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Gibson J-45 Worth


jmp.ysu
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Hey all... new user here. Familiar with forums, just not Gibson forums, so I'm hoping someone here can lend a helping hand.

 

Currently I'm in Anesthesia school, and my Grandfather back home owns a 1951 Gibson J-45 Acoustic guitar. He has interest in selling it, but does NOT drive anymore. Here I am... trying to help from afar.

 

Is anyone here able to make heads or tails of this piece ? Maybe more focused on the exact model ? Any idea of what this guitar sells for (realistically)? The guitar is scratched in places as shown in photos.

 

Thanks for all the help in advance, and please excuse my lack of guitar knowledge.

 

Photos:

 

142wv9c.jpg

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Hey all... new user here. Familiar with forums, just not Gibson forums, so I'm hoping someone here can lend a helping hand.

 

Currently I'm in Anesthesia school, and my Grandfather back home owns a 1951 Gibson J-45 Acoustic guitar. He has interest in selling it, but does NOT drive anymore. Here I am... trying to help from afar.

 

Is anyone here able to make heads or tails of this piece ? Maybe more focused on the exact model ? Any idea of what this guitar sells for (realistically)? The guitar is scratched in places as shown in photos.

 

Thanks for all the help in advance, and please excuse my lack of guitar knowledge.

 

Photos:

 

142wv9c.jpg

 

I think you need to first confirm the serial number/year.

 

Then please provide more photos? Things that the folks here can help with... ascertaining the condition/cracks in the top and sides... neck angle... saddle height... i.e. does it need a neck reset? are the braces glued... tuners original? bridge original? and so on.

 

Assuming no cracks, no neck reset needed, and everything original...

 

im guessing $4500.

 

Here is a recent listing on reverb https://reverb.com/item/13196958-gibson-j-45-1951-sunburst

 

Another one at Artisan: https://artisanguitars.com/1951-gibson-j-45-spruce-and-mahogany-id-4989

 

and here is one in bad shape (kind of)... sold for $2500 last year https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488870

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It's hard to judge from that picture, but it could well be a 1951 J-45. There should be a Factory Order Number ink-stamped on the vertical neck block inside the guitar, which would be visible by looking into the soundhole towards the neck attachment point to the body. This is not always easy to see, but by 1951, most J-45s would have a factory order number, which is the functional equivalent of a serial number .

 

For 1951, it should be a four-digit number between 6000 and 9000, typically followed by a space and another one or two digit number. An example would be 6501 8, or 6501 10. Sometimes, the final two digits aren't there. These can also sometimes be very hard to read, but a small flashlight helps.

 

Fortunately, there was only one J-45 model made in that period.

 

Value will depend on condition and any repairs necessary. We need a few more pictures to be more helpful.

 

I might be interested in the guitar. I have another J-45 of a similar vintage, but there's always room for another vintage J-45 in my stable. What part of the country is your grandfather in?

Edited by j45nick
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It's hard to judge from that picture, but it could well be a 1951 J-45. There should be a Factory Order Number ink-stamped on the vertical neck block inside the guitar, which would be visible by looking into the soundhole towards the neck attachment point to the body. This is not always easy to see, but by 1951, most J-45s would have a factory order number, which is the functional equivalent of a serial number .

 

For 1951, it should be a four-digit number between 6000 and 9000, typically followed by a space and another one or two digit number. An example would be 6501 8, or 6501 10. Sometimes, the final two digits aren't there. These can also sometimes be very hard to read, but a small flashlight helps.

 

Fortunately, there was only one J-45 model amde in that period.

 

Value will depend on condition and any repairs necessary. We need a few more pictures to be more helpful.

 

I might be interested in the guitar. I have another J-45 of a similar vintage, but there's always room for another vintage J-45 in my stable. What part of the country is your grandfather in?

 

Thanks all for the help, I’m on my iPhone now and uploading these photos is difficult at the moment. On my computer I have to downsize them and host them but I have about 10 photos to post.

 

The serial number is : 3358-5 so i imagine it may be a 1950 then ?

Should be all original but I have plenty to follow. I’ll

Post them when I get a free minute.

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Thanks all for the help, I’m on my iPhone now and uploading these photos is difficult at the moment. On my computer I have to downsize them and host them but I have about 10 photos to post.

 

The serial number is : 3358-5 so i imagine it may be a 1950 then ?

Should be all original but I have plenty to follow. I’ll

Post them when I get a free minute.

 

3358-5 should be 1950. I have 3644-8 from the same period. I've owned it for more than 50 years.

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I think you need to first confirm the serial number/year.

