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Advanced Jumbo Maple


DaveKell
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Hi Dave- ‘Couldn’t find your introduction, but welcome just the same. You should be just fine with mediums, but I find the AJ sound to be hard enough, and the maple one that’s here with me is softened a bit with lighter, and slightly older strings.

My Intro is "Hi From Reno, Texas". This AJ I got from a collector still had the strings on it from when he bought it in 2016 but he said he'd only taken out of the case a few times since adding it to his collection. The case candy included Gibson 80/20 strings I put on right away. With one previous experience owning a maple body guitar, I was concerned the 80/20's would be too "chimey" and I was right (my previous guitar had an Adi top as does the AJ).

 

My first concerns with the new Gibson were that a few chords I strummed sounded out of tune to me, even though the tuning was perfectly dialed in. A few people told me that my ear wasn't accustomed to "the Gibson sound" and I might end up finding a slope shoulder Gibson wasn't the guitar for me. At my weekly jam there's a legendary old Texas musician (83) who does the solos on the only electric at the jam, an ancient Telecaster. He tunes up guitars and a violin by ear and is phenomenally accurate. He also at times will comment to someone a few strings on their guitar are out of tune after a song is played. He never mentioned that about my guitar so I determined it was me comparing the AJ to the 36 year old Yairi I had been previously playing. A wealthy friend went to Japan in 1982 and commissioned Kazuo Yairi to build a super abalone he willed to me when he was dying from a second round of cancer last year. I mentioned in my Intro post the Yairi was crushed in a car wreck in June of this year.

 

I read several string recommendation posts for maple AJ's and most of them advised phosphor bronze. I finally settled on a set of D'Addario Nickel Bronze strings and fell completely head over heels in love with this AJ and the powerful, unique voice it had with these strings. I can't keep the guitar out of my hands and play it several times a day. Nothing ever sounds out of tune to me anymore. Plus, I like how nickel strings settle in within a few days and seem to improve for a few weeks and hold their tone for up to a couple of months. A far cry from the days I changed the strings weekly on a custom D28 I used to own.

 

I feel I cheated myself by never having a Gibson in the over 45 years since I had owned briefly a 12 string Hummingbird. I can't wait for Ren Ferguson, who is friends with the old Telecaster player at my jam, to arrive in town any day now for a few days visit with my old friend. He told me he will bring Ren by my house for a visit with me so I can ply him with my questions about the guitar. I'm more excited about the prospect of that than if a sitting US president were going to drop in! One thing is for sure, Ren is going to hear tons of praise for this guitar. I'm incredibly impressed with how I can switch from a pick to fingerstyle on this guitar and all the glorious tone remains the same. I took the AJ to another friend to hear him play it as he's one of the finest fingerstylists in Texas. He only used a pick and laid down some blues picking that that thrilled me to the moon with the sound I was hearing. This is far and away the best guitar I've owned in my life and probably the only one that entirely soothed my loss of the Yairi that everybody at jams asked for a turn to play, and a guitar I was constantly being asked what I'd take to sell it. At the last open mic I attended, a great guitarist there asked if he could play the AJ for his next sing turn instead of his Taylor. I handed it to him and we ended up handing it back and forth all evening with his Taylor never coming out of the case. Several people there kept complimenting the sound of the AJ. I felt bad for a guy on the other side of me with another Gibson that was a custom (have no idea which model, except it was a slope dread) that he has a fortune wrapped in with a few trips back to the factory. He's so proud of it but nobody ever said a word about his Gibson. I definitely hit a home run with the even trade of a Taylor GS I made for for this maple cannon! Can ya tell yet I'm an ultra Gibson fan now?

Edited by DaveKell
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Hi from Dallas, TX, Dave. Enjoy that maple AJ, and say hi to Ren for all of us.

 

Red 333

 

Hi Red. I was just over in Dallas last night to speak at a seminar with a surgeon at UT Southwestern Hospital. I speak there several times a year at men's health seminars. If I hadn't caught a chill I wished I could've hit a few clubs.

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I have a 2012 AJ (rosewood back and sides) that's suffered a neck break by a previous owner and it has a pretty slim neck and I still put 80/20 mediums (13's) on it. Much prefer mediums on my AJ compared to lights. It's a monster with mediums! I save light gauge (12's) for my J45 and my 12-fret 00 Martin.

Edited by sbpark
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I forgot to answer your question. I have several Gibsons with the rectagular bridge, an AJ, a short-scale maple AJ, a Fuller's RI 1939 J-35, a J-45 Legend, and a 12-fret Rosewood Stage Deluxe. I usually string them with 12s, but sometimes put 13s on one or the other from time to time. While I don't play any one of them excessively, I don't see why the 13s would put any undue stress on the rectangle bridge or the top. Also, I haven't read on this forum that anyone has experienced issues with Bozeman-era rectangular bridges lifting. At least nothing out of the ordinary to my knowledge.

