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Oliwoli
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Hi all, 

 

im awaiting delivery of a used 2018 Gibson songwriter (antique-natural).

apparently the set up wasn’t up to standard so they are sorting it before shipping it out. 
 

my question is the description of the model is as above. However I’ve seen several videos and mentions that include “deluxe” and “special or limited edition” 

the Gibson archives site appears to be down and can’t make sense of the Japanese one. 
Is this just one guitar or were there several versions? Any idea of the cost of it when new? 
I’m paying £2200 second hand which is close to £2600 for a new J45 so assuming they are of similar calibre. Any information about the guitar would be really helpful and much appreciated. 
 

thank you

 

Olly 

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18 minutes ago, Oliwoli said:

Hi all, 

 

im awaiting delivery of a used 2018 Gibson songwriter (antique-natural).

apparently the set up wasn’t up to standard so they are sorting it before shipping it out. 
 

my question is the description of the model is as above. However I’ve seen several videos and mentions that include “deluxe” and “special or limited edition” 

the Gibson archives site appears to be down and can’t make sense of the Japanese one. 
Is this just one guitar or were there several versions? Any idea of the cost of it when new? 
I’m paying £2200 second hand which is close to £2600 for a new J45 so assuming they are of similar calibre. Any information about the guitar would be really helpful and much appreciated. 
 

thank you

 

Olly 

Gibson makes a lot of different models of their guitars. There must be over 75 different J-45's out there. The SW, I think is rosewood back and sides if I remember correctly. What you paid for it second hand and what a J-45 go for mean nothing in this scenario. Both are well made guitars from Gibson. What you paid for it, is what you paid for it. They are two different guitars with different specs make of different wood. I have no idea what they went for in 2018. Probably less than you are paying. New they seem to be $3149. Not sure if the one you have has a pickup installed or not, but that seems to be about 2 to 300 extra.

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Gibson is notorious for making numerous versions of Guitar models with the same name… Like Pepper says above.. How many versions of LP’s are there? ES335’s? SG’s? Etc…..

This is from Gibson Legacy site.. But who knows if it’s the same one you bought? Good luck!

http://legacy.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/2018/Songwriter-Studio.aspx

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Thanks for the replies, I forgot to mention it’s a 12 string. Not that it makes much difference.

The plan is to try it out and see if it feels right. As I have found over time some guitars of the same model can feel completely different. I can return it within 14 days paying only the postage which is good. I just had a feeling about it and just went for it.  You’re right the price is somewhat irrelevant but would be interesting to know what they were new at the time. Going by the videos online the “deluxe” seems to sound better but of course various videos don’t really mean much. 

I wish I had a huge guitar store nearby! 

 

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After just a quick look as best as I can figure what were labeled the Songwriter Deluxe was an earlier issue dating to 2013-14.   The 2018-2019 run is generally just listed as a Montana Songwriter.  As these seem to be released in two-tear runs I think it would be reasonable to consider them a limited edition.  

Another  quick look at the Reverb Price Guide shows the most recent prices paid for these guitars in tip top condition to be in the $2300 to $2500 range.  As I am not interested enough to look up the exchange rate you can do that on your own.   Mind you though those prices may not reflect the market in your neck of the woods.  

 

Edited by zombywoof
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5 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

As best I know what Bozeman labeled the Songwriter Deluxe 12 string  guitars were earlier versions dating from 2013-14.   The 2018-2019 run is generally just listed as a Montana Songwriter.  As these seem to be issued in two-tear runs I think it would be reasonable to consider them a limited edition.  

A  quick look at the Reverb Price Guide shows the most recent prices paid for these guitars in tip top condition to be in the $2300 to $2500 range.  As I am not interested enough to look up the exchange rate you can do that on your own.   Mind you though those prices may not reflect the market in your neck of the woods.  

 

Thanks for the reply. 
well with the tax etc it seems about right which is what I was hoping for. 
I think the Montana part is just where it’s made. 
perhaps it’s all the same guitar with slight name variations. Either way, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will like it or I won’t, regardless of the name and different characteristics. I was of course hoping that someone who has slapped up the cash for one of these babies would chime in but hey, chances are super slim. 
i will share my thoughts on the guitar for others future benefit once it has arrived and I’ve enjoyed it (or not)

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18 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

Bozeman has used "Montana" as a designation for certain lines of limited edition guitars such as the Montana Gold J200.  

It seems crazy that you can’t use the serial number to identify exactly what guitar you have, including any limited editions 

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1 hour ago, Oliwoli said:

It seems crazy that you can’t use the serial number to identify exactly what guitar you have, including any limited editions 

It is actually not crazy because Bozeman releases a large number of limited run guitars each year.  As noted above the number of limited edition and special run J45s listed by serial numbers alone would fill a hefty volume.  I guess you could aways contact Gibson Customer Service to see if there is anything they can tell you.

Edited by zombywoof
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1 hour ago, Oliwoli said:

It seems crazy that you can’t use the serial number to identify exactly what guitar you have, including any limited editions 

Gibson couldn’t come up with enough designations..  Even though they’ve made LP’s, Hummingbirds, J45’s or whatever etc. Guitars for years they make changes to each of the models like every other minute! If I recall Gibsons Warranty says something like, they reserve the right to make changes whenever….

