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original jumbo


diogo

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hi folks,

 

i know that this has been discussed to some extent, but as it seems most of the past posts disappeared, i'd really like some fresh insight on this...

 

i'm considering getting an original jumbo, one of the early bozeman runs..i'm also considering a J-35, as an alternative, if i can find one of the early runs as well...

 

these later bozeman runs have some historic inaccuracies i'm honestly not too fond of (ex.: the script logo on the original jumbo, etc).

 

what i wanted to realize is whether or not these 2 have that midrange sweetness that characterizes the gibson tone, to some extent, but especially late '40s J45s and J50s (should be understood as the ubiquitous dylan tone - that's really what i'm looking for). i know the J35 is probably gonna be closer, but i dunno why, i'm kind of leaning for the original jumbo a bit more..

 

owning a '54 J45, i can say the tone is all there, but sadly, most of the jumbos of this period suffer from a longer scale (24.9, 25 or thereabouts) with the bridge positioned for the usual shorter scale, which means endless intonation troubles. on some days i guess it's not so bad, but on others it becomes pretty unbearable, so i'm looking for something that will please my ears as well as my hands (the action also fights you a bit more than what would be ideal), cause i know i won't be able to find another 50s Jumbo for the price i got this one for (replaced bridge made it a bit more affordable).

 

honestly i just want something that works, after going through hell and back for this guitar, i've honestly done all i could (my very gifted luthier is in the UK, while i'm in Portugal), but that also gives me the tone i'm looking for...i remember ppl saying the original jumbo has a dry tone, quick attack, etc. i guess i can say my J45 sounds more or less like that, but also has all that sugar coated midrange i love about jumbos of that era and that's all over dylan's first record...

 

would you folks say this special midrange is also present in the original jumbo? while i know the original jumbo has the advanced jumbo x brace system, i honestly don't need another guitar that sounds like a cross between a L00 and a ladder braced jumbo and that's basically only good for blues or ragtime, i got plenty of that...i need a but more opulent tone than the usual ladder braced guitar...again, i know these are X braced, but i'm a little afraid of bozeman trying to give these a vintage voice at all costs...i need something to sit between my advanced jumbo and a ladder braced L00..ideally that would be my J45, but it just won't work for me...i'm looking for the same tone though (considering i really don't like the '42 reissue they have now and prefer something a bit more humble), with the reliability and trouble free operation that bozeman usually brings to the table...

 

any thoughts on this?

 

also, if anyone by any chance has any flatpicking clips i can hear of the original jumbo, that would be so very much appreciated indeed..it would really help.

 

thanks in advance!

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Diago. The OJ I had my hands on was some kind of guitar, but --is it a great Dylan guitar? The OJ, being very dry and punchy, absolutely kills for old time music, rural blues, rags and such, but for Bob, you might want a little more ring going on. Its a subtle difference, one many might not notice, but one you, being a Dylanist, might.

 

See Bob w/J50 (benchmark).

Bob@Newport. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QswdyijNNtA

 

Then, check these out on ytube. if they work for you say no more.

Geremia. Uncle Sam's Backyard. Borges j35 copy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkOm-he1tE4

Geremia. Miss. Blues. vintage J35. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXR3IPryn7o&feature=related

Frank Fotusky. Trouble in Mind. J35 reissue.

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"i need a more opulent tone...that sugar coated midrange. i don't need another guitar that sounds like a cross between a L00 and a ladder braced jumbo and that's basically only good for blues or ragtime"

 

D, having had a side by side with an OJ, a 42L, and a sitka-topped TV: the OJ was the driest; the 42L had a little more sparkle (to my ear, better suited for Holly/Hopkins --the OJ was Blind Blake); the sitka TV was on the same tonal side of the street at the 42L but more resoundin'-- maybe a tad too much. Amp analogy: The OJ was a '56 bassman (no reverb), the TV a super reverb, and the 42L a 62 3x10 concert (also no reverb, but looser than a bassman and imo one of the best amps Ive ever played through).

