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Picture of my Vintage Jumbo cousins


sumner77

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I started life as a classical player and am comfortable coming around and over the fretboard, but even so there is no question it takes adjusting. it is actually very slightly more than 2" at the nut, maybe 2 1/32. i am no monster, but when i want some speed i reach for something else. i wanted this guitar for its voice, which is unlike anything i have ever played.

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Hello sumner77,

 

Just a quick question for you if you don't mind. I'm just wondering why you call the J-45 a '49 model? I notice that it has the upper belly bridge as does my J-50. I have been told by various sources that rectangular bridges were used until 1950. However, the FON on mine possibly dates it as early as 1948. It's no big deal really. I've just been curious to know for sure when mine was made.

 

Thanks,

 

woodsong58

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Woodsong, it isn't 100% sure whether it's a '49 or a very early '50. When I bought it I sent Walter Carter some photos and he told me it was probably a '49, but definitely built by early '50 as it has a tapered headstock, which he asserts is a definitive sign of no later than early '50. In his written appraisal he didn't mention the upper belly bridge as definitely dating the guitar. Saying '49 is just easier.

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I have a 48 SJ with the reverse belly bridge and 49 J-45 with the rectangular. My suspicion is that there wasn't an actual specific moment where Gibson stopped using one type of bridge and started using another - more like a gradual shift. There was probably a lot of overlap where the builder just grabbed whatever he felt like at the moment.

 

I would tend to rely more on the FON in dating a guitar. But even there, and even between the various written sources (Gibson, Fabulous Flattops, Provide.net) there are inconsistencies. I think if you can get within a couple years, you're doing pretty good.

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Two very nice looking vintage Gibsons pictured above.

 

I kept specs and FONs on flat tops built between 46 (script logo) and 52 (first year of reverse alphabet dating). I could make no sense of it. I had guitars will earlier FONS with later features, guitars with later numbers earlier features. Bridges were one of the features. Either Gibson made guitars with outdated features in latter years or the published numbers don't mean much.

 

The 46 guitars with old script typically do not have a FON. There are guitars with the new block label over the old script logo, I have a J45 like this. This guitar does not have a FON. There are also changes in the side reinforcements with wood and fabric being used.

 

 

I date them: Script only 46, both logos 46, 47. then the rectangle bridge (these show up with less frequency) then the belly up with through saddle.

 

I don't know any one that knows for sure when these changes took place.

 

I have a 1934 Roy Smeck with original Hawaiian set up. It has an unrepaired crack in the bridgeplate so I can't even string it up. I have thoughts of converting it. I can almost hear it. To me it will sound powerful and raw.

 

Terry

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A few weeks ago I looked at, and didn't buy, a '46 J45 that had all kinds of issues, but a lovely old voice. No FON, a rectangle bridge, & Script logo. Terry, the original Smeck is, of course, more valuable to collectors unconverted, so I get the reluctance. And you can never quite be sure what an old guitar will sound like. Ren Ferguson worked on my Smeck before I bought it. He said he once had a room full of about 7 or 8 '30s and early '40s jumbos, and surprisingly only a couple sounded amazing. I can only say that while I dearly love my J45, the Smeck has something different. It is not all about volume and power, either. Someone described it as the most rosewood sounding mahogany guitar he'd heard. I would say it has complex overtones and sustain like great rosewood, with the dry punchy old mahogany thing, too. You can tell I'm in love. Good luck. Wow, a '34 unconverted Smeck. If you ever decide to sell....

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I'm not sure I have an issue converting one. It takes money and the right person. I should get the bridgeplate fixed so I can play it Hawaiian style. I have thought of selling it, but I have others that will go before it. There are several for sale at dealers around the country.

 

Here is a pic of mine with the old/new logo J45, J55 and a maple J45.

 

I would like to play a Smeck.

 

43805ec224.jpg

 

Terry

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Sorry John' date=' it was the only picture I had on the web. You can just photo shop the J55 out! Now get back to work on that book!

 

Terry[/quote']

 

Thanks for the suggestion, Terry. I feel much better now.

 

2846410840033810361S600x600Q85.jpg

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Thanks for the suggestion, Terry. I feel much better now.

 

John you are a clever guy!=P~

 

 

Terry, I'm curious, do you have someone you would trust to make the Smeck conversion?

 

I have had a couple of vintage Gibsons worked on in Des Moines Iowa, they are quite good. I don't know that they have done a Smeck conversion. This discussion has come up on UMGF several times and names have been brought up. Some people say a new neck some say convert and narrow the neck, some don't narrow the neck. Several schools of thought on the conversion. There are a few that are against it.

 

Do you know who did the conversion on you Smeck? You have the original neck width I notice. I have several guitars that need work, most minor, but it is costly. I live about 4 hours from Des Moines. The last guitar I shipped to them and drove over to visit a friend and picked them up.

 

I have a 14 fret black and white L0 with elevated fingerboard, double white guards that I have never played because it needs some bridge work and a Nick Lucas that needs the bridge glued etc. It can be difficult owning so many guitars and not having much money!

 

check out my webpage if you like vintage Gibsons and a lot of Gibson Ukes

 

My webpage

 

Terry

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