Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Dallon426

J-45 vs j-45 Vintage

Recommended Posts

have two guitars that I wanted to do a review on. I have gone back and forth in the last couple days trying to determine which one actually sounds better.

The standard has had some mods to it and those mods could have potentially changed the sound ever so slightly.

My 2014 standard - I lightly sanded down the finish and it actually looks pretty similar to the Hand rubbed VOS finish on the 2016 Vintage

I also pulled off the rotomatics and added Klusons

The Vintage 2016 is setup a bit better with a touch higher action, but overall it plays with ease.

 

 

 

 

Initially, I was not impressed with the Vintage. I went back and forth with the two guitars and felt that the standard was more rich. Deeper.

I recorded the guitars and sure enough I felt the same.

I changed the string on the 2016 to Martin Authentic lights Phosphor bronze. Previous owner had an affinity for elixirs.

After the string change, I felt the same. It was disappointing because I was expecting a huge rich clear tone.

The Vintage did sound more clear, each note rang out a bit more, but lacked the punch I really prefer.

So, I went back and forth for a few days. Preferring the standard

That being said, last night I pulled out my thicker jazz pick, and sat with the Vintage.

Either it was the mood I was in or my perception, but the Vintage started to reveal itself as quite pleasant sounding. I dropped the pick and began with my fingers, powerful, but controlled. This is a pretty great guitar, I thought.

I suspect it needed a few days to settle in, the strings as well. But now it sounds fat and lovely. Whereas the standard also sounds great albeit slightly muted and muffled in comparison.

I really would love to play more of these Vintage models and even compare with a TV. I think I got a good one, but not a GREAT one. I suspect there are some out there that are fantastic guitars. However, this model does not have a Vintage tone and that is what I am after.

All in all, it is good sounding but not the same as a HUGE open sounding vintage model. This is my first time owning a torrified adirondack top. Perhaps it will open up a bit. I am hoping so, because this will probably be my main guitar until I come across a vintage model, a Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner or a Pre-war Slope Shoulder.

 

 

Sound test here

 

https://umgf.com/j-45-sound-clips-standard-vs-vintage-t196563.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thx for report - always exciting to hear stories like that.

I have a 2010 Std. and it hasn't the vintage flav. known from the TVs at all.

However it's so fat and 'deep-projecting' that it really comes across as special.

Sometimes it absolutely overrules the contemporary same-era Birds and others it's simply necessary to fetch a Bird to steer clear of all that rich room.

An ever mystifying/alluring back'n'forth.

There is a vague connection to the real-deal-vintage 45's here, but the way a person echoes his or her grandparent.

 

In reality this black nut Standard stands alone - and apparently likes to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2006 standard J45 and used to own a J45 TV. I had a similar opinion as the original poster. I found my standard to be more warm to my ears. The TV seemed more refined, but in the end I kept the standard. It just had more of the sound that works for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good review Dallon! I've never had the opportunity to play a TV model. I have a 2017 Standard that I absolutely love. It's a lifer for me. I did just recently have the stock LR Baggs Element taken out and a KK Pure Mini installed (mainly bc I hate to always have to replace used batteries).

 

One of the perks of having the LR Baggs taken out was having the under-saddle pickup removed. To start, I loved the sound of my J45 to begin with and was hesitant about any type of change.

 

I purchased a bone saddle from MacNichol Guitar and the replacement was just about right. My luthier had to shave just a smidge here and there to get it to fit perfectly. The old saddle was removed and tossed out and the under saddle pickup removed.

 

With nothing between the bone saddle and the bridge the J45 which was awesome to begin with...sounded like it was on steroids. EVERYTHING that I loved about the guitar, the tone, punch, warmth, and volume basically doubled. To my ears, the J45 just sings now. I couldn't believe what a little change would do to it.

 

It might be worth it to experiment a bit, and try a bone saddle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually having a luthier install a bone nut and saddle. I personally do not think bone will make a significant difference. I am changing it out of mere tradition and to have a decent setup. It played great before but did need a minor setup.

