Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Eli87

Did I just hit the jackpot with my J45?

Recommended Posts

So I recently sold my Martin to upgrade to a J-45. I’ve always loved the J-45 and decided I was going to treat myself. I wanted to get something nice that I could play for years to come and eventually pass down to my son when he’s older.  I toyed around with the with the idea of getting a J-45 studio or a J-15 because of the price, but ultimately knew I wouldn’t be satisfied if I didn’t get a J-45 with the burst finish. 
 

I searched all over reverb  for a month trying to find the right one.  After much frustration I got the idea of looking at Guitar Center online to see if they have any used I-45’s. Normally I don’t like big box store type places, but with this pandemic stuff going on I had the time to give it a shot. 
 

If you’ve ever looked at Guitar Center’s used collection you’ll notice that their pictures look like they’ve been taken from 100ft away through a fogged up lens on an old 5 megapixel camera. Let’s just say that you barely can make out if the guitar comes with tuners or string.  Their descriptions of the guitars are essentially the written version of their pictures and tell you absolutely nothing about the guitar.  They also have a grading scale which I believe goes from excellent, great, good, down to lord knows what.  From what I’ve read, this grading scale has some pretty loose guidelines and parameters. 
 

After a few days of looking a found a nice j-45 with the burst finish.  The listing literally said “Gibson J-45 Standard Burst”. Grade given to it was “good”. It had five photos, one of which was the back of the headstock. I could hardly make out the serial number. After about ten minutes of zooming in and angling the photo I think I could make out that it was a 2017 Model.... I then called Guitar Center to see if anyone could tell me anything about the guitar. After 45 minutes on hold, I finally got a hold of someone. Their knowledge of the guitar was less than what the photos could provide.  With this kind of money you don’t really want to buy something site unseen, but I said screw it and decided to take the gamble and buy it. 
 

Well, the next morning I get a notification saying that my order was cancelled.... my guess is that someone else had bought it right before me and it was no longer available.  I somehow had a feeling this was going to happen.  Back to square one.  I immediately do another search on their website and see a newly listed guitar with the same titling and description with a “good” rating. This one was different though.  It had the old 50’s style pick guard which I absolutely love  and the single line strip tuners.  I went through the same process with someone on the phone and got 0 additional info about the guitar.  I noticed on the photos there was not the typical Gibson sticker in the sound hole and there wasn’t a serial number on the back of the headstock.  I did however notice the GIbson Custom Shop logo on the back of the headstock.  
 

Once again I said screw it, decided to take the gamble and purchased the guitar through the salesman on the phone. That afternoon I get a notification email saying that my guitar had shipped.  After two days of constantly tracking my package through ups it arrives!  After slowly opening the package I see the original Gibson hard case.  I then open up the case and see a MINT 2013 Gibson.  This thing literally hardly has a scratch on it. I take out the guitar, check over thoroughly and can’t find a flaw on it.  Open the compartment in the case and find the final checklist sheet from the Gibson factory. 
 

I immediately tune the guitar and she sounds GLORIOUS. 
 

You will never guess how much I paid for this guitar! $1,580!

64D3D0A0-7979-4053-8362-BA8652C503AC.jpeg

36F568AA-59CF-4C70-8D19-217B25563F4A.jpeg

7B157D4D-628B-4832-8330-35569FCF7ED2.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would hit up Gibson customer service with the serial number to get all the specs.  You might be surprised to find you got something extra special there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice grab!  When I played infield during my college days we called that a 'good hop'.
 

Custom shop? Waddup widdat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent - congratulations, , , not many things better than getting high on a new guitar that just fills all holes. 

Custom, , , what does it mean here. Are we sure the 45 has mahogany back'n'sides. .

Well, let's hear more about it and see some decent pictures. Sounds as if the 45 deserves it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent an email to Gibson customer service with the serial number to get the full specs on it.  I’ll keep everyone updated on what they come back with!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They made a Custom Shop '59 Reissue that year. It had the batwing guard and strip tuners, and also a variant with the adjustable bridge (for the Japanese market only, I think.) I do remember that that the adjustable bridge model was copied from a '59 owned by someone in Japan. Both models were said to have "modified x bracing," which I assume is the wide AJ bracing, though might be something else indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it a label inside? If so, what color is the label and what does it say?

