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Taking the Plunge On a J-45


lockjawdavis

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I've never had a top-quality acoustic before. Of all the guitars I've played over the past few weeks, none have felt or sounded better than the Gibsons. Particularly, the J-45. I have noticed there seem to be a couple (or maybe more) versions of the J-45. I noticed a 'Historical' model that seems to always run a few hundred bucks less than a 'Standard.' I'm having difficulty discerning a difference. Can anyone enlighten me on the intricacies of the J-45?

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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That's a bird of many colors! Many different models from rosewood to mahogany. Sitka spruce to red spruce tops. "Blinged-out" to a Southern Jumbo or down to the True Vintage line. Any make or model is a very fine instrument. As the following posts will reveal!!! Enjoy your new guitar!!!

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most of the GCs in the metro area have the standard 45 selling for around $1999. i've found there is little love for the model around windsor/detroit and alot of them sit and collect dust. eventually, some of them get dinged,scratched etc and marked down.. i just played one at the allen park location that was pretty sweet - a little darker than most - but set up and string choice can be a factor there. huber and breeze on grosbeck often have some of the higher end stuff. another forum member suggested a mom and pop place in auburn hills but the name illudes me. elderly, in lansing, is a mecca for older guitars. a spa day if you want to go for a drive. if you can mention some off the beaten path places that i'm not aware of, i'd appreciate it. i'm always looking. good luck in the search.

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Thanks. I may head to the Allen Park GC store today. Huber & Breese is also on my list. I think there's another place in Allen Park called Marshall's Music-but not sure about their acoustic selection. Herb David in Ann Arbor has a fine selection--some of the salesman are a bit snooty though.

 

awww. herb is no longer a gibson dealer. he liquidated his stock about 2 years ago and the deals were silly. my friend got an amazing deal on a brand new hummingbird ($1500?). let me know about marshall's et al. thanks. enjoy the search.

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If you don't mind ordering without playing it first' date=' Fullers has (what I consider to be) good deals on some of their exclusive models. 1968 Reissues in the $1700 area. Black, Cherry, or some sort of burst. I'd like to order the Cherry, but I'm a bit short.[/quote']

 

i have a huge weakness for the black 45.

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I just got my first Gibson a few weeks ago... J45 Standard, ordered new from Sweetwater. Didn't have any place near by to really A-B several guitars so I had to do a bunch of internet research to try and figure out what I wanted, then just ordered it with the idea that it could always be shipped back no questions asked as is their policy. Well turns out I love it......the sound/ tone, once you get used to it , it's hard to go back to something lesser.

As I read on this forum and see all of the different options and things that could effect the tone and feel it is just mind boggling to me as I am quite a newbie to higher end guitars.......that's mostly why I went with the J45..didn't want any bling really, just all guitar and that's what I got. Maybe eventually as I become more educated I might want to experiment with some of the variables.....i.e different string types , bridg/saddles , end pins and such, but for now I am happy as can be. Enjoy the hunt !

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That's a beauty. Exactly what I'm looking to get. Question: was the guitar set up and playable when it arrived or did you have to take it to a local shop to have the action/bridge adjusted? Some of the J-45s I've played around time have uncomfortably high string action when you go down the neck. I hear that's easy to tweak.

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What's a good set up for you isn't necessarily good for me. There is no one size fits all set up. Gibson sets up their guitars a bit high out of the factory because it's easier to lower the saddle than to raise it. That makes it easier for your favorite local tech to adjust the action to your own personal preferences and playing style.

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to lockjaw above.......yeah it was fine (for me) straight from the fed ex man to my finger tips. Being my first Gibby I really wouldn't be able to discern what the "regular" set up is. No at first it was not as easy to play as my Taylor 314 , but is that because I've been playing the Taylor exclusively for the last 3 years?. Now I am definately drifting away from the Taylor as I've grown to expect the J45 tone now when I'm playing. Not to dis' my old guitar or Taylors but when they are A-B'd the Taylor sounds kinda plastic to my ears. Sweetwater was easy to work with and my experience was good.........anyone else out there deal with them? There site has pics of the exact guitar with serial # that you will be getting and 30 days to send it back if need be.