My standard is fantastic. In fact the only thing I'm not a fan of is the Pearl Gibson signature. I love the gold look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a J45 Standard about five years ago. Got a really good offer for it, so I sold it and then bought a used J45TV. Both are really great acoustic guitars. Don't know if one is better than the other. The Standard had a real mellow and warm tone. Don't know how loud it could be. My music is almost always on the soft side. The J45TV also sounds real mellow and warm to me. I never played them against each other or any other J45 model. So long as I like a guitar, I don't really care about what another example of that model sounds or feels like. I could live with either of the two J-45s I've had. If I hadn't received such a good offer for my Standard, I very likely would still have it and never bought the TV, but I'm real happy with the TV.

Edited by MissouriPicker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the point is. Just because the woods are superior and the guitars are modeled after a vintage J-45, doesn't mean it's guaranteed to sound incredible. Every guitar is different. But if you want to save some money then you're better off searching for a really good sounding J-45 standard. Then convert the guitar yourself if you prefer vintage looks. I love the look of mine now. It looks old and fantastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks old and fantastic.

 

What is the appeal of old, yellowed, beat up guitars? I like them myself.......I have a J45 Vintage that has that look, but I also have a new J-35 that is, for my purposes, a better instrument. When we go buy a car we don't want one all dented, scarred and rusty. A pair of shoes at the store shouldn't have the sole flopping and a split heel. But a faded, scratched up guitar is somehow cool, and not for its' sound but for its' appearance. I postulate that when wielded in a public place, a banged up guitar imparts an air of experience, of veteran-ship (?)......implies a been there, done that attitude and in doing so seems to lend credence to the player, perhaps undeservedly so. It's vanity, ain't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not like the way MOST guitar companies have their finish. It is caked on. The guitars look too new and shiny. The thinner aged finish is much more desirable in my opinion. Also, the guitar breathes more if the finish is thinner. Go ahead and research and see what Pre-war Guitars are doing. Look at the finish of most vintage instruments, the finish is usually much much thinner and it is not because of age. It was how it was done. You might like shiny new things. But that does not mean everyone does. Buc, different strokes for different folks. It is not to look cooler on stage. I like vintage guitars, primarily the way they sound. I like newer guitars mainly because of the way they play. It AIN'T vanity. It is a personal preference. I also prefer women with curly hair over straight hair. Is it VANITY to have a certain preference? Lol. Some people

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2001 J-50, & a 2005 J-45. Not only do the look different, they sound different, the play different, & they are 2 completely different guitars. Don’t ask me too choose though, I love them both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a couple standards, liked them both and they seemed to be the same guitar. I had a True Vintage that was real nice but different from the standards.

I currently have a vintage Banner, a Legend, a Kristofferson and Yoakam. They are four completely different guitars.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a couple standards, liked them both and they seemed to be the same guitar. I had a True Vintage that was real nice but different from the standards.

I currently have a vintage Banner, a Legend, a Kristofferson and Yoakam. They are four completely different guitars.

The Kristofferson and Yoakam models are 2 of my favorites !

 

 

 

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take a Pre-war guitars co slope shoulder over anything else out there. Gibson included, I'm just waiting a bit for the right used one.

No Gibson made within the last 40 years I've ever heard can touch the tone of this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's nice. However, It is also good idea to not make a decision on a guitar based on a youtube recording. Some things to keep in mind:

 

-The room the guitar is in. . . hard surfaces, and hanging amidst many guitars contributing sympathetic vibrations, also present on other Carter youtube vids.

 

-Strings, how fresh?

 

-This is in an alternate tuning, yes? Makes similar comparisons kind of irrelevant.

 

-The guitar operator. . . could most likely coax great tone out of a lesser instrument.

 

among other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I'm well aware. I haven't gotten the chance to play one yet. But, even though it's from a YouTube video. Feel free to find a guitar that comes close.

Also the mic is mic's pretty close and I've listen to a lot of their videos with different guitars. The room isn't a huge factor if you're mic'ng so close. you can get an impression. Also, many many positive reviews about these guitars. It's basically the only new guitar that I'm really excited to play.

 

Currently I own

1934 00-17

1936 00-17

Custom shop 00 based off a 00-17

Custom shop 000 based off a 00-17

2014 J-45

 

I'm selling all except my Gibson. However, I'm pretty sure that will go once I'm able to get a Pre-war.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the reviews, I’m sure they’re very fine guitars and hope I get a chance to play one one day. I hope they start a forum where you can share you’re enthusiasm with others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I'm well aware. I haven't gotten the chance to play one yet. But, even though it's from a YouTube video. Feel free to find a guitar that comes close. . .

