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BK - J50 v Dove Comparison


uncle fester
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It is too early to compare the 2 guitars yet......the 2005 Dove was playable and gig ready, just needed new strings.

The 2002 J50 has been really mistreated and neglected and will take time and work to catch up with the Dove. I will take it to the luthier after he returns from holidays in a month or so. I put new strings on it today. The more I look, the more there is to do. The nut is uneven, 3rd string slot too low and buzzing a bit. The saddle is too high and leaning forward in the saddle slot slightly. The first 4 or 5 frets have been changed some time ago, but some higher up near 10 - 12 are awful. I lubed the tuners and will give them a bit longer, a few are stiff and a few loose, but I don’t really like them, worn out I suppose. The battery was left too long and welded itself to the connector and when I tried to change it, the contacts stayed joined to the old battery. I have taped the wire to the side of the soundhole to stop the wires flapping around every time I moved the guitar. Previous owner kept his unslotted pins, I guess, and put in original plastic slotted pins to sell the guitar.....might be buzzing a bit.

So....frets, a setup, tuners, nut, saddle, pins, new pickup (I did intend to get a full version Anthem, but may just get a new connector for the existing Element and hope it works.), plus undiscovered joys by the doc.....it may be a while.

Now the Dove needs........me to go play it!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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Those standard enclosed three-on-a-plate Klusons rarely wear out.

Take them off the guitar the next time you change strings. Flush them thoroughly with naphtha-- I use plastic glue syringes for this, working the tuners a lot while flushing them--let them dry, then give them a shot of Tri-Flow using their pinpoint lubricator. Work the tuners in thoroughly to make sure they turn without binding. Clean any excess lubricant off the outside with a rag moistened in naphtha.

Clean and polish the stringposts with a metal polish like Flitz. Take a cotton swab dipped in naphtha to clean the inside of the ferrules in the headstock. Don't think of trying to remove them from the headstock. Do a final clean/polish of the inside of the ferrules with a dab of Flitz on a cotton swab before reinstalling the tuners.

Don't lube the tuners with them on the guitar: you'll get lube everywhere, and it is difficult to impossible to remove completely.

I've been using this method for decades, bringing back many "dead" tuners, which essentially only need a thorough clean/lube unless either the stringposts or tuning shafts are bent.

Incidentally, on older Klusons where the nickel plating is showing signs of rust on the gear covers, I clean those up using Flitz as part of the restoration process. You end up with a nicely relic'd-looking rust-free tuners. They don't looks new, but they do look "vintage."

Stewmac has a good video on this process, using methods almost identical to the ones described above. It ain't rocket science.

If anyone has old "junk" Klusons they don't want, send them to me. I'll pay for the shipping.

Waste not, want not.

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Thanks Nick!

 

Oh oh.....already squirted TriFlow in the lube holes......and we can’t buy naptha in Aust. I had a can of Ronson zippo fluid, also illegal now, and it has ‘moved’ when our carpet got flooded.....long story. Real long. But I fastidiously wiped the tuners after application of the lube - I have used that stuff since I got it from StewMac about 10 years ago. I put some on a pushbike chain as suggested by the same ‘expert’ that talked me into tubeless tyres that intentionally go flat...yep, 2 bikes with flat tyres in the garage. (Queen’s English for tires!). And the TriFlow attracted every bit of dust on the bike track.....

I will play the J50 again in a minute. We have had severe weather changes and I have had trouble keeping the guitar in tune. I think I was having trouble tuning my tuners with my tuners! (New tuner battery time perhaps). The guitar was giving me the irits and I was thinking I know why shops don’t change the strings.....so I put it back in its luxury Hiscox to stew in its juice. And played my fabulous perfectly intonated and in tunable Taylor 717e Grand Pacific Builder’s Edition V- Braced. How’s that name for a mouthful?

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention - this J50 is really, really LOUD!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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Tri-Flow has PTFE in it, which is the reason you don't want to get it on your guitar's finish.

