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rockinrebel

Back in the Gibson Family

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Well folks I'm back in the Gibson family.

I got a 1966 Gibson J-50. Love that ol' girl. Lots of finish checking that just gives her some real mojo.

The sound is sweet, warm, woody. Good sustain. Action is good and yes, it has the "famous" adjustable bridge.

Good to be back home.

[blink]

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http://s771.photobucket.com/albums/xx358/kahunakona/1966%20Gibson%20J-50/

 

All right. Here is a link to the Photobucket album with pictures of the 1966 Gibson J-50.

I love this old guitar. Already as comfortable as a childhood friend.

Just beautiful! I'm jealous. I love the beautiful aged golden hue of old guitars. You're a lucky guy.

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Wow!!! What a comeback that is! Nice score!!!! You are one lucky dude. I am with GG... I love the golden hue of a 40-50 year old natural guitar top.

 

Hey TaylorPlayer,

I was just up in your hometown last week for the first time.

Minneapolis is a great city.

Saw the Twins beat the Tigers on Tuesday night. Great stadium.

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Hey TaylorPlayer' date='

I was just up in your hometown last week for the first time.

Minneapolis is a great city.

Saw the Twins beat the Tigers on Tuesday night. Great stadium.[/quote']

 

It looks like a beauty of a stadium every time I drive past.. All three of my sons have been there, but I have not had a chance to go to the field yet since they opened it. Hopefully I will make it in this first season.

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Hi rockinrebel,

 

I just saw your post over on the AGF and the fact that you mentioned possibly changing the saddle/bridge on the guitar.

 

I'll add this to what has been said over there:

If you truly like the way the guitar sounds now (it certainly looks beautiful enough), you might think twice before modifying it. I have little doubt that the guitar would sound different after such a change, but I don't know that anyone could guarantee that the change would be exactly to your liking.

 

The last time I was visiting the local dealer, I played about a dozen different Gibsons. I thought that by far the best sounding one was the '68 J-45 reissue, complete with the adjustable bridge. Now I realize that the construction details differ from your guitar, but my point is, that this guitar sounded really good (plenty of volume, and punch — very alive) despite the fact that it had the adjustable bridge. It was a very nice surprise. Now maybe this guitar would sound better with a different bridge/saddle, maybe not. If I had bought that guitar, I would have been very reluctant to change it (I doubt that I would). I just chalk this up to the fact that no two guitars are alike. Each one is special in its own way.

 

Maybe most of those adjustable bridge models don't sound good. If I found one for a great price and it sounded horrible, then sure, I'd go for it. But if the guitar sounded great to begin with, I'd really have to think it over, and then some.

 

Just wanted to add a little food for thought. If you do end up changing things out, I certainly hope it works out well for you.

 

By the way, I posted this here instead of on the AGF lest someone come back with a comment to the effect of "What's Gibson coming to when a guitar with an adjustable bridge sounds better than one without!" or something to that effect. People seem upset enough about what happens over there, I didn't want anyone thinking that I was trying to make the situation worse.

 

Anyway, nice find. Enjoy your J-50!

 

All the best,

Guth

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You made it look like a model in those photos. Like tyra banks' date=' but with a spruce top rather than rayon.[/quote']

 

That's funny.

Those pictures were taken at Acoustic Vibes in Tempe, Arizona where I bought the guitar from.

If you haven't been to there website, give it a try. AWESOME shop.

Jeff Looker, the owner, is absolutely first class. He has a tremendous selection of excellent guitars and will give you top dollar trade in value.

The case that came with the J-50 was in bad shape so he bought a brand new Gibson J-45 case and threw it in the deal for nothing.

First class.

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Thanks Guth. I'm pondering it right now. I've had 3 very experienced luthiers (including Frank Ford at Gryphon Strings)all tell me the same thing about the adj. bridge. The J-50 sounds good right now but it doesn't blow me away. Don't get me wrong, it has immediately become my favorite guitar (edging out my Santa Cruz) but my gut feeling is taking 40 grams of weight off the soundboard and having the string vibrations directly transferred to the top is probably going to help.

I know what you mean about mentioning Gibson's on the AGF.

I've been surprised about the somewhat positive comments about the J-50.

I've got one of the AGF's oooohh-aaaaahh guitars (the SC Vintage Artist) and I'm telling you this J-50 is right there with it. If anything it's got a Mojo factor the SC doesn't.

Chuck

 

 

Hi rockinrebel' date='

 

I just saw your post over on the AGF and the fact that you mentioned possibly changing the saddle/bridge on the guitar.

 

I'll add this to what has been said over there:

If you truly like the way the guitar sounds now (it certainly looks beautiful enough), you might think twice before modifying it. I have little doubt that the guitar would sound different after such a change, but I don't know that anyone could guarantee that the change would be exactly to your liking.

 

The last time I was visiting the local dealer, I played about a dozen different Gibsons. I thought that by far the best sounding one was the '68 J-45 reissue, complete with the adjustable bridge. Now I realize that the construction details differ from your guitar, but my point is, that this guitar sounded really good (plenty of volume, and punch — very alive) despite the fact that it had the adjustable bridge. It was a very nice surprise. Now maybe this guitar would sound better with a different bridge/saddle, maybe not. If I had bought that guitar, I would have been very reluctant to change it (I doubt that I would). I just chalk this up to the fact that no two guitars are alike. Each one is special in its own way.