. . . I'm selling all except my Gibson. However, I'm pretty sure that will go once I'm able to get a Pre-war.

 

That's cool. Once again, the de-tuned/alt tuning on the one Ms Molly is playing changes the perception. By the way- did you ever share a good photo of your J-45 after scuffing down/removing some of the gloss from the top? A bold move, no doubt. As much as some might give a bit of pushback on your motivations, Gibson is quite aware of the benefits of thin, or thinned finishes. . . there are some gibson.com mentions on specifically how thin they actually go on recent offerings. And as far as beat-up old guitars go- I have old ones, and I have bright shiny new ones, but ironically, the ones I feel most comfortable playing are the old (read "vintage") ones. Even though they might be more valuable, their worn in nature reduces the concern of inflicting the stray pic/fingernail scratch. "And when you're more comfortable. . . " As a matter of fact, I have zero interest in having an immaculate vintage model, considered to be the finest example of the model, extant. I'd rather feel free to enjoy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good review Dallon! I've never had the opportunity to play a TV model. I have a 2017 Standard that I absolutely love. It's a lifer for me. I did just recently have the stock LR Baggs Element taken out and a KK Pure Mini installed (mainly bc I hate to always have to replace used batteries).

 

One of the perks of having the LR Baggs taken out was having the under-saddle pickup removed. To start, I loved the sound of my J45 to begin with and was hesitant about any type of change.

 

I purchased a bone saddle from MacNichol Guitar and the replacement was just about right. My luthier had to shave just a smidge here and there to get it to fit perfectly. The old saddle was removed and tossed out and the under saddle pickup removed.

 

With nothing between the bone saddle and the bridge the J45 which was awesome to begin with...sounded like it was on steroids. EVERYTHING that I loved about the guitar, the tone, punch, warmth, and volume basically doubled. To my ears, the J45 just sings now. I couldn't believe what a little change would do to it.

 

It might be worth it to experiment a bit, and try a bone saddle.

I'm curious, since you mentioned having to change batteries with the Element, how often this occurs and if anyone else out there can add to this info. I have this same set-up and I haven't had to replace a battery in 2 years. Do you play plugged in all the time? I don't so that might explain the longevity of my battery Just wondering how it goes for those who are plugged in most of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious, since you mentioned having to change batteries with the Element, how often this occurs and if anyone else out there can add to this info. I have this same set-up and I haven't had to replace a battery in 2 years. Do you play plugged in all the time? I don't so that might explain the longevity of my battery Just wondering how it goes for those who are plugged in most of the time.

 

 

How often do you gig Ollie ?

Or what has the two years per battery involved ?

 

I usually just put a fresh battery in every three gigs or so

Just in case ya know , while the strings are off getting a change . But I’ve heard people saying they get over 20 hours playing time on a 9V battery

 

I’m not overly bothered as they’re only 3 pound a time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How often do you gig Ollie ?

Or what has the two years per battery involved ?

 

I usually just put a fresh battery in every three gigs or so

Just in case ya know , while the strings are off getting a change . But I’ve heard people saying they get over 20 hours playing time on a 9V battery

 

I’m not overly bothered as they’re only 3 pound a time.

Hey BBG I play plugged in a couple of times a week at a jam with old friends so I'm not out gigging like some of you guys.I'm kind of amazed that you state that you change out after 3 or so gigs.If that's the case I now can understand why folks don't care for them.I used to have an Epiphone and I'd leave it plugged in but just turn off the amp and I wondered why the batteries were so short-lived.Now I unplug from the guitar when I'm done playing and it lasts way longer.Thanks for the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey BBG I play plugged in a couple of times a week at a jam with old friends so I'm not out gigging like some of you guys.I'm kind of amazed that you state that you change out after 3 or so gigs.If that's the case I now can understand why folks don't care for them.I used to have an Epiphone and I'd leave it plugged in but just turn off the amp and I wondered why the batteries were so short-lived.Now I unplug from the guitar when I'm done playing and it lasts way longer.Thanks for the info.

 

 

Well I’ve had the superb experience of a battery dying mid gig years ago which i never want to repeat ..... and since the strings are off and for the sake of three pound I stick a battery in while I’m under the bonnet (or hood for Americans)

Once I’ve had three gigs (about say 8 hours playing time on the battery) I start to panic about it lasting the next gig

 

I know I’m being over cautious but just not sure HOW over cautious I’m being

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...