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snkysnake

Gibson Body Sizes and Specs...Need help please

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First let me say that I am loving my 2008 J45, unfortunately the J45 is not loving me. Besides all the typical problems a guy my age has, like arthritis and healed up torn rotator cup, I have a torn bicep muscle on my right arm. Of course this arm rests on the upper bout of the 45 , making for an interesting evening of guitar playing.I am constantly having to shift the guitar, left leg , right leg, neck high, neck level..etc I fear that it may be time for me to give up my love of the J45 , in favor of a body size more suited to my limitations. As I'm sure you all know, specs for Gibsons are hard to come by. For my new guitar I think I should be looking at new or used LG LGo LO , Maybe J165 or J185. Could some of you please post not only reccomendations, but if you own a smaller body Gibson, give me some specs on upper and lower bout , body thickness, scale length,etc. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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Model lower bout

 

L-00 or Blues King 14.5"

Nick Lucas 14.5"

Cj-165 15"

J-185 16"

 

 

I recommend the L-00 or 165 models. The L-1 or Robert Johnson model is also pretty small. Like you I have some shoulder problems. I find the L-00 most comfortable, though I can manage the 185 pretty well too, because the waist is fairly narrow. I have to tip the neck upward a bit on the 185. Another thing you could try is playing your J-45 standing up with a strap, and tilting the neck end up a bit.

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Thanks Jerry, I agree about the strap and standing up. That's about the only thing that can help me play longer with less discomfort. I was kinda leaning towards a J185Ec , but with the lower bout being the same as my J45... Any idea of the waist size and body depth on the ones you listed ? I appreciate your help on this. It's killing me , and my CFO, that I might take a loss on the new J45, but I guess I should start the search. Saw several possible candidates on G Base, and trying not to rush any decisions.

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Here's a little trick that you can do with the strap. Take the strap leading from the end-pin and wrap the strap over the upper bout, this will tilt the neck end up a bit.

 

Sal

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model upper, waist, lower ; greatest depth

 

L-00: 10", 8 1/2", 14 3/4" ; 4 1/4" deep

 

Nick: same as above but about 5" deep

 

165: 11", 9", 15" ; 4 3/8" deep

 

185: 11 1/2", 9 1/4", 16" ; 4 3/4" deep

 

 

All of the above are short scale (recent ones, anyway). I would go for the L-00 blues king; the cj-165 is a close second. I don't have an L-1 Robert Johnson; someone may be able to give measurements for that. The LG-1 and LG-2 have a very slightly smaller lower bout than an L-00, around 14 1/8". Someone will probably chime in here with specs for those.

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The L-1 seems to be quite different from many Gibson acoustics. According to some specs I saw on Elderly, it has a 1 3/4" nut width, which is wider than the usual 1.725". It's a 12-fret guitar and it appears to have a longer scale length than most Gibsons. The lower bout is the smallest of any Gibson currently made. Have to try one of these.

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It's a tough call. The smaller body sacrifices sound, to an extent (more focus but less surround).

 

Here's a strap rig that could help...(Ernie Hawkins, ala Rev. Gary Davis)

Or... play across your left knee (Dave Bromberg)

 

ps also worth a look, a Martin 0018v: less strident & more responsive than current L-series Gibsons, but thumpy & midrangey for a Martin. Maybe a 00028. If you can swing it, a 37L or Greven L00...

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The L-1 seems to be quite different from many Gibson acoustics. According to some specs I saw on Elderly' date=' it has a 1 3/4" nut width, which is wider than the usual 1.725". It's a 12-fret guitar and it appears to have a longer scale length than most Gibsons. The lower bout is the smallest of any Gibson currently made. Have to try one of these.[/quote']

 

An RJ L-1 has the typical 1.725 nut. Just measured again to double check. All specs I have read list it as that too. It does have an interesting 25" scale.

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The RJ L-1 unfortunately keeps calling my name too. I fear that if I ever play one in a shop and it feels and sounds right, I'm gonna go for it...

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I like it a lot, it has it's own unique sound for sure. I thought I read someone describe it as "crispy" and I think I agree with that. I'm horrible at describing sound, I do feel like it has an old timey vibe for sure. The strings are snappy if that makes sense. It's a real comfy guitar and the 25" scale gives you a nice mix between the two standards.

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i'm curious about that 25 in. scale. The originals, like mine, had a very short 24.25 in. scale:

 

1066828360033810361S600x600Q85.jpg

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