will be similar in "List Price", some will vary a bit more.

Then, take what the Used Market does to those prices. Some folks want as much as they paid, some beat the crapola out of their guitar and will take pennies on the dollar. Some think their guitar is worth MORE than they paid, etc. And an infinite number of variations in between.

Your first big decision is "New with Warranty" or "Used". Since you are sort of starting out - you would be safer, if going 'Used' to find a good dealer. If you can't play it, ask about the return policy.

I would steer clear of eBay and Craigslist. But there are no 'fatal flaws' with the production coming out of Bozeman. There were some issues with guitars (not just Gibson) during the 70s. But, then, look at the clothes and hairstyles back then and you can understand why. G'Luck.

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I agree with QuestionMark (so where are the Mysterians). May be luck of the draw but Gibsons are the one guitar I have owned that, no matter what decade they were built, have never had any neck problems. There was though some strangeness going on in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the paddle neck joints and Fullerplast finishes.

 

As a general rule you will hear some say these years were the b4st and these not as hot. That usually comes down to what they own as there is a universal law that your guitar is always the best of the breed and the other guy's maybe not as sweet. Just do your research on what the variations of J-45s run and pay what you are willing to pay.

Edited by zombywoof

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I agree with QuestionMark (so where are the Mysterians). May be luck of the draw but Gibsons are the one guitar I have owned that, no matter what decade they were built, have never had any neck problems. There was though some strangeness going on in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the paddle neck joints and Fullerplast finishes.

 

As a general rule you will hear some say these years were the b4st and these not as hot. That usually comes down to what they own as there is a universal law that your guitar is always the best of the breed and the other guy's maybe not as sweet. Just do your research on what the variations of J-45s run and pay what you are willing to pay.

 

I wouldn’t buy a paddle-jointed neck model (or indeed a Fullerplast finished model) if it was anywhere near needing a neck reset. Too much potential embuggerance for any luthier who isn’t specifically an expert in that field.

 

Having said that, I’m currently in the middle of a gig (a funeral wake!) with my 1990 Hummingbird, Fullerplast, Paddle joint and all. It sounds FABULOUS and is one of the best acoustic guitars I’ve ever owned. It has a better neck angle than 99% of new guitars I’ve owned and is incredibly stable-I don’t foresee it needing a neck reset in my lifetime.

 

The ‘89-‘94 models are gaining a small but obsessive following in the U.K. and Europe, as the good ones are VERY good guitars. I found that neck angle with new Gibsons went squirrelly around 2003-2005 (my ‘03 SJ200 needed a neck reset from new!) but they seemed to have sorted it after then. Occasionally underset necks make it through to the buying public but not too often now-the last couple of years has seen more of a focus on this, which is great news as far as I’m concerned-I’m fussy about neck angle.

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I agree with QuestionMark (so where are the Mysterians).

 

Here’s a quick story about the origin of my name on this forum. Circa 2000, around the time posting on Internet forums became a thing, generally everyone used a handle or pseudonym for their name. So, just about when I worked up courage to do my first post on an Internet forum (not this one, a different music related one), the song 96 Tears came on the radio by Question Mark & the Mysterians. And, I thought, that’s a good name to use as my name on the new called thang, internet forums. So

My first few posts on the internet were under the name of Question Mark & the Mysterians. Within the first few posts, I realized the name was a bit to long to use, type, etc. so, I shortened it to just Question Mark. It was shortly after, that I joined the original Gibson and Epiphone forum with that name. Somewhere a number of years later, Gibson upgraded their original forum to the one we are now on. So people on the original forum would know me from the prior forum, I continued to use the Question Mark name. Except by then, I was doing a number of gigs under the stage name of Jazzman Jeff. Jeff is my actual first name. Which is a much better name I can relate to. So, to keep continuity on the Gibson site, I sign in as Question Mark but sign as QM aka Jazzman Jeff. If I could get rid of the Question Mark forum name I would, but I guess I am stuck with it on this forum. Oh well. So it goes. It’s cool to me though when 96 Tears comes on the radio. Good song!

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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There is, I believe another reason for the wide varience in price.

That is the sellers unrealistic expectations. Often a seller will price there instrument

based on the new MAP pricing or even MSRP pricing. These prices are all over the

internet. the seller may not realise that there is a 'dealer price' too.

Many guitars on ebay are overpriced, as the owners live in hope.

Then comes aong a buyer, who knows nothing more than the seller about pricing and

jumps in with the money.

Edited by ponty

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I didn't start playing guitar until my early 50's, stayed with it for about 7 years, never really got serious or became even moderately proficient and I ended up losing interest. Now in my medicare years I got the bug again.

 

I've always liked the sound of mahogany guitars and I'm interested in buying a used J-45 or newer used J-15 (I'm aware it's walnut) or J-35. I played a couple new J-45 models at a local GC using whatever rudimentary skills I could muster. They had no used examples so I've been researching Reverb.

 

I'm very confused about values...they seem to make no sense....pricing is all over the map for J-45 Standard examples from 2000 - present, from very good to excellent condition. I've found similar price variations for newer but used J-15's and J-35's as well.

 

I'd like to stay in the $1300-1700 range (depending on J-15/35/45), give or take. Are there inherent problems such as neck resets, etc in certain years? Are there any particular model years I should avoid or seek out? I've seen what look like good deals on 1990's J-45 models as well.

 

Any advice is appreciated.

looks like a really nice 2014 on reverb

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sellers unrealistic expectations
While on the flip side, some sellers are looking for a quick sale. Fwiw,std j45s at Gi-tar Center range from $1649-1799.

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There are a few....do you have a link to the one you mentioned?

 

nice upgrades (bone) Waverly button tuners (see if they have the originals) on this one from Valley ...http://rvrb.io/2014-j-45-standard-0pmlg4

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There are a few....do you have a link to the one you mentioned?

 

 

oh crap... this just showed up. same year and model as the one i just got. a 1998 "Early J45". mine is amazing. get Jinder to weigh in on this one. at $1400 it may be a good deal. these are hard to find. it shows the neck as 1 11/16", but mine measures the Gibson standard 1 23/32. Ren Ferguson used the Kalamazoo molds for the bodies, and specs would make it a replica of like 1948-1954, with the exception of a 20th fret. mine is barely 4 pounds

 

http://rvrb.io/1998-j45-dzxtoc

Edited by seamonkey

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After staring at any online sale since Nov or so for J45s and Hummingbirds - I'd have to say there is a huge variation in price, but in general there's a trend to why most guitars are priced about where are... give or take. I start to see used J45 standards to show up in the $1600 - $2000 range, a few links to guitars I've looked at have been posted in above replies. As the prices go up from there it seems to be first a J45 standard, then vintage models, and variations of everything in between.

 

My recommendation is to try and find something in sub $2k range, get a level of corroboration here that it's a deal that makes sense - and don't look at the more expensive ones to understand why... because then you'll want one (but might not need it).

 

Awesome journey, good luck to you!

 

Rgds - billroy

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