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J-45 Advice needed


KIGTO

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I played a new J-45 MC (mahogany) the other day, and really liked the short scale, slope, and tone. I play about 75/25 fingerstyleI/pick, and am new to Gibsons. If I buy new, any advice? I really don't need electronics--do they come without electronics? If I buy used, what should I look for? Are there good/bad/better years? I've been reading about Gibsons on the net, and have read some interesting things--hoping to get a straight scoop here. Thanks.

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Welcome. The J-45 is a beautiful guitar. The best thing to do is go and try out as many as you can get your hands on. The J-45 standard (as it is now called) comes with factory fitted electrics, but you stated you don't need electrics. Try to have a look at a J-45 True Vintage.

I would stick with mahogany personally. That's what the J-45 always was traditionally. They do make them in Rosewood (back and sides) and have made them from Koa before. All nice, but for me you can't easily beat a nice mahogany J-45.

There are always plenty of used ones around too.

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

 

J45's are great guitars all around. I agree if your not looking for electronics try out the True Vintage (TV) series. I also prefer the Mahogany, but have not had that much chance to play a rosewood one. I personally think on a J45, if I were to get one, would be a TV series with hog. I would likely add a K & K Mini Western pickup like I have on my AJ and my LG1 as I prefer that to most factory installed pickups I have tried.

 

As to good years and bad years, I can say the "General" opinion is that the 70's were not the best of times for Gibson, but I have heard stories of wonderful guitars from that era as well so take it with a grain of salt. Many will tell you that buying a Gibson is hit and miss, but I feel that is all internet propaganda. I have played hundereds of guitars over the years and have found Gibson no more or less hit and miss than Martin, Guild, or even Taylor (although to be honest, it is less likely with a Taylor for some reason. [biggrin] ) But the best advice I can give is play many and make sure to take note of the ones that speak to you. Most certainly one or two will suit you better than others hanging on the same wall.

 

The guitars coming out of Bozeman today (where they build all the acoustics) are really nice and I think time will tell you that Ren Fergason's time running Gibson Montana may be some of the best.

 

Good luck and have fun in your search. Make sure to listen as you play but also have someone else play for you so you can hear how it projects to an audiance.

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Thanks. I picked up a J-45 (new 2008) today. She'd been on the wall for awhile, and after some cleaning (some by the shop, much better by me) and new strings (by the shop pre-purchase), she sounds really nice. Again, thanks for the advice.

 

What strings do you prefer for a mahogany J-45?

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Thanks. I picked up a J-45 (new 2008) today. She'd been on the wall for awhile' date=' and after some cleaning (some by the shop, much better by me) and new strings (by the shop pre-purchase), she sounds really nice. Again, thanks for the advice.

 

What strings do you prefer for a mahogany J-45?[/quote']

 

I'm having deja-vu all over again.

 

P.S. That's my Adi/Hog J-45 in my avatar yonder to the left.

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What strings do you prefer for a mahogany J-45?

 

Congratulations on your new J-45. Great!

 

You'll get a LOT of different answers to this question. I use Ernie Ball Earthwood Bronze 12's and really like them. Occasionally in the studio (depending on what I'm recording) I use D'Addario 12's which sound a little different. Personally I do not like coated strings' date=' but like I said you're going to get a [b']lot[/b] of different views on this, and it all comes down to what YOU like. Try a few different types and see what suits you best.

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Which J-45 did you end up getting? MC TV? I love mine, It's a standard from 2005 (Historic) which I believe, is just a fancy name for a standard J-45??

I like Elixir PB strings, & also D'addario exp pb's. D'addario's take less of a chunk out of your wallet.

Congrats on a great guitar. The J-45 was inducted, into the acoustic guitar hall of fame a couple of years ago.

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Hopefully, here are a couple of pics. When the weather breaks, I'm going to take her to my local luthier (a Martin and Gibson authorized service guy), and have him check her out, and maybe get bone pins and saddle (nut is bone already?), and a new pickguard. The pickguard suffered during her stay at BestBuy (of all places to buy a guitar).

 

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Thanks again for all the advice. Neat guitar--great vibe. Really, really comfortable to sit and play.

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The BB here in Annapolis, MD stocks Gibson, Taylors from the 1 series up to all Koa for $3K or $4K, and entry level Martins, as well as electrics in about any flavor. The J-45 I wound up with had been on the wall for a long time, and I had played it a few times while wife and kids shopped for electronics. You should buy guitars that speak to you, right? This one, in addition to beign really comfortable to play and having a nice sound, said GET ME OUT OF HERE PLEASE!!! --and they gave me a great price by the time all was considered. I called a couple local Gibson dealers after I had played/before I had bought, and no one a J-45 in stock. Only the local GC had one.

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