Edited by Larsongs
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3 hours ago, Oliwoli said:

It seems crazy that you can’t use the serial number to identify exactly what guitar you have, including any limited editions 

As with most guitar builders the serial number and model number are  separate. Most builders list the model designation in the label. Some, burn it in the wood. Gibson hand writes on the quality inspection report plus many of the guitars have the model name included on the label. Here’s something I copied a few years ago in reference to Gibson model nomenclature 

Gibson codes 
Over they years I've collected examples of these Gibson model numbers and codes. So, for those interested, I'm listing what I have collected below, decoded correctly for the most part - if you find something that needs correcting, please let me know. In 2014 Gibson started adding the year of manufacture to some of the model numbers it creates. I have a similar collection of model numbers and codes for the electric division - so I posted that too. And remember - Gibson is consistently inconsistent, so changes WILL occur in usage and form. 

Formula - T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 FF HW Hand - T1=TypeOfGuitar, T2=YearOfManufacture, T3=MoreTypeInfo, T4=MoreTypeInfo, T5=MoreTypeInfo, FF=Finish, HW=Hardware, Hand=1(right)or2(left). T2-T5 appear only if needed.

In 1985 Gibson stopped labeling seconds, but some model numbers still end in 1. I think Gibson reassigned the number for the hand - 1=RH, 2=LH, and in Acoustic division: 3=RH with pick up, and 4=LH with pick up.

ACOUSTIC DIVISION -

These codes and model numbers have been used by Montana since the start. It's broken up into four parts. Well, five parts now because in 2014 Gibson start sticking in two digits for the year of manufacture.

Type (appears at the beginning of the model number) -
RS Round Shoulder J-45 type
SS Square Shoulder Hummingbird type
SJ Super Jumbo type
J8 J-180 Jumbo type
LS L-series small body type
AS Acoustic electric 
AC Acoustic (no pickup)

Year of manufacture (code added to some model numbers in 2014):
14 - 2014
15 - 2015
16 - 2016
17 - 2017
18 - 2018
19 - 2019

Finish -  
AT Antique Walnut (Natural finished top, Dark walnut stained back & sides)
AN Antique Natural (light toner added)
VS Vintage Sunburst ( Tobacco Burst) The new marketer has renamed this one the "sunset burst". Sigh.... 
CH Cherry (Dove red)
VCS Vintage Cherry Sunburst
HCS Heritage Cherry Sunburst (real hummingbird)
AE Antique Ebony (Black)Light toner for gold looking binding
EB Black (No Toner)(ebony)
TB Triburst

Hardware -
NH - Nickel Hardware
CH - Chrome Hardware 
GH - Gold Hardware

Hand -
1=Right handed
2=Left handed
3=Right handed with pick up
4=Left handed with pick up

Recent Example: AC4518VSNH
AC45 - Acoustic (no pickup) J-45
18 - Manufactured 2018
VS - Vintage Sunburst
NH - Nickel hardware 

ie: RS45TBNH1
RS45 - Round Shoulder J-45
TB - Tri-Burst finish
NH - Nickel hardware 
1 - right handed

ie: RSSVVSNH1
RSSV - Round Shoulder Southern jumbo true Vintage
VS - Vintage Sunburst
NH - Nickel Hardware
1 - right handed

ie: SSHBHCSNH1
SSHB - Square shoulder Hummingbird
HCS - Heritage cherry sunburst
NH - Nickel Hardware
1 - right handed

ie: SSHCFMGH1
SSH - Square Shoulder Hummingbird
C - heritage Cherry burst
FM - Figured Mahogany
GH - Gold Hardware
1 - right handed

There are times when the number at the end of the hardware code is in reference to a lefty. This is usually a number 4. So a GH4 would be a gold hardware lefty. 
If there is a number 3 at the end it is usually a guitar with a pick-up. Since they put pick-ups on most of their guitars now that number is no longer used.
A normally electric acoustic will be designated with a AS. The J-160E would be an AS16VSNH1. 

From 1990 to 1995 all of the acoustic guitars were coded with a AC (acoustic) then the model number so a J-200 would be a AC20ANGH1 
The acoustic electric guitars were noted- AS. AS16VSNH1 would have been a J-160-E.
1997 they made a change to different line designations. For example the J-200 was put into the "Historic Line". The code was HL20ANGH1.
1999 they made a big change in the price list and seperated the guitars into 5 lines they were:

J-200 Super Jumbo Line. They were designated SJ
J-45 Round Shoulder Line. They were designated RS 
Hummingbird Square Shoulder Line. They were designated SS
J-180 Jumbo Line. They were J8 
L-series Small Body Line They were LS

In 1993 they had a Starburst Studio and it was coded ASSFANGH1 Of course this guitar became the @ss fang.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ELECTRIC DIVISION -

Model number and code examples:

LPS6GTNH1 = LP(Les Paul) S(Standard) 6(6o's neck) GT(Gold Top) NH(Nickel Hardware) 1 (Not b stock or a 2nd - In 1985 Gibson stopped labeling seconds, but model numbers still end in 1.
I think Gibson reassigned the number for the hand - 1=RH, 2=LH, and in Acoustic division: 3=RH with pick up, and 4=LH with pick up.