Looks nice, by the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no label on the inside. I read that a lot of the custom shop guitars don’t have them.  Trust me, that was definitely one of my concerns before I bought it. It might be the 59’ reissue that came out in 2013. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Eli87 said:

no label on the inside. I read that a lot of the custom shop guitars don’t have them.  Trust me, that was definitely one of my concerns before I bought it. It might be the 59’ reissue that came out in 2013. 

With those tuners, it's definitely not a "standard". That was a really good buy. Congratulations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Eli87 said:

no label on the inside. I read that a lot of the custom shop guitars don’t have them.  Trust me, that was definitely one of my concerns before I bought it. It might be the 59’ reissue that came out in 2013. 

Does it have a FON (equivalent time a serial number) on the inside of the guitar on the neck block.  Or, on the back of the headstock?

FYI, I have a 2006 “1964 CS J-45” that I bought new from Fuller’s Guitars in Houston, Tx.  No label, has the FON (factory order number) inside the guitar in the neck block the way special factory orders used to have.   Mine has a batwing pickguard, too.  And, is faded cherry sunburst.  Has a ADJ bridge like the 1964s did, except with a tusq saddle rather than the ceramic one like the original.   I bought it new over the phone in 2009.  Jeremy Fuller at Fuller’s told me they asked Gibson to do a special run, this the Custom Shop logo on the neck.  
 

Looking forward to the response Gibson gives you.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's one of the '50s reissues that came out in 2013/14 (at least that was when the handful arrived that made it here to the UK at least). Seriously great guitar...I seem to recall something about them having Adirondack tops but I may be confused with a different ltd run. 

I have never seen one of these with a label inside, which tallies with your specs. You got a bargain!! That's a superb instrument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice - you did well! But your pictures look like they were "taken from 100ft away through a fogged up lens" . 😂

I posted that Guitar Center had 16 used J-45's a couple weeks ago, now they have 20. Seems like we are getting to the point where it's a buyer's market for used guitars. Just read an article in the Washington Post about retail brands that are in trouble, and Guitar Center is on the list. Predicting the demise of Guitar Center is a favorite passtime around here, but this time it  really might happen, with lots of well-known stores struggling on the edge.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your good fortune, as it appears so far. I'm somewhat anxious now to read what you hear from Gibson. Hopefully some nice pics, too. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only sold one instrument through GC, as a trade up.  Went in twice, a month apart - same process, same offer. back in January.  As I recall, they have their 'tech'  look at it to give an opinion on condition and get on some site on the internet where they put in make, model and s/n  to get a value.  They said the values on that site are updated regularly.   If this J-45 didn't have a label, it's possible they didn't have enough information to get an accurate price. As we all know, there are more versions of the J45 Model than Carter Has Pilsner.  The other side of this - the guy who sold it to GC - he got robbed.  GC didn't really 'lose' per se.  They probably paid $1200 for it and made $380.  "Seller Beware"  in a buyers market !  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, fortyearspickn said:

 They probably paid $1200 for it and made $380.  "Seller Beware"  in a buyers market !  

 

I'd say they probably paid about $800, maybe less. Based on my own experience and other posts here, they try to get about twice what they pay and given the current climate, they might drive an even harder bargain. It would be one thing if he bargained them down, or if it had been sitting around for a long time, but apparently it just came in and he paid the asking price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Boyd said:

 

I'd say they probably paid about $800, maybe less. Based on my own experience and other posts here, they try to get about twice what they pay and given the current climate, they might drive an even harder bargain. It would be one thing if he bargained them down, or if it had been sitting around for a long time, but apparently it just came in and he paid the asking price.

This matches my experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They only listed mine with a 60% markup. Told me it was 'Excellent' but listed as 'Great condition' - sold in a couple of weeks.  Sort of like playing the Lottery, but the OP was clearly the winner!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my understanding, if the guitar is not considered vintage, the individual store buys and sells using their own judgement. I’ve bought and sold from them many times. For a while , I had a manager that would order me new ones at 40% off list. The vintage ones require pictures to corporate, they determine what to pay and what to list and if it’s a real special one it gets shipped off to their Hollywood store. I’ve bought a few by just happening to be in the store at the right time before they had to lust it and ship it. It seems the best deals seem to be the non vintage used/new ones that set around for a couple years. My J200 Custom RW is a prime example. Started off $6900 then through a couple mark downs and a trade-in discount over a three year span I got it for $2800  

 

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.

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...