 

[see clip, So-Jumbo TV, stika http://www.acousticguitar.com/video/playvideo.aspx?videoname=GearReviews/AG187/Gibson_SJ-AG187

 

While the 42L has the tone, it is also a Big Ticket (3.5k US used)--hide glue, etc. The middle ground might be a red-spruced topped J45 TV VOS (can order one from Fullers Guitar in Houston TX). While (caveat) I have'nt played one, several here (Hoss, Janusguy) speak well of them. Id suspect the red spruce would take the ring-y edge off the TV while leaving the mids intact. My 2 cents.

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"i need a more opulent tone...that sugar coated midrange. i don't need another guitar that sounds like a cross between a L00 and a ladder braced jumbo and that's basically only good for blues or ragtime"

 

D' date=' having had a side by side with an OJ, a 42L, and a sitka-topped TV: the OJ was the driest; the 42L had a little more sparkle (to my ear, better suited for Holly/Hopkins --the OJ was Blind Blake); the sitka TV was on the same tonal side of the street at the 42L but more resoundin'-- maybe a tad too much. Amp analogy: The OJ was a '56 bassman (no reverb), the TV a super reverb, and the 42L a 62 3x10 concert (also no reverb, but looser than a bassman and imo one of the best amps Ive ever played through).

 

[see clip, So-Jumbo TV, stika http://www.acousticguitar.com/video/playvideo.aspx?videoname=GearReviews/AG187/Gibson_SJ-AG187

 

While the 42L has the tone, it is also a Big Ticket (3.5k US used)--hide glue, etc. The middle ground might be a red-spruced topped J45 TV VOS (can order one from Fullers Guitar in Houston TX). While (caveat) I have'nt played one, several here (Hoss, Janusguy) speak well of them. Id suspect the red spruce would take the ring-y edge off the TV while leaving the mids intact. My 2 cents.

 

 

 

[/quote']

 

I have had 5 Gibson J 45s go through my hands this year. I now have a 56 J 45 which I really like! It has that "real" vintage tone. :D/

It cost me beleive it or not under $3000 ! :-& Not one of the 5 Ive owned come close to it in tone nor lightness. Other than the OJ ! ;)

I had 4 J45s with adi tops one without. The TVs w/ adi sounded better than the 42L hands down! =; But again none for "My" ear nicer than the OJ.

 

The key I beleive is the "My Ear Deal" ! Every Gibson I have ever played has been different every one! So as the saying goes.

" You have to kiss alot of frogs to find a prince!"

 

So it goes on the search for the Holy Grail of guitars.

suburude

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jkinnama wrote:

D, having had a side by side with an OJ, a 42L, and a sitka-topped TV: the OJ was the driest; the 42L had

a little more sparkle; the sitka TV was on the same tonal side of the street at the 42L but more resoundin'--

maybe a tad too much."

 

Suberude wrote: "I have had 5 Gibson J 45s go through my hands this year. I now have a 56 J 45 which I really like! Not one of the 5 Ive owned come close to it in tone nor lightness. Other than the OJ ! The TVs w/ adi sounded better than the 42L hands down! But again none for "My" ear nicer than the OJ."

 

Re-reading my post, I realize it might look like Im endorsing the 42Ls or putting them above the OJ--Im not-- only to say that of the three, I thought it was in the middle between the OJ and TV in terms of response. Sub--re your slopes, a more detailed rundown of the nuances of your 56 and the OJ would be welcome. J

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I had a 2006 OJ, never bonded with it and sold it ...I made most of my money back. Tone wasn't special at all, nor volume, and it was heavily braced, badly cut nut, not a winner of a Gibson. 2 subsequent Gibson purchases have been excellent- a J185 and an LG-2. If you can't play it before you buy it....don't buy it.