LPSTWCCH1 = LP(Les Paul) ST(STudio) WC(Worn Cherry) CH(Chrome Hardware) 1(signifies that it is not b stock or a 2nd)

LPPCHBGH1 = LP(Les Paul) P(Premium or Plus - figured top) CHB(Cherry Heritage Burst, 2 or 3 letters for the finish) GH(Gold Hardware)

LPTDMSVCH1 = LP(Les Paul) TD(TraDitional) M(Mahogany top) S(Satin Vintage sunburst) CH(Chrome Hardware)

LPTDSZSHCH1 = LP(Les Paul) TD(TraDitional) S(1960) Z(Zebra coil pups) SH(Satin Honeyburst) CH(Chrome Hardware)

LPNSTDPTSCH1 = LP(Les Paul) N(Nashville) STD(STandarD) P(Plus) TS(Tea Burst) CH(Chrome Hardware)

LPNTDCBCH1 = LP(Les Paul) N(New) TD(TraDitional) CB (Chicago Blue) CH(Chrome Hardware)

*LPSCADBCH1 = LPS(Les Paul Standard) CA(Compund radius, Asymmetrical neck) DB(Desert Burst) CH(Chrome Hardware)

LPDCROCH1 - LP(Les Paul) DC(Double Cut) RO (ROot beer) CH(Chrome Hardware)

LPTLBNH1 - LP(Les Paul) T(Traditional) LB(Light Burst) NH(Nickel Hardware)

LPTP25FD9CF1 - LP(Les Paul) TP2(Traditional Pro 2) 5(50s neck) FD(Faded? Desert burst) 9(?) CF(Chrome Floyd rose)

LPSTDHSCHLH1 - LP(Les Paul) STD(STandarD) HS(Heritage cherry Sunburst) CH(Chrome Hardware) LH(Left Handed)

LPSFHBNH1 - Les Paul Standard Faded Honey Burst Nickel Hardware 1

LPJ-PBCH1 - Les Paul Junior Pelham Blue Chrome Hardware 1

~ For ES - "DT" Translation:

ESDSTBKCH1 - ES335 D (Dot) S (Satin) TB (TransBlack) CH (Chrome Hardware) 1 (right handed)

ESDP14CHNH1 - ES (Electric Spanish guitar series) D (Dot markers) P (Plain/Painted top) 14 (model year since 2014) CH (Cherry Heritage) NH (Nickel Hardware) 1 (right handed)

ESDP16GTNH1 - ES (Electric Spanish guitar series) DP (Dual Pickups) 16 (model year since 2014) GT (Gold Top) NH (Nickel Hardware) 1 (right handed)

DT = Dot (vs. block markers) per Gibson C/S as in ESDT
TD = Thinline Dual pups . . . . . . . . . . as in ESTD (or for an LP, TD = TraDitional)

T = Figured Top (don't know how Gibson derived that nomenclature) vs. P = Plain/Painted Top (??)

DT = Dot, Figured Top (??)

DP = Dual Pickups

DP = Dot, Plain/Painted Top (??)

.
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On 8/17/2022 at 9:13 AM, Oliwoli said:

m awaiting delivery of a used 2018 Gibson songwriter (antique-natural).

 

On 8/17/2022 at 9:13 AM, Oliwoli said:

Is this just one guitar or were there several versions? Any idea of the cost of it when new? 
I’m paying £2200 second hand which is close to £2600 for a new J45 so assuming they are of similar calibre.

 

On 8/17/2022 at 10:04 AM, Oliwoli said:

Thanks for the replies, I forgot to mention it’s a 12 string. Not that it makes much difference.

Yep -  it is not a standard production model. Never was.  So, comparing it to a J45 is apples and oranges.  The large variations on J45s is a function of it's being their 'workhorse' and Bozeman knowing they can leverage that popularity and can sell more by producing variations on the theme.  Some of those versions are simply different colors - green, blue, pink.  Some of the more interesting versions are different  tone woods.  There are probably a  dozen 'changes to specs'  possible:  Tuners, pick guards, fretboard/bridge wood in addition to tone wood and colors. Then, there's bracing - which is obviously different for a 12s.   Bozeman is a relatively small facility -  not to be confused with a fully automated, robotic auto manufacturing plant.  They encourage their '5 Star Dealers'  to consider what variations might be marketable - and allow them to spec out a 'Limited Edition'  order - usually around 50.   The dealers are able to market these 'special edition' guitars over the internet well outside their primary locations.   So - you get more variation than you do if you are looking at a Toyota Camry.  But, of course, you can always play it safe and just get a Standard  J45.  And, as has been generally accepted here - if you've seen one J45, you've seen one J45.  Even within the standards - they can feel, sound and 'play' differently.  You realize that - knowing your new arrival may or may not fit what you are looking for.   So, accept it is not a 'standard' anything.   "A rose, by any other name..."     Let us know about it once you've had a chance to play it a bit!  

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