BK, the weather looks wicked in your part of the world right now, between the temperatures and the fires. I hope it calms down before I go to Sydney for work in late February.

The trouble tuning the J-50 may be due to the old strings. They produce so many overtones that a lot of electronic tuners have trouble sorting out the fundamental pitch. I had the same issue a few nights ago when I was tuning a couple of my guitars down a half step for some 60's rock  stuff. With really old strings on the guitars, both of my electronic tuners threw up their displays and said "Enough. We ain't doin' this."

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In my first reply hidden among my garble is my mention of having put new strings on (yesterday). Elixir PB mediums 13s. And a closer inspection of everything.

Good news, everything has settled down a bit, tuned the J50 just then with a different tuner, guitar stayed in tune and sounded great. And loud. Really loud guitar! Giving me an earache. So I played through some gentle tabs of fingerstyled faves I printed off the net. Sounded beautiful. I can hear massive potential in melody lines singing out! Once seen to by my luthier, it may just be my best Gibson. Patience plus I have a spare guitar or two.......

Even though I have evaporative air con, it still gets hot...so instead of 120 on Friday, we probably had 90 something inside.

And with a dry cool change Friday overnight, it went to 50 and right now, today at Sunday 10.25am, it is 57! If the willy wind comes from the north it is off the desert and that has been having record temps, then the wind comes from the south, straight off the Antarctic, I guess. I can’ believe I have a jumper on. So everything has been groaning...humans, house, guitar. Tuners!

We only had 2 hot days before the change, but Sydney has been awful for months. Tell ‘em you want to go in July, Nick. February in Sydney. Wow. 

 

BluesKing777.

 

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34 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

We only had 2 hot days before the change, but Sydney has been awful for months. Tell ‘em you want to go in July, Nick. February in Sydney. Wow. 

 

All my friends in Sydney tell me it's pretty wretched right now. I was there working last year for a couple of weeks in January/February. It was warmish for much of the time, but not bad for someone used to Florida.

I worked in Melbourne for a month a few years ago, and that weather was bizarre. Winter and summer, in the same day.

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39 minutes ago, j45nick said:

All my friends in Sydney tell me it's pretty wretched right now. I was there working last year for a couple of weeks in January/February. It was warmish for much of the time, but not bad for someone used to Florida.

I worked in Melbourne for a month a few years ago, and that weather was bizarre. Winter and summer, in the same day.

 

Of course, you live in Florida! Same weather as Sydney summer, I suppose. After acclimatizing to Victoria, we would rather poke ourselves in the eye than suffer that humidity!

Melbourne is probably more like Seattle - I hear it rains and is gloomy most days, yep Melbourne! Except the horrendous north wind days, kinda like a Santa Ana.

Wild ride watching my temp/humidity  here - guitars in case with Humidipak probably wishful thinking.

I just played the mini-me 59 LG3 for a 1/2 hour - same tunes as I played on the J50. Smaller sound, rings like a bell, and...the key...still has a wonderful setup! Great guitar, only foible is the 1 11/16" nut so I capo up mostly.....

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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I bought some more Humidipaks at a music shop and while I thought it could be mayhem at the shop, I was the only one there! The Boss wanted to go to the pet shop and that place was jumping in comparison. The roads and drivers were horrible, one driver in particular had psychopathic tendencies after not giving way etc, etc, and waving his arms and gave me the finger. All that and he was at fault.....and he had never heard me play guitar either.🙂

Anyway, the J50 has been humidified with an Oasis all week and had the Humidipak over night and the guitar seems to be settling very well. We will keep it on the program and see, but already the fret ends aren’t as sharp. I may have got to the guitar just in time to save it from a massive wrreeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkk———rrrrrrrrrrAAACkkkkkkkk. 

I played the J50 for about an hour and this guitar is just a killer. A few things to get sorted out yet but it just sings beautifully.

I had a cup of tea, then played the Dove as a mini comparison for myself. Just a wonderful guitar but not one thing like the J50 in any way. A great clear sound and nice to play. I may try mediums, only change!

