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Meeting of the Slope Dreads


J185-4Me

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So I got an email from local-to-me Gibson forumite Jeff Richter yesterday, the result being that he and I met for an afternoon to smudge up each others' guitars, show off all the chords we'd learned, and compare our various and sundry slope-shouldered Gibson dreadnoughts.

 

Jeff has a 'family-relevant' 1954 J-50, while I dragged along a few slopes of the '50s and a new, Custom Shop SJ too.

 

First, Jeff's very nice '54 J-50:

 

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It has a very nice tone, volume, and other than an "oops" crack on the back, is in really nice condition for a 56-year old guitar. Love those small teardrop 'guard J-50s!

 

We played the guitars, and handed them back and forth for a spell, then got them together for the obligatory "Family Portraits".

 

First, Jeff's '54 with my '53 SJ.

 

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Interesting to see the similarities and yet subtle differences in the two guitars, separated by only a year.

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My '53 has the slightly off-centre block logo, but they both have the same pickguard, same bridge, although Jeff's has the drop-in saddle, while mine has the saddle-through design.

 

Then here's the '53 and the '54, joined by my '59 Country Western:

 

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The '59 has a thicker top, and is more heavily-lacquered than either of the two early-'50s slopes, and of course, has the bigger pickguard and the pearl inlaid logo and crown. Sound is a little mellower, but still loud, and the neck is a little lower profile than the two early '50s guitars.

 

Then finally, we invited the Bozeman-made 2007 SJ (in maple) to join the crowd:

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Being made with a hot-rod Custom Shop red spruce top and maple back and sides, the comparisons are more difficult, but it certainly retains the Gibson sound, but it is brighter and fairly loud. Looks-wise, it takes in a variety of design elements, so the comparison is not direct.

 

Anyhow, it was a fun way to spend a beautiful early-summer afternoon! We'll do it again!

 

Fred

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Wow! Too cool! All beauties. Your '53 SJ looks just like mine. I wonder where the other 1006 made that year are. The maple SJ is sweet! What a great looking guitar. I just picked up a custom shop 12 fret SJ in VSB. Should be here Tues. Bring your stuff to FLA.! We'll take some more pics. Thanks for posting those.

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Nice pics' date=' and nice that forumites are getting together....great.....by the way, is that a glass of BEER on the table????????[/quote']

 

Wiley,

 

Why yes, it WAS a glass of beer! It helps for playing some of those jazzy diminished chords that Jeff plays! :-

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Thanks for posting the pictures, Fred! They look great. And thanks for a fun afternoon. I look forward to our next get-together.

 

My J-50 seemed a bit lonely after you left with your guitars. I may have to find it a Gibson sibling [thumbup]

 

Cheers,

Jeff

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That '54 J-50 is in the best condition I've ever seen in a guitar that old! Must have been in the case all these years. But I have to admit, your '07 Southern Jumbo is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Between the two, I'd have to go with the SJ!!! Great photo of some great guitars! Thanks for sharing!

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