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folks, thank you very much for all the replies, this has certainly given me some perspective on things...from the clips jkinnama so kindly posted, i sort of get the felling that, at least the J35, will be in the vein of what i was mentioning in my first post..basically a jumbo with sort of ladder braced sound, and that's really not what i'm looking for...assuming the J35 has a bit more in common with the J45, i don't see how the OJ can satisfy me, although i must admit it's still on my mind and i feel a strong pull towards it..i dunno what it is, maybe the visual aspect of it...i guess i already knew the answer, nothing can sound just like a "----" except itself...and even though the elusive gibson tone has common territory on pretty much every gibson i've ever owned, especially in the mids, i know that i'll probably be disappointed going into an OJ expecting something close to a J45.

 

i think i'll still get an OJ if the right one surfaces, but i've decided to either get a late 40s J50 or something close to that...very sadly so, the bozeman jumbos (all the J45 incarnations, of which i've owned an historic model 2 years ago) don't really resonate with me...part of it is the gloss/finish those guys use (my AJ had to be buffed out, i honestly couldn't stand how shiny it was, but that's me), but also the usually wide sunbursts that are almost yellow (i guess that's why the OJ appeals to me as well)...and i really need something very close to ideal be it in terms of visuals, but also tone of course.

 

i appreciate all the replies folks, this really helped. i hadn't find clips of any of these Jumbos and, all variables aside (crappy utube audio, folks using new strings, playing style, etc.) i think i can see that the J35 (and maybe even the OJ) are not what i'm looking for..can't shake off the gas for the OJ though...so if anyone is looking to sell his..i'm all ears.

 

cheers!

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Great site!

 

 

http://www.provide.net/~cfh/jumbo.html

 

Gibson Jumbo Flattop Guitar

Description: Gibson Jumbo flat top guitar

Available: 1934 to 1936.

Collectibility Rating: A.

Production: (no pre-1937 production numbers available)

General Comments: The beginnings of Gibson's 16" flattop guitar line. The 1934 Jumbo was Gibson's attempt to compete with Martin's "D" series of guitars (introduced in 1932). An excellent guitar, one I am most impressed with. The Jumbo was only made for three years and was then replaced by the J-35. The differences between the two models is subtle - the Jumbo has a pearl "Gibson" logo (the J-35's is silkscreened), slight body size and bracing differences, neck binding (1935 only), and tuner differences. Please email me if you have a Gibson Jumbo for sale!

 

Another related model is the Gibson Advance Jumbo. A similar guitar but with fancier trim and rosewood back and sides.

 

If you need to figure out the exact year of your Gibson Jumbo guitar, use the FON Factory Order Number. This is located inside the body's sound hole on the neck block. See the Gibson Serial Number Info web page for help determining the exact year.

 

 

 

 

1934 Gibson Jumbo guitar introduction specs:

$60 retail list price, 16" wide body, 10.25" long body, 4.5" deep, round shoulder dreadnought body shape, mahogany back and sides, sides NOT tapered, 3.75" soundhole (slightly smaller than a J-35), bound top and back, rectangular bridge, rosewood fingerboard, dot fingerboard inlays, pearl logo, retangle bridge with no bolts (hence no pearl dots), 1 1/8" below the soundhole "X" bracing at 100 degrees with three tone bars, scalloped top braces, fire striped celluloid pickguard, unbound 1.75" wide "V" shaped mahogany neck with a pointed French heel, 24.75" scale length, pearl "Gibson" peghead logo, nickel plated Grover G-98 tuners, sunburst finish on top and back and sides (top sunburst is "small", with the yellow covering about 1/4 of the top). Seen FONs include 256, 437, 908, 911.

 

1935 Gibson Jumbo guitar specs:

neck binding added, increased yellow portion of sunburst to "medium" sized, covering about 1/3 of the top. Soundhole increased in size very slightly.

 

Gibson Jumbo guitar discontinued 1936 and replaced by the Gibson Trojan/Jumbo 35 (J-35). Differences between the J-35/Trojan and the Jumbo were minor. Bracing and body shape was slightly different, but very minor.

