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1939 J 55 historic demo

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Well it is a demo ,however the lad on the right really has no knowledge of a J 55 , vintage or reissue .

And why the drop tuning mumbo Jumbo J55 . 

Just play the axe ...standard tune ...is that soooooo hard ?

That`s a bad review .

 

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Can rosewood be far behind?

I wish they would reissue stuff that is less related to my guitars.  But I guess I don't know why. 

wCjaoG8.jpg

Best,

-Tom

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MV should not have let Tony Polecastro get away. He had an enthusiasm for, and a knowledge of, Gibson acoustics. His sound samples may've been repetitive, but it was helpful. There were few a/b's, but recall the J-45 vs J-45 Custom (rosewood)- with any decent playback, the difference the rosewood added was hearable.

Good of the J-55 demo to mention the obvious appointments, but the long scale should've been mentioned. And yes, 75HB, major part of demo in drop D?

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I notice they skip a lot of important info on the guitars in the demos and prefer to engage in a lot of idle chit chat. I also can't stand the way he strums the guitars he kinda just flaps at the strings too close to the bridge. Cool guitar all the same.

Edited by Jalex
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So is this kind of a mahogany AJ???

As for the appointments, to me the pickguard doesn't look good when it covers the rosette. I know the originals were fitted like this, as on Tom's guitar, but the oldies were not as transparent as the modern counterparts. Also, I like the style of bridge much more on Tom's guitar. The current one is much too fancy for me on this kind of guitar.

Gibson really needs to give more information about their products, in regards to specs and how one model varies from the next. It's not easy for customers and dealers to make sense of their offerings.

Lars

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2 hours ago, Lars68 said:

So is this kind of a mahogany AJ???

Lars

 

That's the way I was taking it. I should've added in my earlier reply that the MV demo should've mentioned the long scale and  the "advanced" bracing.  It's listed in the specs on Gibson's website: https://www.gibson.com/Guitar/ACCNSE863/1939-J-55/Faded-Vintage-Sunburst

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1 hour ago, 62burst said:

 

That's the way I was taking it. I should've added in my earlier reply that the MV demo should've mentioned the long scale and  the "advanced" bracing.  It's listed in the specs on Gibson's website: https://www.gibson.com/Guitar/ACCNSE863/1939-J-55/Faded-Vintage-Sunburst

 

Yes, same bracing as the historic AJ. So this is really the same guitar, but with mahogany. Nothing wrong with that, by the way, just confusing.

Lars

 

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I am not sure what they mean by Advanced bracing.  If that was Martin saying that, it would be about how far the X was from the sound hole.  If Advanced refers to AJ bracing, that would be about the angle of the X.  I have said before, mine sounds remarkably like my 36 AJ and my 43 SJ RW.  Of course, mine are all RW and that makes a difference that in general is easy to hear regardless of the bracing.  Here are some bracing pictures from the old guitars.

36 AJ -- rare 3 tone bars

DhLuHPA.jpg

40 J-55

8KArs68.jpg

43 SJ RW

FcEEkvH.jpg

 

Obviously Gibson was experimenting with bracing in that period.  As similar as these guitars sound, they arrive at that sound from a different set of compromises.  The J-55 has a larger bridge plate, no scalloping, and the thinnest braces I have ever seen.

Best,

-Tom

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5 hours ago, tpbiii said:

I am not sure what they mean by Advanced bracing.  If that was Martin saying that, it would be about how far the X was from the sound hole.  If Advanced refers to AJ bracing, that would be about the angle of the X.  I have said before, mine sounds remarkably like my 36 AJ and my 43 SJ RW.  Of course, mine are all RW and that makes a difference that in general is easy to hear regardless of the bracing.  Here are some bracing pictures from the old guitars.

36 AJ -- rare 3 tone bars

DhLuHPA.jpg

40 J-55

8KArs68.jpg

43 SJ RW

FcEEkvH.jpg

 

Obviously Gibson was experimenting with bracing in that period.  As similar as these guitars sound, they arrive at that sound from a different set of compromises.  The J-55 has a larger bridge plate, no scalloping, and the thinnest braces I have ever seen.

Best,

-Tom

 

Tom, do you think that hulking great bridgeplate in the J-55 is original? It seems completely out of scale compared to the ones in either the AJ or the rosewood SJ.

That almost looks like a doubler on the tailblock of the J-55. Not sure why that would be there.

There is also sort of a "popsicle stick" side stay to one side of the tailblock  of the J-55(not dissimilar to the popsicle stick side stays on your FON 910 SJ), while I see the expected fabric side stays elsewhere. The J-55 may have had some repairs and reinforcement at some time in its 80-year life.

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I'm on the fence with this one... it's beautiful, but sounds a little tight and has an aggressive mids thing going on, which I think would be rather tiring on the ears after a while. Certainly in the studio I'd be looking to notch some of that out on the way in... that could be down to MV's choice of mics though. I'd imagine the tightness would ease after a few months of playing, too.

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54 minutes ago, Jinder said:

I'm on the fence with this one... it's beautiful, but sounds a little tight and has an aggressive mids thing going on, which I think would be rather tiring on the ears after a while.

 

Hey Jinder, could you expand on this, how would having aggressive mids be tiring on the ears?  Appreciate the input, just trying to learn.

