Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Caring for my J-50


TomG76
 Share

Recommended Posts

Although I've done research online, including here, I don't like to make any guitar decisions without directly consulting you lot. I have a couple of issues with my J-50.

1. There's a grey smudge on the binding and part of the top. I'm ashamed to say it may be from a henna tattoo, which would be appallingly careless, but I'm also wondering if it is caused by general rubbing against my forearm - and maybe from a black hoody.

Neither a damp cloth nor the otherwise excellent Gibson cream has got it off.

I can try to photograph it,  but I struggle with tech stuff. Is this smudging a familiar phenomenon and does anyone know a good way to remove it, please?

2. I play without a plectrum and alas strings degrade under my fingers VERY quickly. I've got some coated Elixirs on there, but they sound too shimmery. Given the guitar is new and tuned down a step, could I switch to medium gauge 13s without a truss rod or nut modification without harming the guitar?

I want a warm, woody sound, not a bright one.

Thanks!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know about the smudge, (I use something called Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) but your string gauge mods would all be OK. That's how I set all my guitars up and play, including the D-D tuning.

I like Thomastik-Infeld Spectrum Bronze strings to soften the jangly highs.

The site Imgur makes copying pics to this site and others simple enough for a dummy like me, so check it out.

Edited by jedzep
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Virtuoso cleaner and polish would be what I try for the smudge.  As for the strings, I’d recommend trying Martin Retro Medium gauge .13’s.  I used them on my J50 when I had it.  I also tune D-D, and currently use these strings on my J45 Vintage and J200.  Great strings, but be sure to give them some good break in time.  IMO, they sound like crap when first installed.  Once they break in, they have a wonderful fundamental/woody tone. 
 

Your nut probaly has enough clearance to use these without issue.   I typically install them on my new guitars without modification and play them that way for a while before having them setup for them.  I do however adjust the truss rod if needed.  It’s a simple process and nothing to be fearful of.

Edited by thegreatgumbino
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I got that alien spit sweat thing too.  Plays hell with the strings.  Me, I prefer Newtones when I remember to order them from the factory.  But as thinking ahead is not one of my stronger attributes, I move around between strings with no real loyalty to any one brand.  

My thinking when it comes to strings you are not going to change a guitar's voice.  The best you can do  is to nuance the balance  across the strings.   To me that means playing around with the gauges  and alloys.  Maybe throw an 80/20 G string in with PBs while going one gauge heavier with the B and E string.  Then again, I am not the one to turn to for sage advice.  I still swear that my guitars sound better when I coil the ends of the strings rather than cut them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if it's a difficult spot use  Naphtha sparingly. I dont use any cleaners on my guitars so to speak and if I have a really difficult spot 

Naphtha works for me, I currently dont have a Gibson but I do have  Epiphone's and Ive had no issues with their finishes.  

The same with several of my vintage Martins no finish issues using Naphtha and always works IMHO

 

Edited by ratherbwalkn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could someone please explain to me what is up with the interest in playing in non-standard tuning? 

NO foreseeable situation where you might be playing with others, learning a song that's in Standard, find no transition time necessary when switching back to standard (vocals involved?), or is it all about coming from Electrics, and want to make fretting easier? Thank you.

As to your question- switching to a heavier gauge normally does not cause any change in setup, other than possibly how deep the strings sit in the nut slots.

Going the other way, heavier to lighter, might cause more slack, setting you up for potential buzzes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, 62burst said:

Could someone please explain to me what is up with the interest in playing in non-standard tuning? 

NO foreseeable situation where you might be playing with others, learning a song that's in Standard, find no transition time necessary when switching back to standard (vocals involved?), or is it all about coming from Electrics, and want to make fretting easier? Thank you.

As to your question- switching to a heavier gauge normally does not cause any change in setup, other than possibly how deep the strings sit in the nut slots.

Going the other way, heavier to lighter, might cause more slack, setting you up for potential buzzes.

 

Thanks for this,  62burst.

In relation to why I tune down, I only play to accompany myself and it suits my voice better. In fact it's been a revelation to tune it down a step.

It means I can sing above the guitar and not just below it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, 62burst said:

Could someone please explain to me what is up with the interest in playing in non-standard tuning? 

NO foreseeable situation where you might be playing with others, learning a song that's in Standard, find no transition time necessary when switching back to standard (vocals involved?), or is it all about coming from Electrics, and want to make fretting easier? Thank you.

As to your question- switching to a heavier gauge normally does not cause any change in setup, other than possibly how deep the strings sit in the nut slots.

Going the other way, heavier to lighter, might cause more slack, setting you up for potential buzzes.