Jumbo 1936 J-35

Back Sunburst Solid brown color

Peghead Pearl Gibson logo White Silkscreen logo

Tuners Grover G-98 3-on-a-strip tuners

Sides Not tapered tapered

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Gibson Original Jumbo Reissue

Summary

 

Product: Gibson Original Jumbo Reissue

Price Paid: UNKNOWN

Submitted 09/10/2007 at 06:33pm by Willie

 

Features : 8

Everything has already been said about the fine materials - Adirondack Spruce top etc. It is a 2006 model. The finish is absolutely stunning. So is the rosewood fingerboard. I have never seen a fingerboard with so much beautiful figure in it. What sucked was, that the pickguard was not cut around the soundhole rosette like on the vintage models. It partially covered the soundhole and the edges were very rough. I had the ickguard slightly reshaped and the edges bevelled to achieve that vintage "under the finish" - appearance. The pickguard is now at the correct location too, not covering part of the soundhole purfling, as it was originally. Also I did not like the too narrow string spacing at the bridge. The wonderfully shaped neck is wide enough to easily comfort a 2 1/4" string spacing at the bridge. I had that corrected by replacing the original bridge with with a new one made of Brazilian Rosewood. The string spacing is now 2 1/4". This has tremendously improved the playability of the guitar. It feels a lot more like a 30's guitar now.

 

 

Sound : 10

This is by far the best sounding new Gibson I have ever had/played. It compares very favorably to my 1939 Gibson J-35 and my 1941 J-55. It is loud, clear and warm.

 

Action, Fit, & Finish : 8

The factory set up was very good - except for the string spacing at the bridge. The 30's Jumbo had 60 mm - the reissue only had 55 mm. Not enough for fingerpicking. The finish is beautiful. Intonation is much better than on the vintage models.

 

Reliability/Durability : 9

The guitar seems to be very well made. The tuners work perfectly. I would take it to gigs without a backup anytime. I doubt that any truly great sounding guitar is rock solid. With a little care there should not be any problem

 

Customer Support : No Opinion

Never had to deal with the Gibson company about warranty issues.

 

Overall Rating : 10

I have been playing for 30+ years. Fingerstyle blues, ragtime etc.

After " a little customizing" I am perfectly happy with this guitar. If it were stolen, I would probably look for another one. I have owned very many vintage and als also quite a few new Gibson acoustic guitars and this one is by far the best one. It is the first new Gibson that - for me personally - has the PERFECT neck proflie and width. Not the awful low profile type that is used on so many models like the Nick Lucas, J-185 reissues etc.

 

 

 

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Product: Gibson Original Jumbo Reissue

Price Paid: 210,000 (yen)

Submitted 06/15/2006 at 09:25pm by bjewell

Email: ytmq945<at>hotmail dot com

 

Features : 10

What was said below: red spruce top, mahongany body and neck, Madagascar rosewood fretboard and bridg. What wasn't said was the level of quality of the wood -- really nice stuff, especially the mahogany. Top is a perfect wide-grain number.

 

The finish is a bit soft -- virtually all '03 Gibsons suffer from this, but the application is very thing and the burst is just the best. This guitar is made with more care than any recent Martin I've seen, let alone a Taylor, etc...

 

Sound : 9

Hard...very hard. Gibson Montana has had problems selling guitars, because their products need time to open up. I've played the snot out of the guitar since I brought it home, and it is getting there.

 

If it is anything like my '03 Luthier's Choice Brazilian AJ, it will take about a year to get to where it really cooks. As it stands, it is a great fingerpicker and solo guitar, but is pretty hard sounding for just strumming along. I hear a great guitar inside though...

 

Action, Fit, & Finish : 10

Perfect, a really well-made guitar, equal to anything on the market. The braces are very petite -- not the same as a '30s guitar, but way different from your run-of-the-mill J-45. The sunburst top is terrific, but so are the bursts on the sides and back.

