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Talk to me about Advanced Jumbos

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Although I've been a member here since 2010, I have not posted here until lately. I do lurk here from time to time. Now that I'm working from home and sheltering  in place, I have a lot more time to participate here.  Back in Nov 2019 sold my original 1937 Advanced Jumbo,  and am truly feeling remorseful. I am now looking for a more affordable modern AJ. I have read many threads here regarding AJs and am just looking for some opinions as to the closest feeling/sounding option out there to the originals. I was thinking of the new 2020 Historic/Custom 1936 model. However, the sunburst color just does not look right to me. Thanks in advance for your replies.

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A bit of left of the dial suggestion, but I have a Maple AJ which is one of the best guitars I've ever played. It's incredibly loud, rich and dynamic. It doesn't have the honky upper mids of the Rosewood AJs, but that's the very thing that I disliked about the Rosewood example I owned previously. It's a startlingly powerful and graceful instrument. 

Mine is a 2016, billed as an Advance Jumbo Flame Deluxe, a limited edition Custom Shop build. Well worth a try if you can find one.

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Ouch! Nothing new you can buy is likely to get close to the sound of an 83-year-old AJ.  There's just no substitute for old wood.

The new Historic '36 may be as close in spec that you can find today , but it's hard to imagine it will be as good tonally.

As far as the sunburst goes, the dark one shown on the Gibson website appeals to me, but may or may not be consistent with a 1936 AJ  'burst. However, Gibson sunbursts have never been exactly the same, even in the same year and model. I have two 1950 J-45s made within a month or so of each other, but the sunbursts are quite different from each other.

I believe Tom Barnwell here (tpbiii) has several vintage AJ's, and maybe he'll post pictures for comparison.

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22 minutes ago, Jinder said:

A bit of left of the dial suggestion, but I have a Maple AJ which is one of the best guitars I've ever played. It's incredibly loud, rich and dynamic. It doesn't have the honky upper mids of the Rosewood AJs, but that's the very thing that I disliked about the Rosewood example I owned previously. It's a startlingly powerful and graceful instrument. 

Mine is a 2016, billed as an Advance Jumbo Flame Deluxe, a limited edition Custom Shop build. Well worth a try if you can find one.

 Thanks for a great suggestion. I do agree about maple AJs. Many years ago I played one of Gary Burnette's Custom Shop Birdseye Maple AJ with an ebony board and bridge. I was a spectacular sounding guitar.

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26 minutes ago, j45nick said:

Ouch! Nothing new you can buy is likely to get close to the sound of an 83-year-old AJ.  There's just no substitute for old wood.

The new Historic '36 may be as close in spec that you can find today , but it's hard to imagine it will be as good tonally.

As far as the sunburst goes, the dark one shown on the Gibson website appeals to me, but may or may not be consistent with a 1936 AJ  'burst. However, Gibson sunbursts have never been exactly the same, even in the same year and model. I have two 1950 J-45s made within a month or so of each other, but the sunbursts are quite different from each other.

I believe Tom Barnwell here (tpbiii) has several vintage AJ's, and maybe he'll post pictures for comparison.

 

Thanks, I do understand your point. However,  I have played and own several Pre-War Company Martin style guitars and they come really close in sound and real to the real deal. I'm thinking it's partly due to the thin lacquer and torrified tops.  I have not played any of their Gibson style guitars. The new Gibson 1936 AJ also has a thin finish and torrfied top. I thinking it might be may best choice for me or a Pre War Company AJ. Just was curious what anyone else here thought.  Here's a picture of my former 1937 AJ.

AJ5.7_20.JPG.7f5ec64159a9d68a4aa07575e4bd8bed.JPG

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33 minutes ago, 59gibson said:

 

Thanks, I do understand your point. However,  I have played and own several Pre-War Company Martin style guitars and they come really close in sound and real to the real deal. I'm thinking it's partly due to the thin lacquer and torrified tops.  I have not played any of their Gibson style guitars. The new Gibson 1936 AJ also has a thin finish and torrfied top. I thinking it might be may best choice for me or a Pre War Company AJ. Just was curious what anyone else here thought.  Here's a picture of my former 1937 AJ.

AJ5.7_20.JPG.7f5ec64159a9d68a4aa07575e4bd8bed.JPG


I had two of those.  Sold one about  10 years ago.  It put a big chuck of change towards my Mortgage.   
 

I have reissues of these from the 90s. All which are the Custom shop era Walker/Ferguson guitars.   I prefer those over any of the New ones.    Try to source out a Brazilian. There out there. 

