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2002 Gibson J50 spec


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So, yesterday I was playing my 2002 Gibson J50, previously unloved and mistreated by someone else, but last year it got a new bone nut, saddle, full setup, bridge ramped, Anthem pickup, ...humidipaks....and it is now playing great!

So fingerpicking away, I thought to grab the vernier and see why this guitar is different from other standard modern Gibson acoustic specs online....

So the neck is fatter than recent models, the nut is wider and the bridge spacing is wider! I think Gibson went 'slimmer' in about 2007/8?

Nut: 44.15mm; (1.7380" or 1 47/64")

Bridge Spacing: 56.05mmm (2.2065" or 2 13/64")

Aha! - way wider than usual - it is almost the same as my Matons! A bee hair wider!

 

Trying to get better photos yesterday...



XN9FSwMh.jpg

 

 


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6eW9sruh.jpg

 

 

 


ZWKrZwJh.jpg

 

 


OdYbuhoh.jpg

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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There was a thread here a decade or so back on the string spacing of Bozeman guitars.  The results noted for three J45s were 2 11/16" for both a 1999 and 2006 and 2 13/16" for a 2007.  If anything it is probably more luck of the draw than by design.  

 

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As far as slotting/ramping the bridge, did you notice a difference? I ask because pretty much every J4-45 Standard I've encountered in the last 7-8 years have all been very consistent, but this means the B and high E strings all have had shallow break angles over the saddle. This seems to be problematic with the B especially because that shallow break angle couple with the B having the lowest string tension compared to all the other strings causes a bit of a "B-string buzz". I've had this happen on pretty much every J-45 Standard I've owned (this is the third one) I've owned.

The current J-45 Standard I have was actually given to me, believe it or not. Great guitar, but it also has this "B-string buzz". I'm taking the guitar in to have a bone nut made and conceding having them also ramp the bridge slots to get a steeper break angle/more tension on the saddle. 

Everyone always says that the Southern Jumbos are just a dressed up J-45, but if you look at the bridges the bridge pins are closer to the saddle, resulting in a steeper break angle and more tension using down on the saddle. 

J-45 Standard:

bd5JeWp.png

 

J-45 Original (same as J-45 Standard but w/ a bone saddle):

vTWrJ1d.png

 

Southern Jumbo:

 

QgNrv18.png

Edited by sbpark
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Posted (edited)

 

I had a bit too much done to the J50 to tell - it was horrid before - the nut and saddle were done at home by an amateur, slots high and too low, saddle way high leaning over, frets sharp from no humidity, bow in the neck etc, etc.

The Man is just magic,it plays wonderfully now, still a whisker high but avoided a reset and I am running mediums (Elixirs PBs). Anyway, not complaining about the bigger neck, nut and saddle - just ideal for fingerpicking a dread - if I had begged Gibson to make me one just like it, they probably wouldn't!

BUT, the 2005 Dove I got from the same secondhand /pawn shop has the B string thing exactly as you mention - next to go for a haircut! Some nit has filed the E string area right down to lower the string but went WAY too far! Plastic anyway - has to go but the Man is very, very busy with all these guitars everyone has bought!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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9 hours ago, zombywoof said:

There was a thread here a decade or so back on the string spacing of Bozeman guitars.  The results noted for three J45s were 2 11/16" for both a 1999 and 2006 and 2 13/16" for a 2007.  If anything it is probably more luck of the draw than by design.  

 

ZW, those string spacing numbers can't be right, no matter where you're talking about on the fretboard.

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39 minutes ago, j45nick said:

ZW, those string spacing numbers can't be right, no matter where you're talking about on the fretboard.

That is not board taper but string spacing at the bridge which is one of the specs BK777 cites as being a hair wider.  While trying to get a handle on Gibson specs prior to the 1950s is like trying to nail jello to a tree from the day the first J45/50 rolled out of Kalamazoo the spacing has been in the neighborhood of 2 3/16".

Edited by zombywoof
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14 hours ago, sbpark said:

As far as slotting/ramping the bridge, did you notice a difference? I ask because pretty much every J4-45 Standard I've encountered in the last 7-8 years have all been very consistent, but this means the B and high E strings all have had shallow break angles over the saddle. This seems to be problematic with the B especially because that shallow break angle couple with the B having the lowest string tension compared to all the other strings causes a bit of a "B-string buzz". I've had this happen on pretty much every J-45 Standard I've owned (this is the third one) I've owned.

The current J-45 Standard I have was actually given to me, believe it or not. Great guitar, but it also has this "B-string buzz". I'm taking the guitar in to have a bone nut made and conceding having them also ramp the bridge slots to get a steeper break angle/more tension on the saddle. 

Everyone always says that the Southern Jumbos are just a dressed up J-45, but if you look at the bridges the bridge pins are closer to the saddle, resulting in a steeper break angle and more tension using down on the saddle. 

J-45 Standard:

bd5JeWp.png

 

J-45 Original (same as J-45 Standard but w/ a bone saddle):

vTWrJ1d.png

 

Southern Jumbo:

 

QgNrv18.png

Yes. Which allows lower action without sacrificing tone. 

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3 hours ago, Al Pike said:

Yes. Which allows lower action without sacrificing tone. 