 

Maybe most of those adjustable bridge models don't sound good. If I found one for a great price and it sounded horrible, then sure, I'd go for it. But if the guitar sounded great to begin with, I'd really have to think it over, and then some.

 

Just wanted to add a little food for thought. If you do end up changing things out, I certainly hope it works out well for you.

 

By the way, I posted this here instead of on the AGF lest someone come back with a comment to the effect of "What's Gibson coming to when a guitar with an adjustable bridge sounds better than one without!" or something to that effect. People seem upset enough about what happens over there, I didn't want anyone thinking that I was trying to make the situation worse.

 

Anyway, nice find. Enjoy your J-50!

 

All the best,

Guth[/quote']

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Rockinrebel, very nice guitar. '60s J-50s are just about my favorite guitars. I'm a big fan of the tone delivered by the adjustable bridge and wouldn't change a thing. I feel those adj bridge guitars have a special and unique sound. Changing the bridge and saddle will produce a different tone, but "Better" is a debate that noone wins. I hate to see these old Gibsons modified when there already exist plenty of standard bridge /saddle and previously modified Gibsons out there. However, you do own the guitar and in the end you'll do what seems best to your ears, I understand. And lastly, in line with what Guth mentioned above, I recently came upon and purchased a new Gibson reissue LG2 with the retro adjustable bridge; thought it was the best Gibby in the shop. Ce

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Thanks Guth. I'm pondering it right now. I've had 3 very experienced luthiers (including Frank Ford at Gryphon Strings)all tell me the same thing about the adj. bridge. The J-50 sounds good right now but it doesn't blow me away. Don't get me wrong' date=' it has immediately become my favorite guitar (edging out my Santa Cruz) but my gut feeling is taking 40 grams of weight off the soundboard and having the string vibrations directly transferred to the top is probably going to help.

[/quote']

 

Chuck, does your J-50 have a wood or plastic bridge? Some of Gibson's adjustable bridge mechanisms in the '60s were made out of (hollow) plastic. If yours is wood, than a good non-invasive approach to installing a fixed saddle would be to have an experienced lutheir make a rosewood insert that would fit into the wide slot where the adjustable saddle is now, and then slot the insert for a new fixed saddle. If you don't like the resulting difference in sound, you can have the lutheir remove the insert, and reinstall the adjustable bridge mechanism again.

 

What is your saddle made of? Some of the saddles in the 60's were wood, some were ceramic. I've also seen bone replacement saddles added over the years. The saddles that come with contemporary Gibson reissues are made by Tusq, and are widely available. Before replacing the entire bridge, you might try one of these, to see what that does for you.

 

While there are many that hate the adjustable bridge mechanism, and believe it kills tone, many of us have great sounding guitars that have them. Gibson made a lot of questionable changes to the designs of their guitars in the late '60s, and this often leads to sweeping generalizations about the adjustable bridge. Guth, Frank Ford, and the others are right, in my opinion: you should evaluate your options based how your particular guitar sounds and performs.

 

Good luck, and let us know how you fare.

 

Red 333

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Chuck' date=' does your J-50 have a wood or plastic bridge? Some of Gibson's adjustable bridge mechanisms in the '60s were made out of (hollow) plastic. If yours is wood, than a good non-invasive approach to installing a fixed saddle would be to have an experienced lutheir make a rosewood insert that would fit into the wide slot where the adjustable saddle is now, and then slot the insert for a new fixed saddle. If you don't like the resulting difference in sound, you can have the lutheir remove the insert, and reinstall the adjustable bridge mechanism again.

 

What is your saddle made of? Some of the saddles in the 60's were wood, some were ceramic. I've also seen bone replacement saddles added over the years. The saddles that come with contemporary Gibson reissues are made by Tusq, and are widely available. Before replacing the entire bridge, you might try one of these, to see what that does for you.

 

While there are many that hate the adjustable bridge mechanism, and believe it kills tone, many of us have great sounding guitars that have them. Gibson made a lot of questionable changes to the designs of their guitars in the late '60s, and this often leads to sweeping generalizations about the adjustable bridge. Guth, Frank Ford, and the others are right, in my opinion: you should evaluate your options based how your particular guitar sounds and performs.

 

Good luck, and let us know how you fare.

 

Red 333[/quote']

 

Hey Red,

Mine has a rosewood bridge with the ceramic saddle.

It sounds pretty good but it does seem to lack a little treble sparkle and volume. Rumbles really cool on some palm muted open chords. I wanted to take it to my local luthier for an overall health checkup and I'll see what he thinks.

I appreciate all input.

Glad to have a Gibson in the house again.

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Welcome back' date=' love that vintage Gibson tone, cant beat it.

 

Try telling that on the AGF :-))[/quote']

 

Yeah, I know.

I'm telling you this old '66 J-50 has become my favorite guitar and can stand toe to toe with my Santa Cruz Vintage Artist (essentially a pre-war D-18 type guitar). Nobody on the AGF would believe me. Maybe my ears just like the short scale slope shouldered old Gibson sound better.

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