 

Ditto what Tom said above 62burst.  

1) Tuning down to D standard helped me become comfortable with my voice and learn to sing more easily.  

2) Capo'ing up allows me to easily play with others.  

3) I use the heavier .13's to get as close to standard tuning string tension as I can while tuning a full step lower.  

4) Some of my guitars seem to have better tone to my ears when tuned down a step or two.  My Gibsons all sound good at a whole step down.  My McPherson Touring likes to be a half step down.

5) This article convinced me to try D standard tuning in the first place:

http://web.archive.org/web/20160313104011/https://theguitarshow.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/the-case-for-d-standard-guitar-tuning/

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

 

On 11/22/2020 at 1:07 PM, TomG76 said:

 Given the guitar is new and tuned down a step, could I switch to medium gauge 13s without a truss rod or nut modification without harming the guitar?

I want a warm, woody sound, not a bright one.

Driving a very low action here, but tuning down never caused me to adjust - and I'm not the type who stays away from the truss rod.                                                                                                                                                   Then again only use 11s or 12s - 13' has been a no-go.

What fx makes me turn that tiny secret brass nut is Mister Winter. Especially the Dove is sensitive to drier conditions (wonder if the cracking and sanded down neck-lacquer plays a role).

 

On 11/22/2020 at 7:01 PM, 62burst said:

Could someone please explain to me what is up with the interest in playing in non-standard tuning? 

NO foreseeable situation where you might be playing with others, learning a song that's in Standard, find no transition time necessary when switching back to standard (vocals involved?), or is it all about coming from Electrics, and want to make fretting easier? Thank you.

The guitars sound better - especially those that tend to be a bit brittle. Birds fx.😮 A very personal choice and I understand why people get bestranged.                                                                                             I never play in standard and the kitchen jams I attend often tune half a step down too. If there are harps in the party and we want to stay up, I used capo, , ,  on second. 

I guess your Q doesn't include dropped D or further/wider alternatives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Been playing Crosby's Guinnevere the last days, , , or midnites. Talk 'bout the effect of modified string-combos. That tune'n'tuning is bound to take you somewhere else. . 

Go give it a go, good burst.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 4:10 PM, zombywoof said:

  I still swear that my guitars sound better when I coil the ends of the strings rather than cut them.

Is this a serious statement !? , , , my question is. . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, E-minor7 said:

 

Driving a very low action here, but tuning down never caused me to adjust - and I'm not the type who stays away from the truss rod.                                                                                                                                                   TThe guitars sound better - especially those that tend to be a bit brittle. Birds fx.😮 A very personal choice and I understand why people get bestranged.                                                                                             I never play in standard and the kitchen jams I attend often tune half a step down too. If there are harps in the party and we want to stay up, I used capo, , ,  on second. 

I guess your Q doesn't include dropped D or further/wider alternatives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Been playing Crosby's Guinnevere the last days, , , or midnites. Talk 'bout the effect of modified string-combos. That tune'n'tuning is bound to take you somewhere else. . 

Go give it a go, good burst.

Favoring a low action will definitely have you monitoring truss rod adjustment- walking a fine line between slinky fretting and buzzfest when the weather is changeable. The jams I get into (was getting into, pre-covid) was a big reason for trying to get the most out of the guitar in standard tuning- mandolin, fiddle, harp, banjo, upright bass- 'can't exactly ask 'em to change tuning because that's the way I'm used to playing it.

But yes, Guinnevere is a good reason, and if we were to make a list of good midnight songs, that would be on the list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, 62burst said:

Favoring a low action will definitely have you monitoring truss rod adjustment- walking a fine line between slinky fretting and buzzfest when the weather is changeable. The jams I get into (was getting into, pre-covid) was a big reason for trying to get the most out of the guitar in standard tuning- mandolin, fiddle, harp, banjo, upright bass- 'can't exactly ask 'em to change tuning because that's the way I'm used to playing it.

But yes, Guinnevere is a good reason, and if we were to make a list of good midnight songs, that would be on the list.

Yes, getting it down right is a looong procedure between tr, saddle and nut. Can take years to hit the golden cut.

As mentioned, it's only the neck-peeled Dove that really reacts to humidity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       But compared to other places on the planet, we have a very stabile weather here. That counts when talking lifting p-guards as well. 

Another factor is that I shower for opens doors, which sends clouds of moist into the rooms where the guitar live. The windows all covered with dew.                                                                                                                                                                                             That said, I only take 2 baths a year - mid-summer and X-mas, , , , , , 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    , , , , , , , , was only kiddin' there. . . .

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
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...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...