Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Mr.Woody

Which Banner would you buy?

Recommended Posts

Hi, all. I'm new here and i'm looking at buying a new guitar. This will be my ONLY acoustic for a long time, so it has to be a good one. Assuming they are both still available at the beginning of August, i have the option to buy either a  real 1945 Banner J-45 that is in rough, but seemingly stable shape, or a brand new 1942 Legend J-45 Limited that is super impressive. They are both listed at the same price, although i know i can get the legend for less than the asking price. I've also played that guitar and really like it. I'll have the chance to play the Banner if it's still there in a few weeks.

Legend pros

  • Brand new with warranty (after some issues i've had with my Martin, this is rather important to me.
  • Nice case
  • sounds/plays great
  • limited edition (unique factor)
  • super huge neck (super comfortable)
  • i don't mind putting  a Baggs Lyric in it

 

Legend cons

  • pricey for a J-45
  • will go down in value as soon as i purchase it (i always take resale value into account, but I don't let it drive the decision)

 

Real banner pros

  • Freaking cool factor!!!!
  • value should hold or go up
  • it's a real banner.....
  • i don't think i'll mind putting  a Baggs Lryic in it since it's had a few mods.
  • looks like a large amount of work has been done, which could be a money saver

 

Banner Cons

  • in pretty rough shape
  • burst has been redone, so it's non-original
  • several cracks that may or may not be open on the back
  • chipboard case (which means an extra cost to get a real one for it)
  • small frets that may need to be replaced in a couple years of regular use
  • who knows what else may be lurking in there......
  • no warranty (obviously)

 

 

Anyway, there's the gist of it. What would you do? I know getting s real banner is (usually) a once in a lifetime thing, but it does make me a little nervous.

Thanks,

Mr.Woody

 

 

Edited by Mr.Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in the same road a few years ago.  Played a handful of Banners, nothing blew me away.  Played a 2006 Legend, and now its got a permanent spot on my rack.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You forgot to mention the most important charactersitics , the tone !  Which one sounded better to you, that should be at least 80% of the consideration.  But from my experience almost all banners sounded infinitely better than the Legend. You just simply cant replace 70 year old wood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, EuroAussie said:

You forgot to mention the most important charactersitics , the tone !  Which one sounded better to you, that should be at least 80% of the consideration.  But from my experience almost all banners sounded infinitely better than the Legend. You just simply cant replace 70 year old wood.

I forget to mention that as i assume that goes without saying (but you never know!!).  I'll know for sure if it's still there next month. They are both at the same shop, so i'll be able to compare side-by-side.

So, assuming they both sound equivalent/great, what would you do?

Edited by Mr.Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on your experience with guitars.  I think the '45 banner would be awesome, but could take a bit of maintenance to get it in and keep it in shape if you're planning to use it as your every day player.  If you have a guy and / or able to do that yourself - that would be my pick.

Not being that guy, I settled on a new J45 'Vintage'... meaning torrefied top. It's awesome, I'll use it to death and never worry.   I've only heard good things about legends, so if that's in the cards - (and you're not the maintenance type of guy), I would go that way.

Good problem to have!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me the dealbreaker would be the refinish of the old Banner, unless it's an old refinish that looks the part. Photos?

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Lars68 said:

To me the dealbreaker would be the refinish of the old Banner, unless it's an old refinish that looks the part. Photos?

Lars

it for sure is! looks like it was redone a LONG time ago. My sales guy just told me everything is super solid on it and gave me a decent deal.......

I have good experience working on guitars, but have never done any fret-work, which would be the first big maintenance thing needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The preference here would be for the beater Banner. And it would be a decision mostly based on comfort, not just the big comfy neck, but a guitar that has really been played, and shows it, valuable vintage or no, is less stressful- not worrying about dings, or the finish freaking out from a temperature change. Yes, I suppose tone is important, and those who've tried and dismissed an old guitar over a more recently made one might've auditioned the guitar and pronounced it a dud, when the repair of a loose brace, a neck reset, playing until it wakes up, and/or getting a setup, or even strings might've brought that guitar back to sounding amazing. Witnessed this on a once-dismissed '46 Southern Jumbo- sounds too good for the likes of me now.

As Lars said, the refinish could be a deal breaker, not only in the interest in originality. Most other components can be made right again, but not a 75 year old sunburst, and care or not, a finish that has been curing for that long is going to sound different, ditto for the wood. I did the Standards, the 50's Reissue,  a True Vintage after a/b'ing several (in retrospect, any of those guitars would've been just fine), but ultimately, it was a "I got's to know" that it was indeed a sound that could only be made by a guitar from that era. 'Pretty much over it all now, and anymore it's a pick one, old or new, play the hell out of it, and don't look back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably the Legend, unless the tone of the banner is exceptional. You haven't talked money, but the refinish knocks a big chunk of the value of the banner unless it's an exceptional guitar in both condition and tone.

The Legend series guitars are superb in general. Since it's new, I assume it has a torrefied adi top, which will take you a good distance towards vintage tone.  

