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Buc McMaster

J35 & J45

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So here's the 35 and 45, back-to-back with a few short takes for tonal comparison. I am surprised that the difference I hear in person is not quite so evident when recorded......wtf? Anyway, let your ears be your guide here. The 35 is most assuredly brighter than the 45 listening from a players' perspective, and a little louder as well. Both are strung with Martin titaniums and tuned down a half step. (...decided 13-56 is not all it's cracked up to be on the 35.) I do love these strings! They are similar to the monel Retros but noticeably smoother in feel and much more flexible, which translates to easier under the fingers. Being that titanium nor nickel are non-ferrous metals, I was concerned that these strings would not work with the Sunrise magnetic pickup........but they do! How is this possible?!? One hickey though: the G string has a much weaker output than the rest of them......it's there but at a low level. I had previously set the pole pieces up for the J-45 12-fret but had to lower them all further except the one under the G. Cranked that one up quite high with seemingly no effect at all. I'm guessing it has to do with the mass of that particular string.......but......being non-ferrous metal, how does the pickup hear any of the wound strings at all? Hmmmm........ So maybe the Sunrise will have to go, replaced with a K&K......or I'll have to get off the titaniums on this guitar.

 

Another point to consider when listening is the fact that the 45 has a couple years of being whacked on.....the 35 is new.

 

Pardon my voice.......been breathing too much dust at work lately and it's got me a bit croaky and whimpy of voice.........

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS3Wwmit31s

Edited by Buc McMaster

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BIG thanks for doing that. It does make me wonder why have multiple guitars if they can't be differentiated in recording. . . for me it's the J-100 and SJ-200- it's too close. . . maybe I need one of those spendy German mics that Blues King raves about.

 

As far as your wondering how the pickup works with non-ferrous strings- I thought the vibrating string merely interrupted a magnetic field over the pickup (?)

 

And as far as not being able to tell them apart when recorded; don't be so sure- the J15 is definitely the one to take when you want-to/need-to wear your loud pants.

 

 

Ps- what was that tune at 6:07? Vaguely familiar chords (Venus, i?)

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I would say there is a big difference between the two. I have good heaphones, and I think that helps. The J-45 is fuller and bassier, but with less cut. I don't have a favorite, both are very very nice. It would be interesting to know more about the construction differences giving the tonal differences.

 

Lars

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Good comparison. My recollection from owning a J-45 (I had a fine-sounding '98 but sold it before moving to Kuwait) was that it had a good low end and some punch when you drove it. That said, my J-35 (a 2016) has good low end and you really don't need to drive it that much for the punch to come out. All in all, to my ears anyway, I prefer my J-35 over what I remember about the J-45. And the '45 was no slouch.

 

In a perfect world, the J-35 would have a nice sunburst, though....

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No contest here for me

45 runs away with it

And what a good guitar does is effect the player and his performance with its response . Brings out the better vocal performance with its depth of nuance

 

35 is no slouch though and a nice guitar

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Thanks for listening and expressing your thoughts! [thumbup]

 

62: A non-ferrous metal like titanium and nickel are unaffected by magnets, which is why I don't understand why the pickup works with these strings. It should be like waving a piece of plastic over the pickup.......nothing.......but it works. I'm confuzzled by this. And the tune you asked about was a snippet of Bitter Tears, a song I wrote about Sherman's march to the sea in 1864.

 

Lars: Yes, with phones I do hear the difference. The 35 is edgier and aggressive sounding, while the 45 is rounder and warmer. I like!

 

DH: Sunbursts are great, particularly the ones Gibson does, but it's nice to have a 'burst and a blonde in the house!

 

Grunt: I don't know about "runs away with it" but the 45 is a great sounding instrument. So far I do like the contrast.....variety is a good thing.

 

I decided I wanted the Sunrise pickup in this guitar and will go with PB strings on the 35 to get away from the weak G string issue. I only had one set of PB in the house, Rotosound Jumbo Kings, 12-54, which the guitar now wears. Had to redial the pole pieces on the pickup to get good balance.....off to the open mic stage this weekend!

 

Thanks again for listening! Y'all are great! [biggrin]

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Buc, thanks for doing this - really appreciate the comparison. Just a request, ignore if it's foolish - but is there any songs / clips you'd play both guitars at the same time - but each having their own part? Double points if you do it yourself all in one take.