 

Wish I could tell you more about the Dallas club scene. While I get out to see my fair share of concerts, my club going days are getting fewer (and the nights even shorter,lol). I'm not sure about acoustic jams, but I am aware that there seems to be a fair number of open mic singer/songwriter nights at various venues. The place I ate dinner at last night has one every Wednesday, as a matter of fact, and I stayed to listen to a few guys play. Next time you come back to the city, send me a Private Message through the forum, and I'll fill you in on anything I'm aware of at the time.

 

Take care!

 

Red 333

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My Intro is "Hi From Reno, Texas". This AJ I got from a collector still had the strings on it from when he bought it in 2016 but he said he'd only taken out of the case a few times since adding it to his collection. The case candy included Gibson 80/20 strings I put on right away. With one previous experience owning a maple body guitar, I was concerned the 80/20's would be too "chimey" and I was right (my previous guitar had an Adi top as does the AJ).

 

My first concerns with the new Gibson were that a few chords I strummed sounded out of tune to me, even though the tuning was perfectly dialed in. A few people told me that my ear wasn't accustomed to "the Gibson sound" and I might end up finding a slope shoulder Gibson wasn't the guitar for me. At my weekly jam there's a legendary old Texas musician (83) who does the solos on the only electric at the jam, an ancient Telecaster. He tunes up guitars and a violin by ear and is phenomenally accurate. He also at times will comment to someone a few strings on their guitar are out of tune after a song is played. He never mentioned that about my guitar so I determined it was me comparing the AJ to the 36 year old Yairi I had been previously playing. A wealthy friend went to Japan in 1982 and commissioned Kazuo Yairi to build a super abalone he willed to me when he was dying from a second round of cancer last year. I mentioned in my Intro post the Yairi was crushed in a car wreck in June of this year.

 

I read several string recommendation posts for maple AJ's and most of them advised phosphor bronze. I finally settled on a set of D'Addario Nickel Bronze strings and fell completely head over heels in love with this AJ and the powerful, unique voice it had with these strings. I can't keep the guitar out of my hands and play it several times a day. Nothing ever sounds out of tune to me anymore. Plus, I like how nickel strings settle in within a few days and seem to improve for a few weeks and hold their tone for up to a couple of months. A far cry from the days I changed the strings weekly on a custom D28 I used to own.

 

I feel I cheated myself by never having a Gibson in the over 45 years since I had owned briefly a 12 string Hummingbird. I can't wait for Ren Ferguson, who is friends with the old Telecaster player at my jam, to arrive in town any day now for a few days visit with my old friend. He told me he will bring Ren by my house for a visit with me so I can ply him with my questions about the guitar. I'm more excited about the prospect of that than if a sitting US president were going to drop in! One thing is for sure, Ren is going to hear tons of praise for this guitar. I'm incredibly impressed with how I can switch from a pick to fingerstyle on this guitar and all the glorious tone remains the same. I took the AJ to another friend to hear him play it as he's one of the finest fingerstylists in Texas. He only used a pick and laid down some blues picking that that thrilled me to the moon with the sound I was hearing. This is far and away the best guitar I've owned in my life and probably the only one that entirely soothed my loss of the Yairi that everybody at jams asked for a turn to play, and a guitar I was constantly being asked what I'd take to sell it. At the last open mic I attended, a great guitarist there asked if he could play the AJ for his next sing turn instead of his Taylor. I handed it to him and we ended up handing it back and forth all evening with his Taylor never coming out of the case. Several people there kept complimenting the sound of the AJ. I felt bad for a guy on the other side of me with another Gibson that was a custom (have no idea which model, except it was a slope dread) that he has a fortune wrapped in with a few trips back to the factory. He's so proud of it but nobody ever said a word about his Gibson. I definitely hit a home run with the even trade of a Taylor GS I made for for this maple cannon! Can ya tell yet I'm an ultra Gibson fan now?

 

 

You are going to have a wonderful time jamming with Ren. He's a great guy. I will tell you this. He loves to hunt and when chatting with him yesterday he bragged about getting his Elk. He is in his 70's and he's out in the mountains of Montana hunting. Well we all know shooting an elk is a young man's game. It's the after part that is the problem. Dragging the poor thing out of the mountains is a real challenge. The Grizzly bears are still out getting their last minute snacks before hibernation so running into one of them is a huge problem. Not to worry no self respecting grizzly is going to try to take an elk away from Ren Ferguson. Ha.... Well he got the elk home and will be back in hunting camp so don't expect him anytime soon as he is in full hunting mode. Just so everyone knows. Ren's wife is a better shot than Ren.

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