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Is this a B45 12?


AngelDeVille
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The tobacco burst alone would indicate a late 1966 or 1967 guitar. The double line Kluson tuners also indicate a build date in the mid- to late-1960s. While I have seen folks ask crazy money for these I would think you are talking $900 to $1400 depending on condition. I have generally seen them in the $1100 to $1200 range in nice shape. A couple of years back I paid $1100 for a '63 B45-12 in beautiful condition. Be sure to check it out carefully and look for things such as a hairline crack running alongside the fingerboard and distortion in the rosette or a hump where the fingerboard meets the body.

Edited by zombywoof
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The screws in the pickguard might indicate 1968 or later. They started being seen that year on many of Gibson's acoustics. In prior years, I only recall commonly seeing them on the LG-0.

 

Edit: Additionally, be aware there is a frequent point of confusion re serial numbers from the late '60s, as a number of similar sequences were used in both the mid-1960s and late-1960s.

Edited by bobouz
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....Im really anxious to see the condition.....

 

Yeah, check it out carefully. Lay a straight edge atop the frets, extending toward the bridge. You want it to hit the top of the bridge. If it points much lower than that, it's likely headed for a neck reset. Good luck!

Edited by Cougar
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B-45s are notorious for tops sinking or caving in due to the pressure on the top of 12 strings. The trapeze tailpiece which replaced the bridge on earlier models helped to resolve the issue, but didn’t really fully solve it. There are some B-45s that have survived without the top sinking or caving in, but that is not the majority from my understanding. If one survived, it still could present sinking/caving in problems at a later date. Most owners tune the instrument down 2 frets to ease the tension and use a capo on the 2nd fret. (Newer 12 strings are built stronger and can be standard tuned.)

 

The fact the photos do not show a side view makes determining if the top is sunk or caved in not possible. Also, the photos do not show (how can they) if the guitar is totally destined so there is no tension on the top, so one can’t tell if there are infamous top issues from the photos.

 

Check it out in person and with the guitar tuned at least 2 frets lower with a capo on the second fret bringing it to standard tuning...is my suggestion. Maybe request a side view photo before you go to determine ahead of time if the top is sunk or caved in.

 

These things can sound great, but be very cautious.

 

Hope this helps!

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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The trapeze tailpiece which replaced the bridge on earlier models helped to resolve the issue, but didn’t really fully solve it.

 

It was the other way around. The earliest B45-12s had a fixed bridge/tailpiece combination. The '63 I had still had that bridge. Sometime by 1964 Gibson went to the belly up pin bridge. The following year they started using a pinless bridge like one the Everly Bros. guitar before going to a belly down pin bridge then going back to the fixed bridge/tailpiece. It is all very confusing.

Edited by zombywoof
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Lots of good advice here. My take is that it's more likely a '68, based on the screwed-on pickguard.

 

The specific year in this period ('66-69)is probably less important than the condition. In very good condition--as this one appears to be, with the caveat that we can't evaluate structural condition--value would not exceed about $1400.

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I have a '69 that "could' have been either 1966 or 1969 based on the serial number but the pickguard screws, the dark sorta ice tea sunburst and the Kluson tuners that said "Gibson Deluxe" told me it's a '69.

 

Like many, mine had the 'side of the fingerboard extension' top crack and the resulting forward shift. I cranked it back into place, glued it and also glued in a small piece that reinforces that area and ties it to the neck block. It's ugly but it hasn't moved. My top hasn't sunken to the danger point but it is not flat.

 

This guitar will not last forever. Having said that, a few months ago I bought a very clean uncracked, unsunken 1967 B-45 and played them side by side for a solid two weeks before deciding to keep the beat up '69.

 

I sold the '67 for $1000, which gave me a small profit.

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