But I can tell you, if whoever sold these guitars cheap after not giving them any humidity, love or attention..........if they heard me playing them before and the sounds coming out of these, well.....they would be kicking themselves in nice forum language. And the guitars haven’t even met the Master (luthier) yet!!!

 

BluesKing777.

 

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27 minutes ago, j45nick said:

You done well, BK. Saved another couple of fine guitars from the dustbin of history.

 

Ha! Recycled!

I rang my luthier today to see if he would give the J50 a quick look over before he goes on holidays, you know, just put the stethoscope on it and in it and give us a diagnosis. His assistant answered the phone, relayed my babble to him and I was told he would ring me in a minute. No call back.

BluesKing777.

 

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51 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

Ha! Recycled!

I rang my luthier today to see if he would give the J50 a quick look over before he goes on holidays, you know, just put the stethoscope on it and in it and give us a diagnosis. His assistant answered the phone, relayed my babble to him and I was told he would ring me in a minute. No call back.

BluesKing777.

 

Maybe just as well to wait until the guitar is fully re-humidified and settled  in. First thing is to get the patient fully stabilized before letting the sawbones do anything.

Humidity here now is 68%. Guitars sound like you are playing them underwater. You can tell the humidity is high when the guitars go almost a half step sharp overnight.

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I am not answering the phone (or the door) in case they want them back!

Buyer’s remorse turns to seller’s remorse.

I was trying to mentally review what grabbed me about these guitars in the shop and it was a combination of the sound and the neck - both are played in to be ‘loose’ sounding but also both  have chunkier necks than the recent models.......very fingerpicking good!

And Nick - when my evaporative air con is blasting, the humidity will get to 70% quickly.

BluesKing777.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

 

And Nick - when my evaporative air con is blasting, the humidity will get to 70% quickly.

BluesKing777.

 

 

I can't believe you guys still have "swamp cooler" air conditioning. Last time I saw one of those was when I was in high school in the Arizona desert, 55 years ago. Modern mini-split systems aren't cheap, but they are easy to install and would work well in your environment.

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7 hours ago, j45nick said:

I can't believe you guys still have "swamp cooler" air conditioning. Last time I saw one of those was when I was in high school in the Arizona desert, 55 years ago. Modern mini-split systems aren't cheap, but they are easy to install and would work well in your environment.

 

But extremely glad to have it on the extreme days!

It is a fairly modern and efficient model that runs very quietly on ‘the cost of a light globe’. That was the blurb. Before that, we had a Penguino! (Portable DeLonghi pushing out a massive 10,000 BTU.) Again that was the blurb. It worked great as long as we sat in one room with the door closed. And it made your eyes dry and itchy. I gave that to the BIL.😁

Before that we had....zip. Fans? This house is a full blown hot box built by morons....I met them. Long story. But we are still here, so it couldn’t have been as bad as suspected.

 

BluesKing777.

 

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2002 Gibson J50 Update:

 

So, we are about 12 hours ahead of the US on the international timeline, so it the day after Christmas Day here - Thursday morning on what is called Boxing Day here.

Silence!

All the screams and yells have stopped from 4 or 5 houses near me. Boy, some of them must be suffering now! We had a quiet one as illness caused cancellation of the usual stuff we go to.....

So quiet I can hear.....birds! It won’t last because Boxing Day is ‘redeem the vouchers and the project going’ day. Get them machines chomping!

Meanwhile, BK sprung up early, had coffee, checked email, internet, news....and there is big news here (that not many will care about!):  I took the J50 out of the Hiscox case it now lives in and..........it was still in tune! It is 11 days since I bought it and the guitar would be unrecognisable to the previous players, owners, shops. Monday, I couldn’t get it in tune, keep it in tune.....

It was dry as a bone and I humidified it with an Oasis soundhole thingy for a week, put new Elixir PB mediums  on Saturday morning and bought a new Humidipak system for it on Sunday. Guitar is now stable! Sounds great, sharp frets have receded nicely and it even plays better. Setup and work to come but for now......Wow!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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2 hours ago, j45nick said:

Great to hear, BK!

