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New J45 Standard Sound Question


Justbluefish
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Have you played this guitar with a capo yet? Try it on the first fret to start with. Your J-45 would not be the first one sold with nut issues - mine had nut slots so shallow the guitar went out of tune when you played it. You might have the opposite issue, a nut with slots cut just a whisker too low and allowing the strings to rasp on the first fret.

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As the guitar is still just new, I suggest calling your Sweetwater rep and seeing what he suggests. A buzzing string can be a number of things, including a very very minor tightening of the truss rod (one of the reasons the truss rod is there to be able to put a slight bend to the neck so there is no fret buzz at the first few frets of the guitar), the saddle is slightly too low, the nut is slightly too high in relation to the saddle, the nut slot on a string has a burr in it, the tuning button could be buzzing, a tuner’s washer could be buzzing...a number of minor things that just might need a slight set up adjustment.

 

I suggest calling Sweetwater since the guitar is brand new and see what they say.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

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Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

Today I tried putting on some heavier strings. I installed some D'addario EJ16 12 gauge strings. The guitar does sound better, but it's not perfect. I'm still getting that werid metallic resonant sound. I would describe it almost like a Sitar kind of overtone. I did notice that when I don't play any open strings, as in the case of an F Barre Chord, it sounds fine. Perhaps there is something wrong with the nut? Has anyone experienced what I'm talking about before?

 

Thanks

 

Do you have a piezzo on it ?

Maybe check the jack/plug input thing. You can unscrew it, there is 2 washers, one of them is not necessary and often causes this "buzz" thing.

Long time ago i thought my guitar had an issue with the nut or saddle, but finally it was one of these washers and removing one of them solved the problem on my hummingbird.

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  • 1 year later...
On 2/21/2019 at 3:14 AM, Justbluefish said:

Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

Today I tried putting on some heavier strings. I installed some D'addario EJ16 12 gauge strings. The guitar does sound better, but it's not perfect. I'm still getting that werid metallic resonant sound. I would describe it almost like a Sitar kind of overtone. I did notice that when I don't play any open strings, as in the case of an F Barre Chord, it sounds fine. Perhaps there is something wrong with the nut? Has anyone experienced what I'm talking about before?

 

Thanks

I am experiencing the exact same thing ! Got the J 45 2019 walnut ( GC exclusive) and it's nothing like the warm tone I was imagining., especially with Walnut.Tinny and metallic and rather unpleasant TBH. Brought it in for a Platinum Set-up and it came back worse. They put on some Martin light strings and now the D string has a fret buzz that wasn't there before. Did I just get maybe just get a lemon?? ( was on sale for $1999 regular $2999) .

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  • 7 months later...

I was really happy to stumble across this thread, and the question posed by JustBlueFish in the o.p.  I too bought a new J-45 from Sweetwater (in 2020) and with Elixir strings, if I strum any chord above the 5th fret I get intense metallic resonance across GB&E that kind of sucks. I took it to my tech for a real setup, not what Sweetwater provides, and he improved it somewhat. I will try different strings based on what I am reading in this forum. I did play J-45s before buying mine, and I can only go from memory, but I don't recall hearing this issue. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since my March 21 post I took off the Elixirs, and put on Martin Original Acoustic 80/20 Bronze Lights that were recommended by QuestionMark on page 1 of this thread. Um - wow. This totally transformed the sound for the better, and I just want to express my thanks here. I was reluctant to play this guitar because of the metallic snap that ruined it for me, and suddenly I am eager to play it. I had a very patient and detailed setup before making this switch, with only slight improvement. This really made a significant upgrade. I sold 5 sets of Elixirs I had in standby and bought Martins, and saved a few dollars too.  Anyway - thanks QuestionMark!

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4 hours ago, Mark S said:

Since my March 21 post I took off the Elixirs, and put on Martin Original Acoustic 80/20 Bronze Lights that were recommended by QuestionMark on page 1 of this thread. Um - wow. This totally transformed the sound for the better, and I just want to express my thanks here. I was reluctant to play this guitar because of the metallic snap that ruined it for me, and suddenly I am eager to play it. I had a very patient and detailed setup before making this switch, with only slight improvement. This really made a significant upgrade. I sold 5 sets of Elixirs I had in standby and bought Martins, and saved a few dollars too.  Anyway - thanks QuestionMark!

