Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

AJs and j45s or how i spent my summer vacation (holiday)....


jefleppard

Recommended Posts

i was in toronto on the weekend and played many beautiful guitars of different makes and models.

illuding to a previous defense of the hd-28 made by JK, i must agree. a killer sound with great booming bass yet no high end power loss. wow. best in show.

i played 3 vintage gibbys - a 40's SJ and two 50's j45s. i found them similar and i now know what you guys are talking about when you talk of vintage tone. these guitars are dry and mellow. light, too. it must be an aquired taste though, for i found the newer guitars more pleasing to my ear.

in the shameful category, santa cruz has a blatant ripoff of the j45 that actually costs several hundred dollars more. side by side they look and sound identical. so why not buy the real deal and save money? (insert confused and shrugging emoticon here)

there was a custom shop maple hummingbird http://www.12fret.com/new/Gibson_Quilted_Hummingbird_pg.html that was sweet, well balanced yet quite-ish. priced around 3500cdn it failed to amuse me so it was off to long and mcquade.

the l&m on bloor in toronto has a full line of new gibsons and, to the dismay on the guy who had to climb the wall every 10 minutes, i played every one of them. easily the best across the board quality. i really liked the crisp and lively blues king. its almost stinging tone made me laugh. it was fun to play. isn't that really what "IT" is all about? the j45rw was a pleasure the rolling bass and sustain-for-hours was incredible. the notes didn't compress when played loud and hard, either. the fretboard was shiny at the end near the soundhole - is that what you guys call overspray? cosmetic effect only, though. this guitar was sweet. the AJ didn't disappoint. it was loud, uniform and booming and never slinked under my hard strumming. it had been there a while - it needed new strings but still..i want one. its unique tone constantly baffles me.

surprise of the day was the masterbilt aj-500r

http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=225&CollectionID=15

i played it side by side with the gibson aj and the only difference was the treble string volume was a bit weaker on the epi. otherwise, for 1900 dollars less (510cdn) this is a great deal. the overtones were fierce - like smoke, smouldering out of the sound hole. best sustain of the day. in fact i think its still going (waaaaaaaa...insert spinal tap emoticon here - you hear that? no? well, you would if it was plugged in...) the guy at the shop told me it was the thin tops on the masterbilt series that gives the sustain and volume on these guitars. any thoughts, guys/girls?

thanks for lis'ning. seacrest out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like my idea of the perfect day Cunk! I love going in to a well stocked guitar store and playing with the merchendise.

 

My thoughts on the differences between the Real AJ and the Epi masterbuilt, would start with the smell..... yeah, I know, who smells their guitars?!?!?! I do, and I am not ashamed to admit it. My AJ is still my best smelling guitar by far. Whenever I pick it up, the rosewood/Nitro smell hits me like a freight train and I love it!!! (I never have smelled that on the Epi's.)

 

Now onto the other things. I agree the AJ is loud no matter what strings you are playing. The Epi loses the trebil which to me sounds somewhat unbalanced. Yes there is a huge price difference, but as you say in discussing the differences between the SCSG and the J45, "Why not buy the real deal" after all, it's BOZEMAN DUDE!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like my idea of the perfect day Cunk! I love going in to a well stocked guitar store and playing with the merchendise.

 

My thoughts on the differences between the Real AJ and the Epi masterbuilt' date=' would start with the smell..... yeah, I know, who smells their guitars?!?!?! I do, and I am not ashamed to admit it. My AJ is still my best smelling guitar by far. Whenever I pick it up, the rosewood/Nitro smell hits me like a freight train and I love it!!! (I never have smelled that on the Epi's.)

 

Now onto the other things. I agree the AJ is loud no matter what strings you are playing. The Epi loses the trebil which to me sounds somewhat unbalanced. Yes there is a huge price difference, but as you say in discussing the differences between the SCSG and the J45, "Why not buy the real deal" after all, it's BOZEMAN DUDE!!!

 

[/quote']

 

Sounds like a holiday from heaven.

 

I too am hooked on the nitro/rosewood smell and need a fix most days. It reminds me of a holiday we had in France a few years ago. Visited the town of Cognac and the Otard distillery. The perfume from decades making fine cognac in that building is quite wonderful and not unlike my SWD in many ways. I like to think that keeping it in its case (ref related thread) traps the aroma for years to come.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have played a quilt maple Hummingbird and agree with you completely. It has a nice tone , kind of quiet, just not what I'm looking for.

 

I've found the Epiphone Masterbuilt guitars that I've played to a pretty good guitar for the price.

 

Taylor Player, you are not alone...I too love the smell of a good guitar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Sounds like a holiday from heaven.

 

I too am hooked on the nitro/rosewood smell and need a fix most days. It reminds me of a holiday we had in France a few years ago. Visited the town of Cognac and the Otard distillery. The perfume from decades making fine cognac in that building is quite wonderful and not unlike my SWD in many ways. I like to think that keeping it in its case (ref related thread) traps the aroma for years to come.

 

I think we need another UK section outing. When are you next up west?

We could see if Jinder/littlelegs/thermionik etc want to attend?