The right vintage J-45 is magic. I have several, including one I've owned for more than 50 years. I also have a great modern slope-J as well, and it is a great guitar.

The Legend is as close as you can get to the real thing, without vintage problems. Unless you have a lot of experience with vintage Gibsons and know exactly what you're getting into, stick with the Legend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, j45nick said:

Probably the Legend, unless the tone of the banner is exceptional. You haven't talked money, but the refinish knocks a big chunk of the value of the banner unless it's an exceptional guitar in both condition and tone.

The Legend series guitars are superb in general. Since it's new, I assume it has a torrefied adi top, which will take you a good distance towards vintage tone.  

The right vintage J-45 is magic. I have several, including one I've owned for more than 50 years. I also have a great modern slope-J as well, and it is a great guitar.

The Legend is as close as you can get to the real thing, without vintage problems. Unless you have a lot of experience with vintage Gibsons and know exactly what you're getting into, stick with the Legend.

This is helpful, as have been all the other comments thus far!! Thanks everyone 🙂

I've been hesitant to talk specifics as i still have a few weeks before i can get back to make the purchase and i don't want anyone to snatch either up lol  I tend to talk too much and sometimes it ends up biting me in the butt! 🙂

Yes, the Legend has a torrefied adi top. I'd also like to purchase a Mono gig bag for either. I use one with my Les Paul and really like it! (sorry if that makes you cringe)

I know in the end, it will come down to which one speaks more to me on that day, but as this is my first real foray into Gibson land, i thought i should see what i could potentially be getting myself into.

Please, i welcome any more thoughts/comments!!

Mr.Woody

 

 

Edited by Mr.Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 62burst said:

The preference here would be for the beater Banner. And it would be a decision mostly based on comfort, not just the big comfy neck, but a guitar that has really been played, and shows it, valuable vintage or no, is less stressful- not worrying about dings, or the finish freaking out from a temperature change. 

I hear what you're saying. I do love the look of a beat-up guitar, but i'm sure scratches/knicks on the Legend wouldn't bother me much!

Edited by Mr.Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The price of the 1945 Banner seems high to me for a refinished one. Is the top adi? If it's mahogany, the price is really off, in my opinion. Other factors to consider: 2 or 4-piece top, truss rod or without? I bought a first year, 1942, J-45 in original condition for $5000 in 2011, when the market was higher than it is now. Mine did need some minor repairs, though, but nothing serious. I think you might be able to make that price come down a bit further.

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Refin Banner should be had for a little less. I'd go for both as a package deal and get the prices down. Nothing wrong with having both but you should expect that suggestion from this forum 😉

Here's a vintage '42-'43 J45 Banner with a Legend and a vintage '42 LG1 with it's reissue.

IMG_5272_zpshgvt2iue.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old Banners are cool. But not refinished ones. 

I agree with Nick the Legends a nice guitar. Looks good sounds good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lars68 said:

The price of the 1945 Banner seems high to me for a refinished one. Is the top adi? If it's mahogany, the price is really off, in my opinion. Other factors to consider: 2 or 4-piece top, truss rod or without? I bought a first year, 1942, J-45 in original condition for $5000 in 2011, when the market was higher than it is now. Mine did need some minor repairs, though, but nothing serious. I think you might be able to make that price come down a bit further.

Lars

Ahh, I wondered if it might be high. They came down some on it, but i may ask about throwing in a nice case as well.  

Edited by Mr.Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, slimt said:

Push on the this ad in blue it will show two 45s 

Thanks for the link!, I just checked them out and they both look nice, but i'm going to need to play whatever i get on this purchase and NC is a bit too far away.

 

I should also add that the neck has been reset. I don't know if that helps or hurts value. 

Edited by Mr.Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Mr.Woody said:

Thanks for the link!, I just checked them out and they both look nice, but i'm going to need to play whatever i get on this purchase and NC is a bit too far away.

 

I should also add that the neck has been reset. I don't know if that helps or hurts value. 

A neck reset is alot better than a refin. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know there are a lot of vintage lovers here, but I’m just the opposite, I would take the new legend any day, especially with all the things “wrong “ with the banner. 

My two centavos 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, slimt said:

What does a used Legend sell for these days?

Varies a lot. The first few years the Legend was supposed to be a close replica of Eldon's guitar all the way down to the saw marks on the braces.  It was ink marked on the neck block using today's numbering system. The trim was dyed to look aged.  VOS finished.  Aged buttons. Then Gibson came out with the  shiny, bright trimmed, orange labeled "1942 J-45 Legend" with the custom shop decal which  does not look the same. that was originally built for the Japanese market.  The older ones were selling new around $6K when they came out. Most used ones are in the 3500-5000 range with some exceptions. I'm not sure on the newer ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok, after getting some feedback, i'm not so leery of someone swooping this one up at this price

Here is the guitar in question:

https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/listing/gibson-j-45-sunburst-1945/26094635

I still may try to talk them down, but i'm going to sit back and breath a little. If it's still there in a few weeks, i'll have more negotiating power. if not, i'm sure the Legend will be just fine.

 

Edited by Mr.Woody

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...