 

Then please provide more photos? Things that the folks here can help with... ascertaining the condition/cracks in the top and sides... neck angle... saddle height... i.e. does it need a neck reset? are the braces glued... tuners original? bridge original? and so on.

 

Assuming no cracks, no neck reset needed, and everything original...

 

im guessing $4500.

 

Here is a recent listing on reverb https://reverb.com/item/13196958-gibson-j-45-1951-sunburst

 

Another one at Artisan: https://artisanguitars.com/1951-gibson-j-45-spruce-and-mahogany-id-4989

 

and here is one in bad shape (kind of)... sold for $2500 last year https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488870

 

Thanks for all the great info and input. Ill upload some pictures below ! Not sure about the neck or any other portions, again my guitar knowledge is non existent.

 

 

3358-5 should be 1950. I have 3644-8 from the same period. I've owned it for more than 50 years.

 

Awesome thanks for the info and congrats on the ownership [thumbup]

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He did say he was the original owner.

 

50nn8p.jpg

 

32zrshy.jpg

 

2ypkprb.jpg

 

23w9t2h.jpg

I think he said that piece is broken ^

 

2r2ozkn.jpg

 

6gvlm1.jpg

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It's hard to judge from that picture, but it could well be a 1951 J-45. There should be a Factory Order Number ink-stamped on the vertical neck block inside the guitar, which would be visible by looking into the soundhole towards the neck attachment point to the body. This is not always easy to see, but by 1951, most J-45s would have a factory order number, which is the functional equivalent of a serial number .

 

For 1951, it should be a four-digit number between 6000 and 9000, typically followed by a space and another one or two digit number. An example would be 6501 8, or 6501 10. Sometimes, the final two digits aren't there. These can also sometimes be very hard to read, but a small flashlight helps.

 

Fortunately, there was only one J-45 model made in that period.

 

Value will depend on condition and any repairs necessary. We need a few more pictures to be more helpful.

 

I might be interested in the guitar. I have another J-45 of a similar vintage, but there's always room for another vintage J-45 in my stable. What part of the country is your grandfather in?

 

Hey Nick, I posted more photos above. Currently northeastern Ohio. [thumbup]

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That’s a beautiful guitar. I wouldn’t worry about the strap button missing in the bottom of the guitar. A replacement wooden one or plastic or bone one costs <$10 and a replacement one in no way would decrease the value of the guitar. My suggestion is that you call Gruhn Guitars in Nashville and ask them for a free price quote range in medium condition. They should provide you one. They will likely tell you they can do a precise appraisal for a cost, but tell them you are just looking for a ballpark general range for the make, year and model and they should give you one over the phone. I’ve called them many times with no hassle. George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars is pretty much the guru of vintage guitars. His staff is usually most helpful over the phone.

 

I would say it’s in medium condition due to its neck wear and top wear, which is pretty much standard for a well played guitar that age. It’s not mint and it’s not poor condition for its age and use. Somewhere in between...based on my experience. On older well played guitars some wear is to be expected and shouldn’t affect is sound or playability. Don’t try any touch ups (except buying a new endpin-strap button or string pins) as any modification or touch ups will diminish the value.

 

Let us know what his store says if you call them.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark
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Nice looking.

Just my opinion 4000-4500

If I was selling it I would try EBay first. Sometimes the bidding gets crazy for these years from baby boomers buying birth year guitars and there’s a lot of 68-69 year olds with some bucks. My birth year is 52. I’ve had a few birth year guitars but they did not stay.

Would love to look at your guitar if you’re ever down around the Cincinnati area.

Good Luck!

Dave

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My suggestion is that you call Gruhn Guitars in Nashville and ask them for a free price quote range in medium condition. They should provide you one.

 

As far as I know Gruhn, as most others, charges a fee for a sight unseen appraisal. Not all that much though. Still might be worth going that route/

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As far as I know Gruhn, as most others, charges a fee for a sight unseen appraisal. Not all that much though. Still might be worth going that route/

 

Hadn’t heard that. I’ve called there numerous times just asking for a ballpark price range on a vintage instrument. They always freely gave me a price range.

 

I wonder if its how the request is phrased. I certainly never used the term appraisal, knowing that could trigger a potential cost. I just asked for a general price range and whether it was considered a sought after guitar as well as a decent vintage guitar in the vintage guitar collectible world. Also, if they could tell me anything unique or interesting about a particular model I was asking about. They always freely share their general expertise. That’s been my experience. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure they suggested if I was interested in a guitar specific appraisal I send them photos and they’d formally appraise it for a fee, but I always made it clear it was just ballpark pricing and info I was interested in. Although I typically wasn’t the owner of a guitar I was inquiring about, but rather called about a guitar I was interested in buying from someone.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark
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