 

Slottiting the bridge does not affect the action. Keeping the saddle where it is and slotting the bridge simply crates a steeper break angle over the saddle, providing more downward force on the saddle, which can in this case improve tone. Has nothing to do with lowering the action. 

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Bought a J-50 new in 2001 because I loved the tone, but couldn’t get used to it’s wider neck width.  Conversely, my 2002 J-45 Rosewood has a slim early ‘60s profile, which is what I prefer.

I’ve played and/or owned quite a few Montana acoustics built between 2000 & 2004, and there truly is no rhyme or reason to their neck profiles.  More were on the slightly chunky side to be to my liking, so I really noticed it when one was slimmer.

For another example, the same scenario occurred with a 2000 J-100xtra & 2001 J-150 (both with unbound fingerboards).  The J-100 has a significantly slimmer profile, and it’s the one that’s stayed with me.

Fast forward to my 2015 J-50 custom shop model, and it seems to be right in the middle when compared to those examples from the early 2000s.

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Posted (edited)

 

I'll have it, ZW!

Well, it all goes to show that you should....ha...ha...try the guitar out before you by it!

But I will guarantee you that by feel alone, my three 00 size Maton 808s of different series and woods will have EXACTLY the same measurements! I measured my Messiah 808 and it is right on spec. I think they have one guy very strictly making the same neck over and over! I rang to ask about getting a wider nut etc, and not even their Custom Shop would do it. Nope, this is the neck ya get....!😁 (might be different if that Tommy fella rings them!)

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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I prefer a big, chunky neck. The big V on the Waterloo WL-14's is fantastic, and so is the neck on my Waterloo WL-K. Seems like a lot of companies put some sort of slim/slim-taper neck on their standard models, and reserve the bigger, chunkier necks for their higher end models. I suspect this is because a lot fo people like a chunky neck. If you want a chunky neck you have to pay up. 

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I can tell you SBP, after a number of years of seeking my preferences, that you are in a minority... most people prefer slimline. Which is why Gibson, Martin, Taylor, Maton et al make...slimline.

But every now and then someone does something else for their main guitars to trick ya.......Waterloo and a big surprise to me was the Taylor Builders Edition 717E necks - a chunky 'compound carve'. And my Waterloo necks are almost identical to my old 35 Gibson archtop....

Yep, the rest are special order editions etc.

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

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1 hour ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

I can tell you SBP, after a number of years of seeking my preferences, that you are in a minority... most people prefer slimline. Which is why Gibson, Martin, Taylor, Maton et al make...slimline.

But every now and then someone does something else for their main guitars to trick ya.......Waterloo and a big surprise to me was the Taylor Builders Edition 717E necks - a chunky 'compound carve'. And my Waterloo necks are almost identical to my old 35 Gibson archtop....

Yep, the rest are special order editions etc.

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

I guess my bias is from the old days when I used to frequent the AGF. The cork sniffers there seemed to also prefer bigger necks. Also, part of my preference comes from the electric guitar world, and also prefer chunkier necks with electrics. I have a Tele I put together with a pretty substantial neck and a 2008 SG Classic that has a really nice chunky neck. Also have a Classic 50's Fiesta Red Strat that doesn't really have a big neck, but it is a nice "V" shape and that guitar is probably the easiest guitar to play. My Precision bass has a 1.75" nut which is pretty wide for a P-bass, but it is pretty shallow front to back. 

I think what really sold me on bigger necks though was a '76 D-28 I picked up for cheap. It needed a bit of work (neck reset and a regret). It still sounded like poop after the work, but the neck on that guitar was pretty substantial and pronely one of my favorites of all the guitars I've owned. The least favorite neck (but was an amazing sounding guitar), was a 2012 Advanced Jumbo. That AJ had a ridiculously slim neck. 

Edited by sbpark
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Posted (edited)

 

Ha!

 

I just thought - if they sold this Waterloo with the V neck a few years earlier, I doubt you lot would ever have heard of me!

It is not gigantic but just a nice handful! For fingerpicking 1 3/4" nut 2 3/8" bridge space!

I mean you can tell just looking at it!

 


vUFSeiGh.jpg

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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10 hours ago, sbpark said:

 

Slottiting the bridge does not affect the action. Keeping the saddle where it is and slotting the bridge simply crates a steeper break angle over the saddle, providing more downward force on the saddle, which can in this case improve tone. Has nothing to do with lowering the action. 

Sorry for not being clear. Slotting the bridge is not what I am saying.  A steeper break angle allows one to have a lower action without sacrificing tone. The shorter distance between the saddle and the string holes of the Southern Jumbo makes for the steeper break angle as opposed to the longer distance of the J45. 

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6 hours ago, Al Pike said:

The shorter distance between the saddle and the string holes of the Southern Jumbo makes for the steeper break angle as opposed to the longer distance of the J45. 

That what the whole point of my post. I guess I wasn't making that clear enough with the pictures and explanation and all about ramping the bridge slots for the B and high E strings.

Edited by sbpark
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11 hours ago, sbpark said:

That what the whole point of my post. I guess I wasn't making that clear enough with the pictures and explanation and all about ramping the bridge slots for the B and high E strings.

Oh, gotcha. 

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