Strings are a big thing with acoustic guitars of all types, no matter the brand.  Matching the  right strings to the guitar is a Grail-like quest for many.

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The Gibson J-45 Standard is a wonderful guitar...at least mine is. It should be remembered that these guitars "come from the factory with .12-.53 string guage" (which is considered to be a (Light set of strings.") Extra Light is simply too light on a premium guitar in my opinion, for they will often sound tinny, harsh, thin and overly bright. I recommend using the Lights .12-.53 in the brand of YOUR choice. It will make the guitar sound thicker, and the light strings will not be hard to play. Light strings are a wonderful comprimise betwee Medium strings and Extra Light strings. So if you are worried that increasing to  .12-.53 lights will make it harder to play..it will not! Mediums however, you will notice a difference in fretting pressure. My own 2015 J-45 Standard also had an annoying high pitched..hurt your ear sound when I first got it. In fact I hated it. I installed Ebony pins..which greatly reduced and softened the sound. But after about a year when the guitar had been played in however it  became too dark with the Ebony pins, and I replaced the original tusq pins back into the bridge . Wallah!~ By then it had broken in, it began to sing and vibrate and develop the most delicious "Growl" you could ever want. And trebs and mids were just perfect. All good solid wood guitars need time to break in, so that they vibrate freely and do not feel and sound tight. I was a bit dissapointed with my J-45 when I first got it..it just didn't sound like I thought it should...but NOW...oh yes..NOW it does! Yours will too! Best wishes!

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  • 1 month later...

So glad to find this thread.  I'm having the same issue as some others here.  Brand new J-45 50s vintage model.  Open B and E have a dull metallic sound, which is more pronounced on the B string. It sounds worse the closer you pick towards the bridge.  Sounds like the metallic sound is coming from near the saddle but that could just be an illusion.  I took it back to the store I bought it from (about 40 miles away) but they swear it sounds perfect and can't hear anything.  I almost wish I just returned it but they convinced me I was hearing things.  I'm real curious if anyone else who was experiencing this issue ever solved it through new strings, etc. I'm really disappointed as this is my first very expensive guitar and I didn't expect to have an issue like this.

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I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on this site but I have to say that those expensive XS D'Addarios that are a new addition to their line 

are sounding exceptionally good on my '14 J-45. It has never sounded as good as it does right now - warm, full and resonant.

Now I have to wait and see how long this sound continues before the strings need replacing and that'll be the X factor because they are not cheap.

But , so far so good!

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On 6/1/2021 at 8:58 PM, pwykes said:

So glad to find this thread.  I'm having the same issue as some others here.  Brand new J-45 50s vintage model.  Open B and E have a dull metallic sound, which is more pronounced on the B string. It sounds worse the closer you pick towards the bridge.  Sounds like the metallic sound is coming from near the saddle but that could just be an illusion.  I took it back to the store I bought it from (about 40 miles away) but they swear it sounds perfect and can't hear anything.  I almost wish I just returned it but they convinced me I was hearing things.  I'm real curious if anyone else who was experiencing this issue ever solved it through new strings, etc. I'm really disappointed as this is my first very expensive guitar and I didn't expect to have an issue like this.

PWK,  Not sure how bad the sound on E & B, or what you may hear tried.  If I were me, I would put a new set of strings on it.  Remotely possible that  the ones on it aren't a matched set. - E&B could be new and/or a different gauge.   Try replacing with strings you are already familiar/comfortable with- nothing exotic - you want to hear the guitar, not the strings.  And. if you have another guitar with some broken in strings you are comfortable with, try moving them onto the J45.   Second, try a different pick, or your fingers.  Some picks are exceptionally 'bright' and bring out that nuance in E&B.    Picking closer to the bridge will naturally make any string sound brighter - not sure if that is what you mean by metallic.   Third, whilst messing with a new / old set of strings, make sure there isn't anything foreign going on under the saddle.   I'd have expected the store you went back to  to have either done this for you, or, at a minimum - put on a fresh set when you bought it and let you know.   G'Luck. 

