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What is this?


jannusguy2

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I guess my question is, how much of the original item needs to be retained in order for the item to still be referred to as a Gibson? The fingerboard is replaced, the top re-braced, the finish destroyed. Look at the placement of the TRC on the headstock? Weird. He says you won't find that guitar at Guitar Centre. That's for sure! :rolleyes:

Honestly, I think it's overpriced, but what do I know

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Gee, guys, give the poor thing some love. It's obviously had a hard life. It's almost certainly a 1942-46 J-45. Unfortunately, someone did a really bad refinish of the whole thing at some point. The fretboard, with 20 frets, binding, and crude block inlays is of indeterminate age and provenance. The belly-down Martin or SJ-style bridge would not be original either, if it's a J-45.

 

The question is whether or not it could be a good player, and that you'd never know until you tried it. Looks like it might have some loose top braces, and the saddle has been thinned down to a nubbin. Also looks like it was Grover'd at some point before the repro Klusons were put on. At least it has a truss rod, which some of these war-time J's lack.

 

The guitar has very little antique value, but if it plays well, it's worth something to somebody. The real soul-searching would come when you tried to decide how far to go to bring it back to life.

 

I'm a little sensitive on the subject of modifed J's. I bought my 1948 (or 1950) J-45 in 1966 for $60, which was all I could afford as a college sophomore. It had been rode hard and put away wet, obviously as a professionally-gigged instrument, with worn-out frets, worn-down board in the first position, and a pickup hole in the side. Some guy probably played rhythm guitar in a honky-tonk band in Jackson, Mississippi, where I bought it. Two years later (June, 1968), the top came loose in one corner in a baggage-handling accident, and I sent it back to Gibson to have the top re-glued and the worn fretboard replaced. As was typical of the time, Gibson came back and said the guitar was beyond reasonable repair, but gave a price to do the repairs anyway, which as I recall was $175.

 

About three months later, the guitar came back from Kalamazoo. When I opened the case, it was unrecognizable as my guitar. Instead of re-gluing the admittedly-worn original top top, it came back with a new, cherry-burst top (rather than the original sunburst). They thinned the neck slightly (I know it's the original neck, as it still has a tapered headstock which was discontinued in about 1953), refinished the neck, and put on the period narrow fretboard with 20 jumbo-style frets (instead of the original 19 narrow frets). Oh yes, and they topped it off with a "state of the art" adjustable bridge, so that the whole bloody thing looked like a brand-new 1968 guitar. Oh yeah, and they stamped the orginal FON (3644-8) on the back of the headstock, just so I would know that it was still my old guitar. Fortunately, the original FON was ink-stamped on the neck block, and the stamp on the back centerline cleat says "j-45", not "J-45 adj".

 

I know they thought they were doing me a favor, and the whole project may have been a labor of love for some apprentice guitar builder in Kalamazoo.

 

I was heartbroken, but at least they didn't refinish the back and sides in 1968-style cherry stain.

 

The only good thing they did was cleat some cracks in the back while the top was off.

 

That's actually just chapter one in the saga of my old J-45. Now, it looks nothing like either a 1968 J-45 (no more cherry-burst), nor does it look like a 1948 J-45 from the front. But that's a story (and pictures) for another day. If I were dead and someone else was trying to figure out the guitar, they would probably be stumped.

 

Fortunately, I have pictures of me playing the guitar prior to Gibson's "facelift", so I can prove what it is.

 

And yes, it sounds like a dream, with a character unlike any other I've ever played. It's going back to have a new repro fixed bridge made (NOT by Gibson!), and some other stuff to tweak a few things I don't like (like the pickup hole which is still in the side). Now that I'm older ("will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?"), and have a stable full of other Gibsons to play while the old girl is in the shop, I'm going to do right by her.

 

She's still my first true love, and someone, somewhere, probably loved this old banner J-45 on ebay.

 

-J45 Nick

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J 45 nick's 1948-'50 J 45 today. Don't scream. Remember, Gibson turned it into a '68 cherry burst in 1968. Everything you see was done in '70, so that's a 40-year-old nitro lacquer finish on the top. If anyone can tell me how to get around the file size limit here, I could post some more pictures.

post-30498-084161700 1301173966_thumb.jpg

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If anyone can tell me how to get around the file size limit here, I could post some more pictures.

 

 

Terrific, rather scary story – Can't believe it's the same old guitar.

 

To post more pictures, you first need a place to store them on the internet – recommend you sign in at Photobucket. Step 1 there is to upload photos from your PC to your Photobucket page – like placing horses in a steeple. Then the system provides every photo with a http:// code, which is needed when you want to show a shot. You copy the code, go to the Gibson Board zone where you write your message, push the tiny square photo-symbol between the yellow smiley and the +envelope, insert the code and voila !

 

Look forward to see the result, , , maybe some of the other G's also.

 

If this is unclear, just ask. . .

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Guest WiseAxe

It's upsetting, this Frankenslope. Who could love it? Who could not? How bad was it that they did not love it as

 

it was, before doing that to it? One could take the high road and throw it love because no one else would, or maybe

 

see the top as a watercolorized Picasso from the view of your tea-cabin in the remote section. It's a pretty specific call,

 

open to change at a moment's notice.

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A 20-year-old boy and his 19-year-old J-45, spring, 1967. I can say that the guitar has survived the last 44 years better than the boy!

Great picture!! [thumbup]

But you're right, that guitar doesn't look anything like the *new* guitar [biggrin] But the new guitar looks pretty good too[thumbup]

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