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Flare4roach

Best cases for J-185

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Hey everybody,

Yesterday was my lucky day. I was able to score a 56' J-185 from a buddy who no longer plays guitar. He wanted me to have it. Anyway, it came with a horrendous case that looks like it saw better days 40 years ago. It's not a Gibson case and just is terrible. This beauty deserves a nice case. I would love a Gibson case but I don't necessarily need a vintage one...doubt I could afford it. So, who are you go-to cases for something like this? Thanks!

 

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Dear Goodness congratulations. 

and welcome to the forum. I've had a serious jones to have another go at a J-185 lately- but a 1950's example from a friend who no longer plays would only happen in a dream. . . how fortunate for you. Of course, you must upload a pic to imgur.com and post it here (please). 

There just aren't a lot of them out there. Cases, or J-185's, for that matter. So if I had your dream scenario, and came across this one looking to be from the 1990's on Reverb, https://reverb.com/item/11071720-gibson-hard-case-for-j-185  it would be a fine place to keep that '56, unless it was going to see some hard road use. Even though the shipping from Japan would almost be as much as the case. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to email Gibson Customer Service to make sure they can't hook you up with one first.

Again, congrats, and please consider treating us to a photo 

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Congratulations, F4r. I am sure that any Gibson dealer can order a labeled Gibson case for you. If you buy a generic Jumbo case, they're not all the same dimensions. Most are 17" at the lower bout. I think the J185 has a 16" lower bout (versus the J200  at 17").

My J35 lives in a Hiscox Pro II . It's a true flight case. Dimensionally, I think you'd want the dreadnought/folk style size, but you'd need to confirm that.  Musician's Friend sells Hiscox and offers free shipping on cases.  They often put out coupon codes for 20% off.  

Post some pictures of that '56.

Edited by Fidalgo

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Cool!  What case you go with depends on how you use the guitar.   The Hiscox is a great  recommendation if you take the guitar out the door on a regular bases on trips down the road a piece..  ig plus is they are a lot lighter than  something like the Armitage case I keep my 1942 J50 in.  If  the guitar stays  home a lot or only makes local trips something like a TKL (which supplies cases to Gibson & Martin) will work  fine.  My wife's 1960 J200 was residing it its original Lifton case which was really starting to show its age and the miles put on it.  She only  takes it out on short trips to local gatherings a couple of times a month so it ended up buying her a TKL case.    

In terms of older cases, my favorite remain the Victoria Luggage cases Gibson used in the 1960s - black with yellow lining.   Not the lightest case out there  nor the best fit as they were generic sizes but well built with thick lining and good quality hardware.    

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Hey everybody,

Thank you for the help. Two things.

1. I was able to post some pics in IMGUR so here's the link: 1956 Gibson J-185

2. I spent a lot of time researching cases and even called Gibson who told me to contact either TKL or Cedar Creek...I kind of gave up hope of finding an original Gibson case. However, I do like to hunt and I scoured the internet and FOUND one! It's a newer J-185 case but that suits me just fine. It was exactly what I needed.

Thanks again for your help. I have a 44' Banner LG-2 that was my Grandpa's guitar that I'll share another day.

PS. If you really want to be jealous...when I purchased the J-185, I also spotted an old, roached out Gibson 12 string in the corner. I asked about it and my buddy GAVE it to me. Now, this very well might be beyond restoring but either way...I'll hang it on the wall as a conversation piece if I have to. Still, pretty good day. I go to buy a vintage piece from a buddy and walk out with 2 old Gibsons? I've been waiting on that deal all my life.

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That's a nice guitar that appears to have had a pretty hard life. I don't know what part of the country you're in, but I would get it to a qualified luthier who specializes in vintage repair to see what work might be necessary to stabilize it and turn it into a great player.

Congratulations.

Now, post a picture of the "roached-out" 12-string, along with its serial number, and we'll help you determine exactly what you have, and whether it's worth repairing or should just be a wall hanger.