Edited by slimt

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40 minutes ago, slimt said:


I had two of those.  Sold one about  10 years ago.  It put a big chuck of change towards my Mortgage.   
 

I have reissues of these from the 90s. All which are the Custom shop era Walker/Ferguson guitars.   I prefer those over any of the New ones.    Try to source out a Brazilian. There out there. 

 

Are talking about the Brazilian Luthier Choice models?

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17 minutes ago, 59gibson said:

 

Are talking about the Brazilian Luthier Choice models?


Luthiers choice AJs were second grade Brazilian .  

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1 hour ago, 75 Hummingbird said:

I just gotta ask ...Why did you sell your vintage A.J . 

To own an original 1 of 300 .....some things are just meant to be keep ,family heirlooms  i.m.o. 

 

It was a tough decision, but the right one. I needed to help my out Mom financially.  Don't be too concerned for me. I still have this 1938 which is destined to be kept in the family.

 

P9130010D.JPG.ac29954444bb436cd8f5eb60c49e8b13.JPG 

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9 minutes ago, 59gibson said:

 

It was a tough decision, but the right one. I needed to help my out Mom financially.  Don't be too concerned for me. I still have this 1938 which is destined to be kept in the family.

 

P9130010D.JPG.ac29954444bb436cd8f5eb60c49e8b13.JPG 

Nice SJ200.   

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Yep. REAL  nice.  Which begs the question  - do you have a guitar that inspired your  "59 Gibson"  nome de plume ?

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I bought a used modern AJ 18 months back. It was a really nice guitar...  I’m not good describing the sound as well as I’d like to, but it had a more nasal tone than my Mahogany Gibsons. I ended up giving the guitar away to a young kid who had some tough breaks, but has become absorbed by guitar.

I am guessing the modern AJ standards are not for you though. I bet the one you sold was very Knopfler-esque. Guitars take years to sound that way. Good luck in your hunt.

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1 hour ago, fortyearspickn said:

Yep. REAL  nice.  Which begs the question  - do you have a guitar that inspired your  "59 Gibson"  nome de plume ?


No I do not, I just used my username from another Gibson forum here. In retrospect, I should have used Fredsj200, which another username I have used elsewhere.

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How do you think the new 1936 version would compare to an Advanced Jumbo Vintage that was a Wildwood exclusive a few years ago.  The specs are nearly identical, hide glue, adi tip.  

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Man, what a crap shoot. I wouldn't even begin to think of attempting such a purchase without being able to first play any guitar for myself before committing to it. Short of actually being able to play any guitar yourself before buying, I would suggest that you at least consider shopping with one of the dealers that have a solid return policy and who feature videos of each individual guitar being played so you can get some idea about the tone of each guitar before purchasing.

I have two AJ's, one rosewood and one maple — they are like night & day. I enjoy them as much for their differences as I do their similarities. I feel very fortunate to own them along with a few other guitars. It's likely that I enjoy the differences between the two different AJ's in part because I favor my J-45TV over both of them. In my case the AJ's represent guitars that I picked up along the way that I just never felt like parting with. But if push came to shove they would both be gone before the J-45. In turn, I have a much easier time imagining replacing either of my AJ's with similar examples than I do the J-45. You are likely in just the opposite situation.  I certainly wish you the best of luck with your search.

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On 5/7/2020 at 9:19 PM, 59gibson said:

 

Thanks, I do understand your point. However,  I have played and own several Pre-War Company Martin style guitars and they come really close in sound and real to the real deal. I'm thinking it's partly due to the thin lacquer and torrified tops.  I have not played any of their Gibson style guitars. The new Gibson 1936 AJ also has a thin finish and torrfied top. I thinking it might be may best choice for me or a Pre War Company AJ. Just was curious what anyone else here thought.  Here's a picture of my former 1937 AJ.

AJ5.7_20.JPG.7f5ec64159a9d68a4aa07575e4bd8bed.JPG

 

Thats a beautiful '37 AJ. I had a few AJ reissues and the ones I picked sounded great. But my favorite one is my 2013 limited edition 1935 AJ. Gibson copied Burnette's prototype, it's a ltd run of 35 guitars, all hide glue construction. They were not that cheap back then, but when I played it at the store, I knew its special. I played a few original '36 AJ's and it compares favorable, of course 80+ years is hard to build into a new guitar.  I have vintage ones and new guitars, I like 'em both and my AJ is actually my #1 acoustic

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I was once in a quest like yours. Years ago I played a '38 AJ in CA and fell in love with it, didn't have the courage to buy it then and someone else bought it a day later (rumour is that it was Joe Bonamassa), years later another one popped up in NY, I flew there, played it and bought it straight away. It has been my beloved instrument for years. The projection of the guitar, how hard you can hit it without it choking, the crisp sound with not too many overtones to overwhelm. Bone crushers, but they sound equally good when played gently with fingers. A versatile, dynamic instrument that wins against any J-45 or D-28 in these two categories IMHO.

