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Advanced Jumbo rosewood or maple back/sides?


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This is my first inquiry on the Gibson forum. Thanks in advance to all who can advise!

My first guitar was a Gibson B25 back in '70 but I sold it to buy my Martin D-35.

Now, 40 years later I still yearn for another Gibson. Would this AJ be versatile

enough to do the trick for fingerstyle blues,flatpick a little bluegrass and even

strum out some swing jazz chords? If so, would the birdseye maple give me a more distinctive

tone and still retain the warmth of the rosewood AJ?



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From your post, you know the differences in sound between rosewood and maple. I like the lower end response of rosewood, but with maple, the highs and mids are usually bright and clear. And I think it's for that reason I find myself using my maple jumbo more than my rosewood. I would think most grassers would prefer the rosewood. But I play a wide range of stuff on my maple jumbo and I'm satisfied with the response to whatever I play on it. I change the color or warmth of the tone by moving my pick closer to the bridge for more bite and closer to the neck for more warmth.

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I have both a rosewood Advanced Jumbo, and a maple-bodied, short scale AJ. To me, the maple AJ has a tangier, more focused, and less complex tone than the generally lusher rosewood AJ. I'm no geat finger picker, but I would imagine the maple could excel here for the right player, especially for certain types of music. The maple AJ (at least the one I have) has a wider neck and string spacing than the rosewood AJ, which may also be a consideration to a fingerstyle player.


Of course, Gibson is famous for it's maple bodies Super Jumbos, like the J200. That's a whole other kettle of fish. The bigger body gives that more warmth. I think it's less cutting than the maple AJ.


Here's a couple of picture of my maple AJ:






Hope this helps. Welcome to the forum.


Red 333

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Well I have developed I bias regarding maple guitars. This took a long time to develop -- the effect was not obvious for a long time.


We do play a lot of bluegrass, but I also play quite a bit finger style (with fingerpicks) -- we have a local BG band, and I will even sometime play some finger style on stage -- particularly for Gospel.


What I would love to do is play finger style at least occasionally in a bluegrass jam.


For bluegrass, we actually have both a '36 AJ and a '35 D-28 -- both rosewood of course, and both spectacular for rhythm and flatpick lead.


We also have several old maple guitars, including a pair of old L-Cs and a wartime J-45. I love the tone of these instruments when played solo -- I guess I would say better than RW. I also love mahogany "alone" -- just beautiful.


For all our maple guitars (and this holds for the other maple guitars I have played -- I am always trying to prove myself wrong), we also have mahogany versions -- in our case, L-00 and wartime J-45s. The maple guitars do just not stand up in (even mild) acoustic jam sessions. It is so bad in my experience that they usually don't go to acoustic sessions. Sad, because they do indeed sound really good. I have documented this effect at least a dzn times -- I am yet to find an exception. Still looking though.


No recommendation here -- just my $.02 worth.


Let's pick,



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Tough call, this one. I'd say the rosewood AJ's calling card is bluegrass: big bass, quick top response, doesn't break up. Good for back-up and take-offs. Not so boomy that you cant fingerpick it, though more low end and overtones than I prefer. I tried out a maple s/s AJ a few years back. Clear, quick response, and sweet, but doesnt have the high end complexity of mahogany or the ring of RW. Russ Barrenberg plays a vintage maple J45 for BG leads (fiddle tunes and such), but Im'm not sure it would have the pop for rhythm in a full string band. My 2 cents.

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Would this AJ be versatile

enough to do the trick for fingerstyle blues,flatpick a little bluegrass and even

strum out some swing jazz chords?

IMO yes it certainly would. I've not played a maple AJ but have had my RW 'standard' AJ for eight years and having owned probably 20 or 30 Gibson flattops from the '30s thru today's models would say it's the most useful one I've owned. It is a very powerful guitar when called upon but has 'sweet' tonal character--if you find a good one--and that power allows you to dial back the volume at will. It does sound great played gently. IME having a wide range of dynamics in one guitar is a good thing if you choose to explore 'em.


I've played maple flattops--new & vintage J-185s, Taylors--and IME they are very nice sounding & certainly different than RW but not sure I'd call them as 'versatile' as my AJRI.

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