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motarhama22

Are modern Gibson acoustics worth the price?

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I am looking for my first serious acoustic guitar and am wondering what experiences people have had with recently made Gibson acoustic guitars, specifically the J-45. What is the quality like for modern Gibsons? I have heard there are certain eras to avoid in Gibson's history due to a lack of quality construction. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. I'm not necessarily going to end up buying a Gibson but want to get some information on them. Thanks in advance.

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Personally, I think any Gibson-Montana acoustic built from 1999 on, is worth serious consideration.  That year, the acoustic lineup was revamped with a particular focus on producing iconic past models with tighter historic specs.  This included the J-45 & J-50, and there were a number of additional models in the J-45 family that year, such as the J-45 Rosewood.

J-45 construction basics will be quite similar from that point forward, but in the interim there have been about a bazillion J-45 variants that have seen the light of day.  To find the one that clicks with you will be a personal quest - Enjoy the hunt!

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And, in the past couple of years - the J45 has seen spin-offs in a different direction, not just different colors or tone woods.  Now they are available with cutaways and slimmer bodies.   Guitar Center has at least a half dozen different models.   As far as quality,  I believe the late 60s to early 80s were spotty, not just for Gibson,  after the heady experience of the folk boom. But since you stipulated recently made -  you should have no problem. As BobOz indicated - anything in the current century should be good.  Brand new comes with a warranty.  Used -  you're on your own and, like with a car,  you don't know how it was cared for or why it's being sold.  There are occasional complaints that come up,  probably less than 1% of the total new (warranted) ones produced.  In the past few years - most complaints seemed to be cosmetic things, easily fixed (or ignored!).  Plastic endpins, then whether the pick guard covered too much of the rosette.    Wanting an iconic guitar for your first 'good one'   seems to scream "J45".    I have a J45 (in Koa) and I play it 2x as much as my J200 and H'Bird combined.  You should consider if you are a Type A or a Type B guitarist.   Will this most likely be your 'Keeper"  or will it just be a guitar your 'Dating' until the right one comes along?    If (A) - make sure you play some Martins and Taylors in your pre-established price range, so you don't experience  "Buyers Remorse".   G'Luck, and let us know how it goes, no matter which direction you take! 

And,  WELCOME  ! 

 

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I have both vintage and modern Gibsons that are either J-45s or other models with similar specs (SJ). The modern Gibsons hold their own in every way. In some cases, I have bought modern rather than vintage versions of the same guitar because the newer ones are more consistent in quality.

If you want a J-45--which I would highly recommend as a great all-around guitar--spend some time assessing which of the variants fits your needs and budget best. As has been mentioned, there have been a dizzying number of variants issued in the last 20 years. You're sure to find one that works for you.

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As we earn higher wages "worth the price " is an equalizing factor. Is it worth it to your financial  situation ? 

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6 hours ago, Leonard McCoy said:

Just pick one up in a store and see for yourself. There's little point in asking the fan base that.

Agree, , , we are not the most neutral crowd the world has seen when it comes to evaluating and buying acoustic Gibson guitars. 

motahamar22 - if you have a budget marked for a new high-end guitar and feel tempted to try Gibsons, there's only 1 way forward. Go out and try and try and try. .                                                                                       They won't fall apart between your hands and if treated right (which isn't especially complicated) will grow into magnificent vintage instruments. There are no specific years to avoid when it comes to fragility or craftsmanship, but if second hand is an option, steer after something post 1994.  Just a rough advice. Nuances in the real world may talk against it.

                                                                Good Luck  ~  Have fun

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"Worth the price" is a subjective approach. What may be worth the price to me may not be worth the price to you, and vice versa.

As others have noted, when you find a good J-45, it is worth every penny. I've got a J-35 that I now consider a steal when I bought it new for $1,600 in 2016.

Similarly, I've got a Farida OT-22 (their take on the LG-2) that is an amazing guitar and cost $423. If the J-35 was a steal, the OT-22 is felony theft. It just should not sound as good as it does, but it does.

Of course the big difference is where these two guitars are made. Yeah, I prefer an American-made guitar (particularly as a 20-year union member) but after having lived abroad since 2014, I really do see it is a global economy. And it's not like the Farida cut American workers out of the picture entirely; an American worker (probably Union) unloaded the guitar shipment from the freighter, an American trucker transported it to Elderly Guitars in Michigan and an American worker sold it to me.

Just find a guitar you like that inspires you. It'll be worth it to you, and that's all that matters.

Edited by dhanners623

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I'll say this:

I did a LOT of research trying to find a cheaper guitar that replicated the sound of a J-45 / J-50.