 

Gibson Montana makes some really beautiful guitars, and they take a backseat to no one when it comes to quality of construction. I'd give it an 11 if I could.

 

Reliability/Durability : 10

First rate. Ought to last a long, long time...

 

Customer Support : 10

Ladies up in Motnana are home-grown natives, and they are polite and very helpful. Maybe other Gibson plants have difficult people, but the Customer Support at Bozemand is outstanding.

 

Overall Rating : 10

Got my first guitar in 1954. I've owned 100s of guitars, and still have some around the house. This guitar is green as a Granny Smith apple, but in a year, it is gonna just kill! Harder sounding than my D-18GE, as loud as the AJ, not a strummer like the J-200 and doesn't do bluegrass like my Huss. Has it's own thing. And I like it -- alot.

 

It's not gonna get stolen, cause I live in Japan, and we don't do stuff like that here... -L-

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Product: Gibson Original Jumbo Reissue

Price Paid: US $2000

Submitted 10/15/2005 at 07:21pm by Jim McMillan

 

Features : No Opinion

It was made in Bozeman in July, 2003. It has all of the standard features of the Original Jumbo.

 

Sound : 10

Superb sound - I do backup for vocalists and contest fiddle players, and the OJ gives a solid and boomy sound. I installed a Fishman pickup for when I need to plug in, but I get the best sound when playing in to a good wide diaphragm mike.

 

Action, Fit, & Finish : 8

It was set up a little high, so I had the action lightened up and it plays very well. Everything else was great.

 

Reliability/Durability : 9

The only problem was a crack from the bridge back to the bottom because I left it out of the case in the middle of winter (low humidity) for a week. The crack was glued and cleated and there has been no problem with the sound. I would depend on the guitar for almost anything now that I keep a humidifier in it at all times.

 

Customer Support : No Opinion

I haven't had to use Gibson for any support.

 

Overall Rating : 10

I have a great 1990 J-45, and when the OJ was put in my hands I had not choice but to buy it. I have been playing for a long time and have had many guitars, and this is by far the best yet.

 

 

 

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Product: Gibson Original Jumbo Reissue

Price Paid: US $2,400

Submitted 07/05/2005 at 08:12pm by Boo Boo

 

Features : 10

2005 Gibson Original Jumbo reissue, made in Gibson's Bozeman Montana factory. It features an Adirondack spruce top, Honduran mahogany back & sides, Madagascar rosewood bridge and fingerboard, and bone nut & saddle. Other nice touches include the MOP Gibson headstock logo & dot position markers as well as Gotoh open-back, nickle plated tuners. Who could ask for more?

 

Sound : 10

It will take some time to break in, but it sounds great now. Nice lows & clear highs.

 

Action, Fit, & Finish : 10

Great fit & finish! The old-style burst is stunning. The action is great right olut of the case.

 

Reliability/Durability : 10

This guitar should last for quite some time.

 

Customer Support : 10

Gibson has excellent customer support. I was able too get additional info from Gibson on this guitar prior to making the purchase.

 

Overall Rating : 10

This is the best guitar I've ever owned. Its closest competitor would be the Martin D-18 Golden Era. Both are great guitars, but the Gibson won my heart.

 

 

Page: 1 (Show 10 | 25 | 50 | 100 reviews per page) Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews

 

 

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subu: i notice that the apron of brown on yours is a little wider than most. i have noticed this before and wondered if it was intentional or just akin to the individual who was doing the spray.

 

All the bursts are done by one man, Van Feldner, so there is no variation among different individuals. The OJ has a small 'burst because Gibson 'bursts were small in '34.

 

-- Bob R

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Only the OJ burst were small in 34.