Edited by uncle fester
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Quote

 

Tom, do you think that hulking great bridgeplate in the J-55 is original? It seems completely out of scale compared to the ones in either the AJ or the rosewood SJ.

That almost looks like a doubler on the tailblock of the J-55. Not sure why that would be there.

There is also sort of a "popsicle stick" side stay to one side of the tailblock  of the J-55(not dissimilar to the popsicle stick side stays on your FON 910 SJ), while I see the expected fabric side stays elsewhere. The J-55 may have had some repairs and reinforcement at some time in its 80-year life.

 

 

I have been told that was normal -- maybe because of the bridges?  I guess the incredibly thin bracing compensated. It has been worked on in its life.

Best,

-Tom

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On 6/14/2020 at 11:15 AM, uncle fester said:

 

Hey Jinder, could you expand on this, how would having aggressive mids be tiring on the ears?  Appreciate the input, just trying to learn.

Of course, no probs! I've learned this stuff the hard way, having unfortunately neglected to protect my hearing when playing with rock bands in my teens and early 20s. One perforated eardrum and 60% hearing loss in my right ear later, I found myself spending long sessions sitting with ENTs working out strategies to minimise tinnitus and control episodic hyperacusis...my ears, whilst giving me a huge amount of pleasure, are also the source of immense pain and at times and, at best, constant low-level discomfort. 

So, during my mission to learn more about how to take care of my faulty earholes, I learned a lot about Temporary Threshold Shift (or aural/auditory fatigue).

In short, TTS is caused by repeated exposure to particular frequencies, most commonly midrange frequencies from 600hz-3Khz. This frequency band is what gives a guitar "cut" in mix, and makes it bark/honk/snarl. Think of the lovely, barky tone of P90 pickup through a hot Marshall amp (or the very "forward" mids of the J55), and you're right in the ballpark. 

TTS is bad news for a producer or session player (two things that I do), as it skews your perception of balance and can throw off a mix entirely...the worst part about TTS is that it's almost impossible to eliminate by way of hearing protection etc, as it's part physiological and part neurological. In simple terms, it equates to your brain and ears saying "I've had enough of this" and turning themselves down, resulting in a similar sensation to listening through a blanket, accompanied with "brain fog", increased stress levels and general mental fatigue.

It's a really interesting science...we've all suffered from TTS in some capacity at some point, and it's good to be able to recognise the signs in the incipient phase so you can give your ears a rest. 

The most extreme phase of it for me was when my daughters were little...all three were born within five years, and it was a very loud house for quite some time. I'd be woken up with babies crying for their morning feed, then often head off to a co-write session, then on to a studio session, then home for a few hours before heading off to a gig, then home again...a constant onslaught of noise. I don't think I left the TTS window for six years!

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That is indeed fascinating science, and relatively new.  My son  Thomas -- who makes his living as a free lance app developer and is also a musician -- developed an app to reduce tinnitus.  https://tinnitusnotch.com/   There are many more out there.

In many cases, tinnitus is actually caused by real oscillations on the basilar membrane in the cochlea.  The inner ear can provide a frequency specific dynamic range of 13 orders of magnitude -- like feedback, this can cause oscillations and you can actually pick them up with an ear mic.   When I was doing research on digital speech and audio systems in the 80s an 90s -- think cellphones and mp3 --  we had pretty sophisticated signal models of the ear, but I was never aware that the auditory cortex could be trained to subconsciously decide what to hear.  Fascinating stuff! 

Best,

-Tom

Edited by tpbiii

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I've never not had Tinnitus except when a shift happens in there. It sounds like an explosion, like in the movie with John Travolta's movie "Phenomenon", except not anywhere near as dramatic. It kills the Tinnitus for a few seconds, which is panic attack city when all you know is Tinnitus. I was born with malformed ears. The left one is Hypoplastic. The surgeon that did my Mastoidectomies (second one was called a "revision") told me that it was as if it had stopped developing at sometime like before I turned 4 years old.

But on to Jinder's commentary of mid-range fatigue and subsequent pain, it is some real nasty crap. There is something about cheap speakers that gets me the worst, though. TV speakers, cell phones, lap top speakers unless super good, etc, etc. In between Mastoidectomies, I had a few years where just a few seconds of a TV speaker could get me unless is was barely audible. My ear would vibrate and a Migraine would hit instantly, like a hammer. My Son's whistling, too. Not my own or anyone else's. One of my friends that I used to ride motorcycles with has a voice that I could not be around within 5-10 feet if he was on that side of me.  All that eased up not long after my Eustachian tube opened back up for good. (knock on wood)

It's also a big part of the reason I killed my studio space. I can listen to music in that room much louder than anywhere else. It had some wicked bad comb filtering. I still get fatigue, of course, but it's much more comfortable for a longer amount of time. It's also the reason I stayed with guitar through all of this. Especially nice sounding acoustics or clean Fender amps. It's soothing on the ears, first off. Secondly, it beats the crap out of Tinnitus.

Jinder also had a post a year or two ago about not being with it while playing guitar one day. A sort of disconnect. mine is daily, about 60-90 minutes prior to sunset, lasting for about 90 minutes. Sometimes I don't get it back until the next day, if it's a really bad one. It's always a big relief when i reach over for it right after the first sip of coffee after those nights. Sometimes I even sneak in here on the way up to bed after a movie or whatever, just to see if it's back.

I feel better already, Next!

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