If not...........................................> hell we'll buy our own beer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like my idea of the perfect day Cunk! I love going in to a well stocked guitar store and playing with the merchendise.

 

My thoughts on the differences between the Real AJ and the Epi masterbuilt' date=' would start with the smell..... yeah, I know, who smells their guitars?!?!?! I do, and I am not ashamed to admit it. My AJ is still my best smelling guitar by far. Whenever I pick it up, the rosewood/Nitro smell hits me like a freight train and I love it!!! (I never have smelled that on the Epi's.)

 

Now onto the other things. I agree the AJ is loud no matter what strings you are playing. The Epi loses the trebil which to me sounds somewhat unbalanced. Yes there is a huge price difference, but as you say in discussing the differences between the SCSG and the J45, "Why not buy the real deal" after all, it's BOZEMAN DUDE!!!

 

[/quote']

 

so true, TP! sorry to down play it, but yes - the smell - ooooh, that smell. my swd hits me like opening an oven door - a wave of peppery-sawdust splendour. the epi has little or no smell. what is there has a light chemical kind of overtone to it. nowhere near the almost sexual experience of a real gibby.

i am a nitro-junkie - and proud of it.

i think ajsc hit it on the head. the epi aj is a great deal for the money. you can get one for around $400 used. great banger for camping, etc.. i saw a comment from an owner on another site saying he called it his 'scotch nite with the boys' guitar.

all said, i still have my eye on the (AJ) prize.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

STOP it guys you ain't meant to sniff glue and stuff at your age!

 

Play the guitars not smell em.

 

The only odour whislt playing are meant to be your own B.O, from the exhaustion of producing such heavenly melodies

 

and the smell of the *** which you still wedge between your top E and B on the headstock

 

(even though you gave up smoking 10 years ago!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I think we need another UK section outing. When are you next up west?

We could see if Jinder/littlelegs/thermionik etc want to attend?

If not...........................................> hell we'll buy our own beer!

 

Good idea John. I would suggest we head to Guildford though. Their website has 12ers a plenty it seems (well 3 at least) and I'm still in the market - small work bonus to be partially utilised, the existence of which the current Mrs AJ knows not!....plus the sale proceeds from my Tak.

 

Perhaps LL can suggest a suitable tavern?

 

Off to Cornwall to do some comedy surfing tomorrow, for a week so let's organise something after the bank hol.

 

Cheers for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

so true' date=' TP! sorry to down play it, but yes - the smell - ooooh, that smell. my swd hits me like opening an oven door - a wave of peppery-sawdust splendour. the epi has little or no smell. what is there has a light chemical kind of overtone to it. nowhere near the almost sexual experience of a real gibby.

i am a nitro-junkie - and proud of it.

i think ajsc hit it on the head. the epi aj is a great deal for the money. you can get one for around $400 used. great banger for camping, etc.. i saw a comment from an owner on another site saying he called it his 'scotch nite with the boys' guitar.

all said, i still have my eye on the (AJ) prize. [/quote']

 

its true, my j45rw is the best smelling thing ever (almost)...where did you see the epi? i was looking for one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

its true' date=' my j45rw is the best smelling thing ever (almost)...where did you see the epi? i was looking for one. [/quote']

 

the epi was at l&m on bloor. $510 w/o p/u. great sound for that price. check it out. the others were at 12th fret. my first time there. what a treat and then down the danforth to dinner at mezes. what a great weekend. great guitars and food. as a footnote...i had nothing to do with the propane explosion. i swear!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cunk--descriptions sound spot on. Exactly my take on the Blues King: a brash little thing. I dont personally share the enthusiasm for the 45rw, but that's just because its not bright enough for what I do. Old slopes. I remember playing a 46 Sj that was in your face aggressive (not unlike a martin 00-18 for spunk) so I can see why it may not have floated the boat. Thanks for reporting in. One of these days, I plan to post on my trip to Guitar Sale. J

 

ps the Epi isnt bad for pac rim prodcut, but (I believe) those Ajs are hand tuned. World of difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

J

 

ps the Epi isnt bad for pac rim prodcut' date=' but (I believe) those Ajs are hand tuned. World of difference.[/quote']

 

Surprisingly, there's not a world of difference in sound. Cunk's description is good. I have both, set up with the same strings (Gibson Masterbuilts). Both are long scale, slope shoulder rosewood boxes of similar dimensions. The AJ500R has a wider waist, which is typical of modern Epiphones. Internal bracing is quite different, as the Epi's is set much further from the soundhole.

 

The Advanced Jumbo does have a little better treble response, and probably more defined bass response. Fundamentals are emphasised somewhat more, so the AJ500R sounds slightly warmer, but all these differences are SLIGHT. It's amazing how similar they sound, especially considering the difference in cost, and bracing. While the AJ 500R is a pretty good looking instrument, and is well made, it certainly can not touch the Gibson in terms of quality of materials used or finish; Gibson wins there hand down, as they should, considering (again) the difference in price.

 

By the way, the playability of the AJ500R is excellent, as well.

 

My guitar playing friends are always amazed when they play one of my Epiphone Masterbilts.

 

I love my Gibsons, but many would be very satisfied with a Masterbilt.

 

Red 333

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...