 

I think you mean J, not OJ. :)

 

But, actually, no. 'Bursts on L-00s and their kin, for example, were even smaller than the modern OJs in '33 -- entirely dark south of the bridge --, then OJ-sized in '34, then a bit bigger -- widest around the bridge -- in '35, just a bit smaller than modern in '36, and full modern size in '37. (Of course, there was some individual variation.) At least, this is the standard for dating small mid-'30s Gibsons. If you see a "1934" L-00 with a full-sized 'burst, either it has been refinished, someone made an honest mistake, or someone's trying to make a few extra buck by dating the guitar earlier.

 

-- Bob R

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Diogo, if Im reading you right, your OJ jones is grounded more on desperation ( "dammit Ive tried everything else) than attraction ("it kills. must have").

 

Here is a link to a j45 vos (adi) at Fullers. http://www.fullersguitar.com/shop?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=728&category_id=30. They also have one of the dread 42Ls. How quick do you need to get this done? Gibson might do a custom J50 to your specs...

 

Btw, Reading between the lines on those OJ reviews... "Sound : 9. Hard...very hard...green as a Granny Smith apple....Harder sounding than my [Martin]D-18GE...[great for] Fingerstyle blues, ragtime etc." ... in short, what these folks love about it aint what you seem to be looking for

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Diogo' date=' if Im reading you right, your OJ jones is grounded more on desperation ( "dammit Ive tried everything else) than attraction ("it kills. must have").

 

Here is a link to a j45 vos (adi) at Fullers. http://www.fullersguitar.com/shop?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=728&category_id=30. They also have one of the dread 42Ls. How quick do you need to get this done? Gibson might do a custom J50 to your specs...

 

Btw, Reading between the lines on those OJ reviews... "Sound : 9. Hard...very hard...green as a Granny Smith apple....Harder sounding than my [Martin']D-18GE...[great for] Fingerstyle blues, ragtime etc." ... in short, what these folks love about it aint what you seem to be looking for

 

 

 

Its got an adi top "All" adi tops take time to open up. Mine is open! and sounds "Not Hard" Actually sounds mellow. Jkinama do you happen to have an OJ? suburude

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Diogo' date=' if Im reading you right, your OJ jones is grounded more on desperation ( "dammit Ive tried everything else) than attraction ("it kills. must have").

 

Here is a link to a j45 vos (adi) at Fullers. http://www.fullersguitar.com/shop?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=728&category_id=30. They also have one of the dread 42Ls. How quick do you need to get this done? Gibson might do a custom J50 to your specs...

 

Btw, Reading between the lines on those OJ reviews... "Sound : 9. Hard...very hard...green as a Granny Smith apple....Harder sounding than my [Martin']D-18GE...[great for] Fingerstyle blues, ragtime etc." ... in short, what these folks love about it aint what you seem to be looking for

 

 

 

i think you're probably right =D>

 

i am gasing for the guitar, that's for sure though..

 

as much as i appreciate the suggestion jkinnama, i wouldn't be able to go with a bozeman sunburst, far too yellow for my taste...even if the tone is all there, i still have to look at the damn thing...i have plenty of bozeman sunburst on my AJ, it's not easy to look at it for sure. i don't know why, but the bursts keep getting wider and more yellowish...my '54 is the absolute contrary, almost a tobacco burst..stunning really, too bad i can't intonate it.

 

the custom shop suggestion is really something i've given much thought to before, sadly, i think being in europe, it would be tricky to pull, to say the least. i'm gonna get an OJ and see how i like it...in the worst case scenario, i may even end up making some money on top of it since i'll be selling it here across the pond if i'm not too fond of it..

 

i honestly don't feel like coughing up 6 or 7K for a late 40s J50 in good condition...maybe one day when i'm 50 or something!

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Its got an adi top "All" adi tops take time to open up. Mine is open! and sounds "Not Hard" Actually sounds mellow. Jkinama do you happen to have an OJ? suburude

 

suburude, do you by any chance have some flatpicking clips of your OJ?

 

i'd love to hear its tone if at all possible.

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