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Not to dis Taylors (whatever works for each musician is fine with me), but, it sounds like you're experiencing what I've experienced for a long time now. To me, Taylors sound and play sterile while Gibsons have a soulful multi-level sound and player vibe to them. Its interesting after you've been playing the J-45 you're experiencing that, too.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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Ahhh.... tone.....

 

I love a good J45 tone as much as anyone. I rarely play a bad one and have been gassing for one for awhile now, but I am so happy with the three guitar setup I have, there really is no reason to get one. My AJ gives me a very close, but slightly louder and fuller tone, my LG1 gives me the dry, muted, woody tone on the other extreme. I love Gibson tone for sure, BUT............ (and this is a big but...)

 

I have to disagree about Taylors sounding plasticy or sterile. My 16 year old Maple/Sitka Taylor 612C has a tone that is so pleasing, mellow and almost chimy that it has always been and will likely continue to be my #1 acoustic. I think there is something magical about some of the early 1990's Taylors. Mine was built in 1993 and I have been the only owner. The years have been good to it but I have always loved the tone. I will agree that tone is subjective, but until you have had an opportunity to play one of the early 1990 higher end Taylors (500 series and above), you may not have heard Taylors best efforts.

 

Here is one of my favorite photos. It was how I described my Taylor and my Gibson AJ when all I had was the two of them. "Beauty and the Beast"... I will leave it to you to figure out which is which. [blink]

 

SideBySide.jpg

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I was reluctant to post what I did as I have no desire to get into a Taylor-Gibson thang like I've read on other forums. It never goes anywhere nor can it and it takes up forum energy that can be used to truly explore musical topics that can actually lead somewhere with diversity of input. It was just interesting to read of a Taylor player experiencing what I had experienced. As mentioned, I wasn't trying to dis Taylors...its just to me they do not musically connect to me like Gibsons do. That's just my experience...although it was interesting to actually hear from a Taylor player that he was experiencing something similar. Many Taylor players seem to so love their Taylors that they won't even try a Gibsons or give one a chance, (plus get very defensive about their Taylors when Gibsons or Martins' virtues are shared or when another musician objectively simply states their preference for them.) Kind of an interesting phenomena (sp). Perhaps you can share some light on why this is so...especially as you do not seem to be the norm as you're open minded enough to be both a Gibson and a Taylor player...not something I've run across much. And...yes, I've played and been exposed to tons and tons of Taylor instruments since the 80's. The only thing I've objectively been able to say over the years in their favor over Gibsons is their wider fretboards have been a good influence on Gibsons and their pick-up systems have been revolutionary to mic'ing acoustic guitars (although to some extent they've gone too far in that their acoustic pick-up systems while creating a great sound have basically made it so that acoustic guitars are really electric guitars now as still no electronic pick-up system really captures the true acoustic sound of a guitar. But, Taylor electronics really do sound great. Considering this is something Taylor set out to be a leader in, that's a great accomplishment and advancement in the guitar industry.)

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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Hi Jeff...

 

I guess I could agree that some Taylor owners can get a bit defensive and there does seem to be a certain segment of the guitar population that is very protective of whichever headstock happens to list their chosen guitar. I have seen it from Taylor, Gibson and Martin lovers as well as countless other brands. For me though, it is all about finding those "keeper" instruments that scream "Take me home" after you have played them regardless of the name on the headstock. In reality I have cut my acoustic collection down to 3 keepers. My Taylor and my two Gibsons. Between them, there is nothing I can't play and have a tone I am happy with. Each has it's place in my life as each is so different from the other. I have owned many acoustics over the years but these three all spoke to me more than any of the others.

 

How could a person limit themselves to just one brand when there are so many wonderful instruments out there? I know I certainly couldn't. I have never owned a Martin as I have only played one or two that I liked the feel of the neck. I have heard many a wonderful sounding Martin and for awhile I thought that I needed to own one. It was around then that I discovered Gibson and found that the tone was as appealing, if not moreso, to me, and the guitars were much more comfortable and they also appealed to my eyes better. I love slope shoulder dreads and nobody does sunburst's like Gibson in my opinion.

 

So, yes, I love my Taylor and have played many others that I would love to own as well, but I also love my Gibsons and see no reason they can't live in harmony in my music room.

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