I couldn't.

On top of that, the build quality of my new, 50s-style J-50 is superb.

There are other good guitars, and some of them are a lot cheaper. But only a Gibson sounds like a Gibson.

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On 11/21/2020 at 11:29 AM, motarhama22 said:

I am looking for my first serious acoustic guitar and am wondering what experiences people have had with recently made Gibson acoustic guitars, specifically the J-45. What is the quality like for modern Gibsons? I have heard there are certain eras to avoid in Gibson's hi 192.168.1.254story due to a lack of quality construction. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. I'm not necessarily going to end up buying a Gibson but want to get some inform 10.0.0.0.1ation on them. Thanks in advance.

issue got solved!!

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As the OP has apparently  made his selection  it is all now moot.  But I agree with dhanners that worth the price is subjective.  Do I think Gibsons are over priced.  You betcha..  Would  I pay what they are asking.  In a heartbeat. 

My biggest issue with Gibson is trying to sort through all of the marketing hype trying to convince me I am getting something different than the usual say a J45/50.   I looked, as example, at the specs of a '50s and 60's Original J45/50 but  the only difference I can see is the nut width.  As far as the pecs go both have similar neck carves and the same modern Bozeman bracing.   Not a good or a bad thing.  Just makes the old school mind wobble.

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15 hours ago, zombywoof said:

As the OP has apparently  made his selection  it is all now moot.  But I agree with dhanners that worth the price is subjective.  Do I think Gibsons are over priced.  You betcha..  Would  I pay what they are asking.  In a heartbeat. 

My biggest issue with Gibson is trying to sort through all of the marketing hype trying to convince me I am getting something different than the usual say a J45/50.   I looked, as example, at the specs of a '50s and 60's Original J45/50 but  the only difference I can see is the nut width.  As far as the pecs go both have similar neck carves and the same modern Bozeman bracing.   Not a good or a bad thing.  Just makes the old school mind wobble.

 

One thing that swung the 1950s-style J-50 for me over the 1960s-style was that the former has a pick-up.

Meanwhile, I got it in July and the top is already starting to get more golden. Yummy.

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16 hours ago, zombywoof said:

As the OP has apparently  made his selection  it is all now moot.  But I agree with dhanners that worth the price is subjective.  Do I think Gibsons are over priced.  You betcha..  Would  I pay what they are asking.  In a heartbeat. 

My biggest issue with Gibson is trying to sort through all of the marketing hype trying to convince me I am getting something different than the usual say a J45/50.   I looked, as example, at the specs of a '50s and 60's Original J45/50 but  the only difference I can see is the nut width.  As far as the pecs go both have similar neck carves and the same modern Bozeman bracing.   Not a good or a bad thing.  Just makes the old school mind wobble.

The Original series is really just the “standard” series with some cosmetic “nods” to some past eras.

I think you have to go custom if you want more of a reissue guitar.

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Asking guys on a Gibson site if buying a Gibson is worth it is like asking a junkie if scoring drugs is worth it.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Motarhama22,

Any good or service is "worth" the asking price if someone pays it.

There is nothing in the universe that has an absolute intrinsic value against which all other things can be compared.

If you purchase a Gibson guitar, then it is worth the price you paid.

It's your call.

RBSinTo

 

Edited by RBSinTo

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One point you might like to consider is Gibsons keep there value so there is a fair chance you can own one for ten years and get your money back when you sell. So cheap at the price over all.

 

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2 hours ago, fretplay said:

One point you might like to consider is Gibsons keep there value so there is a fair chance you can own one for ten years and get your money back when you sell. So cheap at the price over all.

 

While the prices I see for used Gibson acoustics on Craig's list, kijiji, ebay, and in-store do not bear this out, the prices received as a percentage of the original selling prices are no greater than those received for used Martins, Taylors or any of the other high-end guitars.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule, such as prices for truly rare or collectible instruments.

RBSinTo

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Not here in Australia!

Phew!

You have to really want it, let me tell you.

 

Example......

New Gibson Original 50s J-50 at Sweetwater - $2,699.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/OCRS5050AN--gibson-acoustic-50s-j-50-original-antique-natural

 

Same guitar in Australia, today is $AU4,899:

https://www.acousticcentre.com.au/collections/gibson/products/gibson-50s-j50-original-antique-natural

 

I bought a used 2002 Gibson J50 at a pawn shop, had it fixed by my luthier, new nut, saddle, setup, Anthem pickup - total all up with the work and a fabulous J50 now $AU3,700 - the Anthem was a real lot!

h95QJWXh.jpg

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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