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I hate to say this but the builders have at times fallen down on their saddles. I have had to redo them now on two of my Gibsons. One new, one pre-owned. I removed the electronics on the Southern Jumbo rosewood, added rosewood to the bottom of the saddle, sanded perfectly flat, and strung up with mediums and the difference is night and day. The saddle on my southern jumbo standard, which I bought new, has a lot of slop from front to back. I shimmed it out at the front edge, correcting the intonation, and will eventually make a new one. If things like this were happening to me the first thing I would check is the flatness of the bottom of the saddle.

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On 6/2/2021 at 7:16 PM, olie said:

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on this site but I have to say that those expensive XS D'Addarios that are a new addition to their line 

are sounding exceptionally good on my '14 J-45. It has never sounded as good as it does right now - warm, full and resonant.

Now I have to wait and see how long this sound continues before the strings need replacing and that'll be the X factor because they are not cheap.

But , so far so good!

I'm test driving a set on my 814CE DLX  I really like what I'm hearing and feeling so far.

 

 

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Thanks so much for the replies.  I will definitely change out the strings and I thought I'd give the saddle a good going over when I change the strings.  I'll let you know if I have any luck.  

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  • 1 month later...

So I tried using some medium strings on just the B and E.  This helped the B somewhat (though not completely) but made the E string much worse.   I'm kind of at my wits end as I can't play the guitar for more than 5 minutes without being aggravated by this issue.  The dealer I  ought it from is over an hour away and the only local Gibson dealer is Guitar Center and I'm not sure I trust them.  Any other ideas on what to try?  Would a truss rod adjustment help?  Will bringing it to Guitar Center help?  I'm almost at the point of unloading the guitar at a loss as I'm so frustrated with it.  
 

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Sounds like the guitar just needs a set-up.   I would think a Guitar Center or a San Ash Nusic should be able to help you obtain a set-up if there are no other luthiers in your region to bring it to for a set up.  The fact putting medium strings on your guitar  changed the buzz means it could be something minor like a truss rod adjustment or a partial or full set up.  All routine matters.

Hope this helps.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

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48 minutes ago, pwykes said:

help.

Try a different saddle.

Have you given a close look at the exit angle of the strings as they travel off of the saddle towards the soundhole? If the saddle makes too slight of a taper in that area you can get a metallic sound. Are you getting the classic "sitar" sound from the E and B ? 

 

Edited by 62burst
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  do not go to GC or any other box store. none of those guys IME know WTF they are doing.

I'd  find someone who's been doing this forever,   and has a good repour with musicians.  worth it, seeking one out...  

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1 hour ago, 62burst said:

Try a different saddle.

Have you given a close look at the exit angle of the strings as they travel off of the saddle towards the soundhole? If the saddle makes too slight of a taper in that area you can get a metallic sound. Are you getting the classic "sitar" sound from the E and B ? 

 

Yes, I would describe it as that.  Perhaps I'll give that a try and see if it helps.  Thank you.

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1 hour ago, kidblast said:

  do not go to GC or any other box store. none of those guys IME know WTF they are doing.

I'd  find someone who's been doing this forever,   and has a good repour with musicians.  worth it, seeking one out...  

That was my thought but GC are the only authorized Gibson dealer in the area so I was concerned about potentially voiding the warranty as the guitar is so new.

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1 hour ago, QuestionMark said:

Sounds like the guitar just needs a set-up.   I would think a Guitar Center or a San Ash Nusic should be able to help you obtain a set-up if there are no other luthiers in your region to bring it to for a set up.  The fact putting medium strings on your guitar  changed the buzz means it could be something minor like a truss rod adjustment or a partial or full set up.  All routine matters.

Hope this helps.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

Thanks very much Jeff.  I think I'm going to see if I can find a trusted luthier in the area and see what they can do.

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13 minutes ago, BoSoxBiker said:

Is the dealer you bought it from that's an hour away a trusted place?

Unfortunately, no.  I brought it back there once already.  Since their tech is only in on weekdays, I dropped it off on a weekend for him to look at it.  He said it sounded fine to him and didn't do anything.  I know I'm not imagining it though as I have other acoustics but none have this issue.

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10 hours ago, pwykes said:

That was my thought but GC are the only authorized Gibson dealer in the area so I was concerned about potentially voiding the warranty as the guitar is so new.

A setup would not void a warranty.   Also there is a definitive difference from a Gibson Dealer, to an Authorized Service Center.   Good luck with with it either way.   A setup is really a difference maker in the hands of the right tech.

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