 

Your question on why these strings work on a pick up has me as well... any science guys around?

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Good comparison between the two. The J45 to me is one the just blends in with the flow of what your playing vs the J35 seems to be a more out front in your face sound. They both are nice to have and I’m sure you will make them both work with your performances.

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Very well done, my friend. The same songs, equal distance, equal playing/attack.

 

 

Just different, that's all.

 

[thumbup]

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Guitar player first and singer second and the J35 seems to be the one. It's added treble stands out a little better to me when you want to hear the guitar a little more. Singer first and guitar player second and the J45 seems to be the choice as it stays out of the way and it's less in your face tone blends well. Different tools for different jobs.

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No contest here for me

45 runs away with it

And what a good guitar does is effect the player and his performance with its response . Brings out the better vocal performance with its depth of nuance

 

35 is no slouch though and a nice guitar

 

I agree, the difference is very clear through a good set of headphones, and its pretty much what i expected.

 

The J-45 if rich, full, dark and lovelly, the J-35 brigth, thin and nothing to write home about, but then again all 35's sound like that to me.

 

Ill make a bold statement here and predict Buc will move it on within 6 months, especially with his trigger happy approach to switchign guiars.

 

Prove me wrong buckaroo .. ;-)

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Ill make a bold statement here and predict Buc will move it on within 6 months, especially with his trigger happy approach to switchign guiars.

Prove me wrong buckaroo .. ;-)

 

Otay, Spanky! Mark the date! [flapper]

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Buc,

Thanks for posting this video. They are both nice sounding guitars in your hands. The J45 is rich and warm and has a strong chordal blend. The J35 is articulate and crisp with individual note separation and a quicker note attack. Seeing and hearing this prompted me to find a J35 and sell off my J15.

My J35 came home strung with D'Addario Nickel Bronze 12-53, and I am going to try a set of Martin Monel Rare TR 13-56, replacing the 13 with a 12. I also removed the LR Baggs Element and a new saddle is being made.

I should add that I have always admired Chamberlain...I knew I shoulda gone to Bowdoin.

Take care,

Z

Edited by Zissou Intern

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Anyone would be thrilled to own either...both sounded wonderful to my ears and certainly different and distinct enough from each other to belong in the same stable.

 

The 35 is all about the upper mid magic and the 45 about the lower mids...would love to hear them buddying up together in a mix.

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I've always thought the J35's sounded thin and to bright. Take the same bracing pattern in the 35, give it a long-scale neck and rosewood back and sides and you have a winner (Advanced Jumbo). If it came down to preferring one over the other I'd take 45 over a 35 any day.

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I've always thought the J35's sounded thin and to bright. Take the same bracing pattern in the 35, give it a long-scale neck and rosewood back and sides and you have a winner (Advanced Jumbo). If it came down to preferring one over the other I'd take 45 over a 35 any day.

 

The J-35 has different back bracing than the AJ.

 

On the Fuller's Vintage 1939 J-35 Reissue (a model made a few years back exclusively for Fuller's Vintage Guitars in Houston Texas, once the largest Gibson Acoustic dealer in the US), the back bracing IS the same as the Advanced Jumbo. The Fuller's model sounds very different from the regular J-35. I have ten or so Gibson slopes, including a J-45 Legend, and the FVG 1939 J-35 RI may be my favorite.

 

Though if you ask me another day I may have a different favorite!

 

Red 333

Edited by Red 333

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Thanks for the great comparison and the great music too. Different Guitars. I think they both sound great, but different. The J35 in Your hands sounds as good as the J45, but the bracing, and possibly the density of the Mahogany make for differences. My J35 is noticeably lighter than my Advanced Jumbo. Rosewould vs lightweight Mahogany. It would be interesting to weigh the guitars. I worked with mahogany for years. Some is light like Spruce, and some is nearly as dense and heavy as Oak.

Still, a nice unbiased comparison. I think that it's a very interesting topic. The fact that the same Gibson manufacturing line builds both round shouldered guitars out of nearly identical materials, with some fairly important bracing differences, and comes up with somewhat different sounding guitars.

I think that the weight and density of the Mahogany is a critical element in the sound of either guitar.

Edited by ajay

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