 

Thanks Nick!

Non guitar related, though it could be debated because of the ‘no work, no guitar’ rule of the cosmos😁.......do the people you work for have a horse in the race? (Feet up in front of the TV here with a combo of 5 days of Test Cricket and Sydney to Hobart race start on at lunchtime for the cricket...... Split screen TV’s rule!) and I had the sound off while I played my 59 LG3........

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

Thanks Nick!

Non guitar related, though it could be debated because of the ‘no work, no guitar’ rule of the cosmos😁.......do the people you work for have a horse in the race? (Feet up in front of the TV here with a combo of 5 days of Test Cricket and Sydney to Hobart race start on at lunchtime for the cricket...... Split screen TV’s rule!) and I had the sound off while I played my 59 LG3........

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

Not directly, although the guy who is my direct boss in SailGP is the tactician on Wild Oats. A lot of guys I work with are sailing on various boats in the fleet.

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8 minutes ago, j45nick said:

Not directly, although the guy who is my direct boss in SailGP is the tactician on Wild Oats. A lot of guys I work with are sailing on various boats in the fleet.

 

Cool!

There isn’t much between them on yacht tracker, currently....not sure if Wild Oats is 3, 4 or 5. (Comanchie  leading).

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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BK, the high-level professional sailing world is pretty small. Probably only a few thousand or so of us make a full-time living out of it in one way or another. My days as a high-level competitor were limited and are pretty much over, but I work in race management in one case, and as a technical advisor to an America's Cup team in the other. In both cases, we are funded by billionaires (Larry Ellison, Sir James Ratcliffe) who own professional sports teams and events as a hobby.

Unfortunately, neither of them plays guitar, to the best of my knowledge. But their Iargesse in funding their hobbies enables me to buy guitars from time to time.

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There are probably quite a few here that work on the whim of billionaires, without payday we will be down to playing one cheapo guitar in a matter of weeks.

Back to J50 Gibson matters, gulp....err, err, lets see.

I ate dinner outside on my back veranda tonight. Surrounded by silence except perhaps a pool filter or 2 - the screamers have finally exhausted themselves or left to holiday destinations. It is fantastic here when they are all gone, almost as quiet as when I moved in all those years ago - we were the ‘first wave’..... So dinner was followed by the simple joy of playing my J50 outside on the veranda! Boss attracts mosquitos so her and dog stayed watching tv. Played as many instrumentals as I could off the top of my head before the bugs start to come out at dusk. And some premixed bourbon & colas. Hopefully, and weather permitting, I will repeat this exercise every night - I mean, they have all their lights flicking on and off but if there is no screaming, they aren’t really there!

J50 sounds great outside. Very pleased!

 

BluesKing777.

 

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Update to the update!

 

Saturday morning here. Every Saturday morning, I do a “C” guitar practice. Capo on 3rd. And the rest of the week I veer all over the place, so this is a kind of grounding. I begin with a set list of C rags and blues that progressively get harder and I finish by improvising within the form....some weeks I feel slow, others fast, or have sore fingers or sore head or......plain old don’t feel like doing the same thing again. AGAIN!

This morning first up with the new bat. J50. 2002.

Generally, a L-00 is the ideal guitar for this kind of fingerpicking....balanced tone and plenty of real estate. Some dreads I have owned are too boomy in the bass and this kind of picking sounds ordinary. Next!

So on to the J50 went the capo at 3 and it sounds great, balanced, enough room. Got the job! This guitar has a chunkier neck than the previous (2010?) J45 I owned and nowhere near as boomy. And I keep thinking I am playing a 1955 J50.

And as a comparison, my 2005 Dove is also generous of neck and tone balance.....and the very same tunes mentioned above sound and play well but a lot brighter and clearer.

So, a couple of great, for me, pawn shop finds! They never have guitars like this and now I have both for half the price of the brand new J45, plus luthier repair bill....

 

BluesKing777.

 

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