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Is This Legit - J-45 ?

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I normally do not ask of such things, but I had this one in my hands and played it for 15-20 minutes the other day.  I'm not interested in purchasing at all, but am curious to know. They say it's a J-45, but it's a 'hog. There is no sticker inside of it - just a small "J-45" etched into the bracing almost directly below the sound-hole.

It was in very playable shape, but I did not look too closely at the neck angles and such. While it played nicely, I think there might be a fret or two causing an occasional issue. The tone sort of surprised me as a passing salesman thought he had heard it was an early 50's model. eBay says 1965, which seems more believable. Two things surprised me with my first time vintage playing experience since the 1968 HB almost 5 years ago. I thought it would have been lighter, and I thought the finish looked a little thick for the age. I know nothing about these, though, so, I defer to you guys. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1965-GIBSON-J-45-ACOUSTIC-GUITAR-W-NON-ORIGINAL-HARDSHELL-CASE/264564948754?hash=item3d994cbf12:g:1sgAAOSwKdNd8o3K 

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There are anomalies, for sure. J50 with an odd pick guard.  Hog back and sides look like mine.  It's waiting for someone to re-install the adj saddle.

What sticks out to me is the high price tag.

Here's a good comparison listing.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1965-Gibson-J-50-Acoustic-Guitar-with-Hardshell-Case/114005227824?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131231084308%26meid%3D51a16eb863cb4880b2427ae48ae34a46%26pid%3D100752%26rk%3D9%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D264564948754%26itm%3D114005227824%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982

Edited by jedzep

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It is Sam Ash so you would assume they know what they are talking about.  But then again, they also claim  the guitar is all original.  The proverbial blind guy could tell the pickguard and bridge are not original to the guitar.  I am not sure why the mahogany body would throw up a red flag but given the additions and J45 stamp, my suspicion would be that the top has been refinished.  But even if it is a mislabeled J50, I agree that the price tag is on the ridiculous side.

Edited by zombywoof

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1965 looks right. It is either a J-50 or a very faded cherryburst J-45. Could be either one. I see hints of 'burst around the edges of the top and at the edges of the top next to the fretboard extension.

There should be an FON stamped on the neckblock inside. Check the back of headstock for an impressed FON as well.

Non-original pickguard, and the adj bridge has been modified with a fixed saddle insert, which is a common modification.

It has a mahogany back and sides, and spruce top. It also has the fat mid/late 1960's frets?

Did you check the neck width? If it is '65, it could be either 1 11/16" or 1 9/16".

The price may be a bit high.

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Burst looks just like a HB I had. Very faded and almost looked natural. If you zoom in on the bridge you can see where it was filled in and reslotted so it’s probably the original. 

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If that's a stripped burst, someone did a nice job. I just look at it as faded and/or shadowed by photography.

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Well, I agree that the price seems way out of line. I got my 1965 J-50 from Guitar Center for less than half that much five years ago. If I thought mine was worth that much, I'd have to think twice about keeping it, LOL. 🙂 I agree, the bridge and pick guard are clearly wrong. Didn't look very closely, but off-hand, the rest looks about right. Mine has a serial number on the back of the headstock (although it's faint and doesnt show in the photo). The brace inside the soundhole is stamped "J50 ADJ BRIDGE" and there's something I can't quite read under that, might be the previous owner's name? Mine has the skinny neck (which I like).  Weight feels about the same as my 2008 J-50.

For comparison, here are some pix of mine

65j50-1.jpg

65j50-3.jpg

65j50-9.jpg

65j50-2.jpg

 

Edited by Boyd

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6 hours ago, j45nick said:

There should be an FON stamped on the neckblock inside. Check the back of headstock for an impressed FON as well.

 

The last full year for FON numbering system  was 1960 (my recollection is that the switchover to a new numbering system came in Feb. 1961).  My initial questions about the guitar  would be does  it have the 1  9/16" or 1  11/16" nut and was the laminate maple  bridge plate swapped out  along with the ADJ bridge for a sold maple  plate.  But the price tag  which  is around double what I would lay out for a 100% original '65  makes it a no starter from the get go.

Edited by zombywoof
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42 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

The last full year for FON numbering system  was 1960 (my recollection is that the switchover to a new numbering system came in Feb. 1961).  My initial questions about the guitar  would be does  it have the 1  9/16" or 1  11/16" nut and was the laminate maple  bridge plate swapped out  along with the ADJ bridge for a sold maple  plate.  But the price tag  which  is around double what I would lay out for a 100% original '65  makes it a no starter from the get go.

You're right.  After 1961, should be 4, 5, or 6 digits impressed into back of headstock for the rest of the 1960's.

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3 hours ago, bobouz said:

Indeed, the most glaring “problem” is the price tag!

Now, that is only the Buy-It-Now price, it is open to offers.

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20 minutes ago, JWG4927 said:

Now, that is only the Buy-It-Now price, it is open to offers.

That is not on the For Sale page only Buy It Now. Some people make offers anyway, but a lot don't.

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11 hours ago, jedzep said:

That's a nice-looking guitar. The saddle looks to be cranked all the way down, so it may be getting into neck re-set territory. If you can deal with the (probable) narrow nut, that's a pretty good way to get into a decent vintage Gibson at a rational price.

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The prices on that other eBay and Guitar Center listings are much more in line with that I'd expect. And if it's been sitting around Guitar Center for awhile, they may take a much lower offer. Mine was originally listed for $3300 and sat in the local store for about 8 months when they dropped the price to $2400. A couple months after that, I offered $2000 and they took it without even haggling, although the salesman had to make some phone calls for approval.

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12 minutes ago, Boyd said:

The prices on that other eBay and Guitar Center listings are much more in line with that I'd expect. And if it's been sitting around Guitar Center for awhile, they may take a much lower offer. Mine was originally listed for $3300 and sat in the local store for about 8 months when they dropped the price to $2400. A couple months after that, I offered $2000 and they took it without even haggling, although the salesman had to make some phone calls for approval.

exactly.

 

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Out of curiosity, I looked at the 60's era J-45s on Reverb last night. Most of them still had definite burst remaining. A few did not. at least one seller called it an aged "Natural" finish.

I was kind of surprised to see that price tag on it, too, though I do not know the vintage world at all.

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20 minutes ago, jedzep said:

That one looks VERY nice! 1959 was probably the last year for a fairly chunky neck. Break angle at the saddle looks very good, so plenty of height to lower the saddle if needed. 

That price isn't bad, and if you could get it down to $4k, it would be very good value if it's in the condition it appears to be in.

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41 minutes ago, jedzep said:

 

I would love to play/compare that 59 with my 2002!

Non scalloped bracing like my 59 LG3......same neck as my LG3 which is fingerpickable even though it is 1 11/16”

But at that price, plus CITES etc, delivery, import cost, won’t ever happen.

I think my 2002 looks older.

 

BluesKing777.

 

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56 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

I would love to play/compare that 59 with my 2002!

Non scalloped bracing like my 59 LG3......same neck as my LG3 which is fingerpickable even though it is 1 11/16”

But at that price, plus CITES etc, delivery, import cost, won’t ever happen.

I think my 2002 looks older.

 

BluesKing777.

 

Your 2002 was a great find. Be satisfied with that. Don't go all Goldilocks on us.

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Yeah, plus you're the only guy with clips that demo every guitar you own. Let's just say your J is an old soul.

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