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Because of the 16" lower bout, a J-185 will fit reasonably well in many dreadnought cases.

Try before you buy to assure a good fit.

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Congrats!

Except for the loose binding it looks in pretty good shape.

Glade you found a case. 

I was going to recommend you to keep a watch on reverb at https://reverb.com/shop/boutique-wholesale-never-retail

They seem to get a lot of oddball cases. I've bought from them a couple times

I took my J185 and tried it in a Martin  D, Gibson J and Gibson J200 case. Did not fit the first two and was too loose in the J200.

Apparently the Jumbo shape does come into play

J185  cali case

48736624648_86a1346bdd_z.jpg

Martin D

48736948166_4e5792af0f_z.jpg   48736947411_0f7fac09e6_z.jpg

Gibson J

48736624448_cbf1126046_z.jpg   48737128682_1a5ebcf04c_z.jpg

Gibson J200

48737128957_f80dfa7d7b_z.jpg    48736948481_bd0e0fbc3e_z.jpg

 

 

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Interesting little comparo Dave's put together there- valuable for anyone shopping for a J-185 case, and it's also telling to illustrate the difference in the body shapes of the above guitars.

Now- a green Brownie point for anyone who can identify the guitar Dave has only described as a Gibson "J" !

Edited by 62burst
removed clue

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24 minutes ago, 62burst said:

Interesting little comparo Dave's put together there- valuable for anyone shopping for a J-185 case, and it's also telling to illustrate the difference in the body shapes of the above guitars.

Now- a green Brownie point for anyone who can identify the guitar Dave has only described as a Gibson "J" !

Is that a 1942 J-45 Legend?

Edited by Flare4roach

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42 minutes ago, Flare4roach said:

Is that a 1942 J-45 Legend?

X Mark X Clip Art

Here's the Legend with a real vintage

48740126307_00ab6a3cca_z.jpg

 

Edited by Dave F
updates

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Lol, Dave, and thanks for playing along FlareR. The reason I threw the question out there was because all the checkboxes I was using to identify Dave's guitar didn't add up. . . thanks to Gibson being Gibson (in their picking and choosing what features they leave off of guitars when they dust off an old model).

(Edit: and the model might be pertinent to case fitment)

Edited by 62burst

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hint: something missing from the headstock that was on the original version. . . and it isn't the banner.

(also-  a guitar of this type might be pertinent to a discussion on case fitment)

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4 hours ago, Jalex said:

I'll have a go. The original doesn't have headstock wings?

Dave’s mystery “J” does have at least one change in it’s guitarchitecture, but that’s not it. 

  stare at the fretboard 

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 That’s what I thought at first, Jinder, but the Jackson Browne guitar (which is walnut) has the snowflake fretboard inlays.

 you are definitely getting warm. 

(Edit: fwiw- the JB had the bound fretboard)

 

Edited by 62burst

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Jinder was close enough to Smeckville. Here's what Gibson left off of Dave's LTD... that was the Limited, wasn't it Dave (Roy's name was hard to miss on other r.i.'s):

 

sfxIL0e.png?1

other fine images of the guitar here: https://reverb.com/item/14801835-2016-gibson-custom-shop-roy-smeck-stage-deluxe-acoustic-guitar-vintage-sunburst-721-r82ac , but check out the 8-string love machine in the last photo of the panel while there.

Edited by 62burst

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2 hours ago, 62burst said:

Jinder was close enough to Smeckville. Here's what Gibson left off of Dave's LTD... that was the Limited, wasn't it Dave (Roy's name was hard to miss on other r.i.'s):

You know me too well 😉

Historically mine looks good. Here's Norman With his 1935. From the caption I'm assuming they started putting standard necks on some non Hawaiian models without the Smeck logo or NL inlays. Maybe Tom can shed some light.

48746142216_ee311f4121_c.jpg

 

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