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Gibson J45-ADJ '65-68? Looking to ID


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Hi there, 

Hoping I'm posting in the right spot and following the rules of this forum. 

I'm hoping that someone here has some knowledge about an older Gibson J45-ADJ.   Would love to identify what year it is, and get a sense of its value. 

 Serial # 340295

There are some small chips on the front and back of it, but otherwise pretty good shape for the age range.  I was told it was a 68', but in researching some of the serial number validators are suggesting it might be a 65' - 66'.  

Any detail would be much appreciated!! Thanks!

 

173744410_802315590694124_6219816360680904556_n.jpeg

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52 minutes ago, pohatu771 said:

It's a late 1966. Most were cherry sunburst, but they started using "vintage" sunburst again around that time.

By 1968, they had switched to belly-down bridges (which started appearing in 1967).

Oh neat, so it is older than expected.  This finish is referred to as "vintage" sunburst?  Neat.   I had seen some similar guitars referred to as Tobacco sunburst, is that a different finish than this one? 

Thanks for your input! 

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2 hours ago, marshallwhite said:

Oh neat, so it is older than expected.  This finish is referred to as "vintage" sunburst?  Neat.   I had seen some similar guitars referred to as Tobacco sunburst, is that a different finish than this one? 

Thanks for your input! 

For acoustic guitars in that era (going back to the 30s), Gibson offered "sunburst." Amber in the middle and black or dark brown on the edges. In the 60s, they introduced "cherry sunburst" on the Hummingbird, and it replaced the previous burst for most acoustic models for a few years.

"Tobacco burst" is a relatively modern finish option that goes from amber to black pretty suddenly, without the orange level in between. I don't think I've ever seen it on an acoustic, but even if it is, it's not on a vintage acoustic.

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28 minutes ago, pohatu771 said:

For acoustic guitars in that era (going back to the 30s), Gibson offered "sunburst." Amber in the middle and black or dark brown on the edges. In the 60s, they introduced "cherry sunburst" on the Hummingbird, and it replaced the previous burst for most acoustic models for a few years.

"Tobacco burst" is a relatively modern finish option that goes from amber to black pretty suddenly, without the orange level in between. I don't think I've ever seen it on an acoustic, but even if it is, it's not on a vintage acoustic.

Ah awesome thank you.  So this is a late 1966 Sunburst J45-ADJ. 

I know it would probably be pretty hard to appraise an instrument like that from a keyboard, and 1 bad image, but is there a price range that you think makes sense for this particular instrument?  

Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, marshallwhite said:

Ah awesome thank you.  So this is a late 1966 Sunburst J45-ADJ. 

I know it would probably be pretty hard to appraise an instrument like that from a keyboard, and 1 bad image, but is there a price range that you think makes sense for this particular instrument?  

Thanks again!

Condition is a huge factor. A 1965-1969 (slope shoulder) is less desirable than an early 60s model due to the narrow nut width. You're on the earlier side of that, so it still has lighter bracing, making it more desirable than a 1968-1969.

 

It's really hard to judge value with the market doing crazy things this year, especially on a vintage guitar. The most recent similar examples both have structural repairs, so their price isn't very useful, and most recent sales are either early 60s or 1968-1969. Conservatively, I'd say $2000, but it could be $2500 or $3000. Current Reverb asking prices are a lot higher than the recent sold prices.

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On 4/17/2021 at 10:57 AM, pohatu771 said:

It's a late 1966.

I would be curious to know what source you used.   The source I've used for years (either from my books, or the same data shown on this website:  http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial) show that number dating to 1965.   

332241 to 348092   1965
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45 minutes ago, JimR56 said:

I would be curious to know what source you used.   The source I've used for years (either from my books, or the same data shown on this website:  http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial) show that number dating to 1965.   


332241 to 348092   1965

My primary source, like JimR's, says 1965. Most likely has the 1 9/16" nut, but some earlier in the year may be 1 11/16".

Either way, it looks like a nice guitar. Price is indeterminate, and depends on condition and playability.

And welcome to the forum.

Pohatu, you may want to take a closer look at vintage Gibson sunburst top finishes, as there is a lot more historical inconsistency in the character of the sunbursts than your response on that might suggest.

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1 hour ago, JimR56 said:

I would be curious to know what source you used.   The source I've used for years (either from my books, or the same data shown on this website:  http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial) show that number dating to 1965.   


332241 to 348092   1965

You're right. I looked down a line when switching columns.

41 minutes ago, j45nick said:

Pohatu, you may want to take a closer look at vintage Gibson sunburst top finishes, as there is a lot more historical inconsistency in the character of the sunbursts than your response on that might suggest.

A lot of inconsistency, yes, but are there official names in that era that I'm not aware of? Every Gibson catalog I've seen just says "sunburst" or "cherry sunburst."

Edited by pohatu771
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12 hours ago, pohatu771 said:

 

A lot of inconsistency, yes, but are there official names in that era that I'm not aware of? Every Gibson catalog I've seen just says "sunburst" or "cherry sunburst."

That is correct. 

But the character of the original sunburst varies a lot, and that is not just period-related. For example, the abruptness of the transition from amber to brown/black varies from guitar to guitar, not just by period. I have two 1950 J-45s with FONs only a month or so apart, and the original sunbursts were very different from each other. Of course, they may have faded differently over time as well.

It isn't clear if this was a conscious company decision, or it was primarily up to the person or person shooting the sunburst.

The renaming of "sunburst" into any number of variations is pretty much a modern Gibson characteristic, and it isn't always consistent with appearance.

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Technically, there may be sunburst finish names (in catalogs) that we're overlooking.  "Viceroy Brown" is one example I'm sure of.  But I basically agree with all of Nick's comments.  The only area of slight confusion for me here is the use of the term "modern".  Gibson were offering specifically-named sunburst variations as early as the late 1950's, and personally I wouldn't use the term "modern" to refer to that period.  Anyway, there are certainly some period-specific trends (like the cherry sunbursts of the 60's), but it's not always safe to generalize about such things.  Not only were some brown sunbursts still produced concurrently with the cherry sunbursts, but some "cherry sunbursts" were more orange than others.  There are some (although few) examples of specific Gibson finish names being more consistently executed and universally recognized.  "Argentine Grey", which Gibson used in the late 50's/early 60's, is an example (btw, this name variation dates back in Gibson catalogs to the 1930's or maybe even earlier).  "Viceroy Brown" might be another, but frankly I haven't exactly researched this.  I think of the term "Tobacco Sunburst" as having originated in the 70's, but I don't always want to trust my own memory.

Edit:  I was just browsing some online uploads of old Gibson catalogs (here: https://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/gibson/L5S.php), and found a reference to Tobacco Sunburst being introduced (in this case on the L5S model) in 1976.  In 1978, Tobacco was replaced by "Fireburst" on that model.   I'm not sure whether I've never heard of "Fireburst", or had just forgotten about it, but my sense is that this might have been the early stages of Gibson's slippery slope of trying too hard to come up with hundreds of gimmicky new finish names, confusing hybrid models, and various other bad ideas.  But it was the 70's, so I'm not too surprised.

Edited by JimR56
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