I tried many AJs in the time between the two . Resprayed late 30s ones. The 90s made in Montana reissues including a series Gibson made for Yamato (Japan). I played Luthier's Choice Brazilian Rosewood ones as well a number of 2000s and 2010s reissues. I haven't played the new Acoustic Custom Shop AJs as there aren't many of them in the market yet and guitar shops aren't open around where I live anyway. I am slightly wary of baked tops, true that they sound better than a brand new non-baked top but how will they age (if they age at all)? Nobody knows.

Out of all of above, the ones with Ren Fergusson's signature that were made in the 90s are the closest you can get to the originals' mojo. I still have one of those which holds its own against my '38. A fine instrument.

My experience in order of what I like

  1. 90s Ren Fergusons
  2. Mid 90s to early 2000s AJ (no fullerplast)
  3. Late 2000s and early 2010s (they don't sound as good as the above but they also haven't aged as much)
  4. early 90s (fullerplast)
  5. Luthier's choice (overpriced and not special at all)
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1 hour ago, DanyJr said:

I was once in a quest like yours. Years ago I played a '38 AJ in CA and fell in love with it, didn't have the courage to buy it then and someone else bought it a day later (rumour is that it was Joe Bonamassa), years later another one popped up in NY, I flew there, played it and bought it straight away. It has been my beloved instrument for years. The projection of the guitar, how hard you can hit it without it choking, the crisp sound with not too many overtones to overwhelm. Bone crushers, but they sound equally good when played gently with fingers. A versatile, dynamic instrument that wins against any J-45 or D-28 in these two categories IMHO.

I tried many AJs in the time between the two . Resprayed late 30s ones. The 90s made in Montana reissues including a series Gibson made for Yamato (Japan). I played Luthier's Choice Brazilian Rosewood ones as well a number of 2000s and 2010s reissues. I haven't played the new Acoustic Custom Shop AJs as there aren't many of them in the market yet and guitar shops aren't open around where I live anyway. I am slightly wary of baked tops, true that they sound better than a brand new non-baked top but how will they age (if they age at all)? Nobody knows.

Out of all of above, the ones with Ren Fergusson's signature that were made in the 90s are the closest you can get to the originals' mojo. I still have one of those which holds its own against my '38. A fine instrument.

My experience in order of what I like

  1. 90s Ren Fergusons
  2. Mid 90s to early 2000s AJ (no fullerplast)
  3. Late 2000s and early 2010s (they don't sound as good as the above but they also haven't aged as much)
  4. early 90s (fullerplast)
  5. Luthier's choice (overpriced and not special at all)

 

Thanks for your suggestions! Which one  (s ) of the above will have a red spruce top? I am definitely partial to red spruce and would not consider a guitar without it. 

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5 hours ago, J45fan said:

 

Thats a beautiful '37 AJ. I had a few AJ reissues and the ones I picked sounded great. But my favorite one is my 2013 limited edition 1935 AJ. Gibson copied Burnette's prototype, it's a ltd run of 35 guitars, all hide glue construction. They were not that cheap back then, but when I played it at the store, I knew its special. I played a few original '36 AJ's and it compares favorable, of course 80+ years is hard to build into a new guitar.  I have vintage ones and new guitars, I like 'em both and my AJ is actually my #1 acoustic

 

Thanks!! I will look into that 2013 model. I have played  that particular Gary Burnette AJ and it was truly a great sounding guitar.

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15 minutes ago, 59gibson said:

 

Thanks for your suggestions! Which one  (s ) of the above will have a red spruce top? I am definitely partial to red spruce and would not consider a guitar without it. 

 

In order mentioned above:

  1. Ren Rerguson ones come in a variety of wood combinations, I've seen them with Brazilian and East Indian rosewood back and sides, but generally the top has been red/Adrirondack spruce.
  2. Mainly sitka spruce, but I've seen them with red spruce too on Kevin Kopp-made models
  3. Adirondack/red spruce
  4. Sitka spruce
  5. Adirondack/red spruce

Ultimately I would suggest not caring too much about this, I've heard bigger difference between two exact tops than two different ones. I know it is a hard thing not to do when you set your eyes on something specific but you can be surprised by a wild card. As always my advice is to play as many as you can before buying.

Cheers.

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